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  1. #1

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    Earth Day - Jiminy Cricket - Cliff Edwards

    I was going to ask a question about the voice of Jiminy Cricket "today". I know that the original voice was Cliff Edwards. So I got on the computer and did a search on the voice of Jiminy Cricket. I followed this with a search for Cliff Edwards.

    Did you know that Cliff Edwards was born in Hannibal Missouri? Did you also know, that he died broke, and his body lay unclaimed for days, because no one knew who he was. He died on "July 17, 1971" I found the date quite eery. Having a tie in to both the beginning of Disneyland and the begiining of Walt Disney World.

    What started as a curiosity as to who does the voice of Jiminy Cricket today, at the parks and on television, ended with a search on historic information on Cliff Edwards. I read some every interesting information. Cliff Edwards to me, means Jiminy Cricket. He was much more than that, and it was sad to read how his life ended. He of course, died after Walt Disney, so who knows the signifigance of that positively or negatively. His voice has brought much joy to me. I should have researched him before today.

    So on this Earth Day, I have learned about the original voice of Jiminy. Jiminy Cricket (the Character) is the Disney Company"s symbol for Earth Day. Now when I see him I will think about more than how cute he is, or how he trys to keep Pinnochio on the straight and narrow. I have always known about Jiminy's Earth Day tie in. I will now remember the original voice, and wonder why his life had to end so sadly, but then life is not always rosy.

    I guess that's why a trip to a Disney park, leaves us all wishful, and takes away our aches and pains and heartaches, if only for an afternoon or a week at a time.

    So when you are at the Park on Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, think about Cliff Edwards, the original voice of the cricket. Ward Kimball may have said he was a pain to draw, but he brings joy to me. I won't be able to see Jiminy cricket again without getting a lump in my throat.

    Happy Earth Day.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for info

    Thanks for doing that research! I did not know that he died that way or on that date. I wish I knew who does the voice now. I have to be honest and say that the voice does not quite come up to snuff for me. I love the character of Jiminy though!! What I like about Jiminy is his down to earth honesty. He has a character somewhat like Mickey's. He seems loyal but also carrying enough to tell you what you need to hear even if it hurts some.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
    .................................

    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

  3. #3

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    What great timing to remember Cliff Edwards! Thanks for posting this. Here's a small bio of Cliff Edwards experpted below.

    "Cliff Edwards got his start in show business as a teenager in St. Louis where he sang in movie theatres and saloons. While singing in the saloons he began to accompany himself on the ukulele and developed a style of improvised singing, which he called "effin". "Effin" sounds a lot like the human voice imitating a hot trumpet or kazoo solo.

    Edwards had a wonderful voice with at least a three octave range and he would inject his "effin" solos into his songs in the same way that a Jazz musician would take a solo. A good argument can be made that Edwards 1922 recordings with Ladds Black Aces and Bailey's Lucky Seven are the first recorded examples of scat singing, but some Jazz critics would disagee and point back to Gene Greene's 1911 Victor recording "King of the Bungaloos".

    Between 1913 and 1918 Edwards struggled to make a living traveling with carnivals and doing menial labor to get by. In 1917 he moved to Chicago where he took a job as a singer in the Arsonia Café going to tables and singing and playing the ukulele for tips. It was here that he started using the stage name of "Ukulele Ike". The pianist at the club was Bob Carlton who had written a novelty song that he called "Ja Da". Cliff became a sensation singing the song and he and Joe Frisco, a stuttering comedian and dancer, formed a vaudeville act that was successful enough to end up playing at the Palace in New York City.

    In 1922 Edwards recorded his first records with Ladds Black Aces and Bailey's Lucky Seven. In 1924 Edwards hit the bigtime when he appeared in George Gershwin's "Lady Be Good" on Broadway and introduced the song "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and stole the show. He went on to score other big successes in other Broadway productions and become a major star of vaudeville. When we think of the 1920s the image of a crooner with a ukulele comes to mind. This image is based on Edwards popularity and his uke.

    In 1929 Edwards scored another hit with his version of "Singin' In The Rain"in the movie "The Hollywood Revue Of 1929" and this role established him as a film star. He went on to appear in more than 100 motion pictures.

    Throughout the 1930s and early 1940s Edwards continued to be a much sought after actor in Hollywood. His singing and film roles led him to be cast as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the Disney animated feature "Pinocchio". Cliff sang the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" in the film and it won an Oscar for best song in 1940. His rendition of this song is one of the great popular vocal performances of the 20th century and it became the theme of the Disney corporation.

    Edwards went on to be the voice of Jim Crow in the animated feature "Dumbo" and star in the Durango Kid "B movie" westerns. It is estimated that Edwards sold 74 million records during his career. Despite all of this success and earning millions of dollars in his career he went bankrupt several times due to alimony payments, income tax troubles, gambling, alcoholism and drug addiction. His star faded in the 1950s and 1960s and Edwards died broke and on welfare in 1971, a forgotten man."

    I strongly urge all you Cliff Edwards fans to buy his album "Ukulele Ike Sings Again" on Disney records from iTunes. or where ever you can find it.
    What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it's all about?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann
    So when you are at the Park on Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, think about Cliff Edwards, the original voice of the cricket. Ward Kimball may have said he was a pain to draw, but he brings joy to me. I won't be able to see Jiminy cricket again without getting a lump in my throat.
    Thanks for starting this thread. I've always loved When You Wish Upon A Star and have requested it be sung or played when I finally go to "Beyond-Tomorrowland." Hearing Cliff Edwards sing it always gets me, not only for the song's reassuring message of optimism but also because of his smooth, clear vocals. How can you not melt at that final sky-high note?

    So...a tip o' the hat to Cliff Edwards, where ever you are. (And to Leigh Harline & Ned Washington for providing Cliff with the words and music.)
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  5. #5

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    Maybe Jiminy's voice was done by Eddie Carroll, the man that has been doing Jiminy's voice since Cliff Edwards' death in the early 1970's.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyNut2004
    Maybe Jiminy's voice was done by Eddie Carroll, the man that has been doing Jiminy's voice since Cliff Edwards' death in the early 1970's.
    This is probably the answer that I was originally seaking, before I got sidetracked and did my web search on Cliff Edwards. Does Eddie Carrol do the voice of Jiminy, that we hear at WDW during the Wishes fireworks?

    I appreciate the further information on Cliff Edwards. I have always loved Jiminy Cricket, When You Wish Upon A Star and the movie Pinnochio.

    Jiminy Cricket, the character is part of the video game Kingdom Hearts, that I played with my grandson. He is still seen on the House of Mouse, and he will always be my favorite. Thanks for all the info.
    i

  7. #7

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    I thought it might be appropriate to post this here, although most of you probably have never seen the early live-action Disney feature films but Bobby Driscoll was a major talent at Disney Studios and all of you will remember him as the voice of Peter Pan. Here's his bio in a nutshell:

    The Hollywood history books are full of sad stories about popular child actors who couldn't make the transition to success in adult roles, but there is no sadder or more ironic story than that of Bobby Driscoll, who died in 1968 at the age of 31. He made his film debut in 1943 and not long after that he signed a long-term contract with Walt Disney and became one of the most successful child actors of the 1940s and early 1950s. In 1949, after appearing in Disney's So Dear to My Heart and the non-Disney thriller The Window, he was awarded a special Academy Award for "outstanding juvenile" of the year. A year later he starred in Disney's Treasure Island and in 1953 he provided the voice for Disney's Peter Pan, which for some of us was his signature role, although he wasn't actually seen in the film.

    Peter Pan never had to grow up, but Bobby Driscoll did and by the time his teen years were over so was his film career. Then came drug addiction, hospitals, jail sentences and poverty. In March of 1968 his body was found in an abandoned tenement in New York City. The body was not even identified as Bobby Driscoll until the following year.

  8. #8

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    That is so sad. We are but the audience, watching these wonderful characters on television and the movies. We forget these are people playing these roles with lives of their own. They bring joy to us, and it is so sad to hear that their lives were not full of joy, but ended tragically. Thanks for the info, it is greatly appreciated.

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