Well, there goes Popeye the Sailor Man, It’s A Hap-Hap Happy Day and Casper The Friendly Ghost. Not the characters (they were sold off years ago), but the theme songs and music from 80 years of Paramount Pictures. Viacom announced today the sale of Famous Music to Sony/ATV.
“This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing,” said Michael Jackson (yes, that Michael Jackson. He co owns Sony/ATV). In addition to all the Fleischer and Famous Studios cartoon themes (which include Superman, Little Audrey and Herman and Katnip’s Skiddle Diddle Dee) the Famous Music catalogue includes 125,000 songs, including themes from The Brady Bunch and Star Trek, songs from Broadway shows such as A Chorus Line and The Producers, and hundreds of pop tunes and Academy Award winning soundtracks.
The Famous brand name dates back 1912 when Paramount Pictures founder Adolf Zukor created Famous Players. In 1942 when the studio removed the Fleischer brothers and established their own animation studio, they named it Famous Studios, a sister company to Famous Music. All that tradition comes to an end today.