Rare UPA Recordings by Mel Leven

Here’s another historical curiosity courtesy of animator Mike Kazaleh.

Songwriter Mel Leven (“Cruella de Vil” for 101 Dalmatians) wrote many songs which were turned into mini-musicals for UPA’s Boing Boing Show (1956). Two of his most famous were Three Horned Flink (Fred Crippen animated and directed, above, from a design by Jimmy Murakami) and Fight On For Old (dirty print transfer embed below, directed by Ernest Pintoff, designed and animated by Fred Crippen).

The Boing Boing Show came and went in the late 50s, but Leven apparently felt his songs were worth another shot. In 1959, with UPA’s approval, Verve Records released a single featuring “Fight on for Old” backed-with “Three Horned Flink”. Says Kazaleh:

“These were recorded in 1959 after the “Boing Boing Show” was finished. Notice these are different arrangements from the versions used on the show. While researching UPA and Bobe Cannon, I had several visits with Mel Leven. On one of the visits he loaned me his copy of the 45rpm. I took it home and taped it, now I’ve digitized it for your pleasure.”

Once again, neither song attained mass popularity. In fact, both the films and the record are some of the most obscure productions UPA ever made. They shouldn’t be – Leven’s tunes (and his voice on Flink) are quite charming. You can see the original UPA versions above and can hear both sides of the 1959 single after the jump:

3 Horned Flink

Fight On For Old