The ridiculous extent of how over-anxious and hyper-romantic teenaged girls are gripped by boy band fanhood was satirised by Frank Tashlin in the Warner Bros. cartoon Swooner Crooner. Of course, there were no boy bands in 1944. But there were crooners. And the two biggest ones were Frank Sinatra and the old groaner Bing Crosby.
One of the hens hears the Frankie rooster oozing out the hit It Can’t Be Wrong.
Whether Tashlin was doing his own layouts, I don’t know, but loved angles and cinematic effects. Note how he also reuses animation of the hen shadows, first as they run to hear Frankie, then after they turn around and run to hear Bing.
A fun gag is how Frankie’s singing turns one hen into a pool of, uh, well, I’m not sure what.
And from the famous between-Frankie’s-legs scene.
Carl Stalling packed this cartoon with Warners-owned songs. Vocalised are:
It Can’t Be Wrong (K. Gannon, M. Steiner), Frankie
Shortenin’ Bread (traditional), Nelson Eddy?
September in the Rain (A. Dubin, H. Warren), Jolson
Lullaby of Broadway (A. Dubin, H.Warren), Durante
Blues in the Night (H. Arlen, J.Mercer), Calloway
When My Dreamboat Comes Home (D. Franklin, C. Friend), Bing
I'll Pray For You (A. Altman, K. Gannon), Frankie
Trade Winds (D. Franklin, C. Friend), Bing
Always in My Heart (K. Gannon, E. Lecuona), Frankie
You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (J. Mercer, H. Warren), Bing
And Stalling tosses in a good helping of Raymond Scott’s Powerhouse in the henhouse sequence and a little bit of As Time Goes By.
The cartoon was nominated for an Oscar but lost to MGM’s Mouse Trouble.
The cartoon was released May 6, 1944. On August 31st, Variety announced Tashlin was leaving Warners to work for Morey and Sutherland as the supervising director for their cartoon series released by United Artists. By October next year, he was writing for live-action at Paramount.
I don’t believe Sinatra ever recorded It Can’t Be Wrong, but he sang it on a radio show. You can hear it below.