"Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" and "Cruella deVille" : same song?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tony Stucchio, Sep 9, 2014.

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  1. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Is it me or are "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" by Thelonious Monk and "Cruella deVille" from Walt Disney's 101 Dalmations the same song?
     
  2. notesofachord

    notesofachord Where are the prawns?

    That's exactly what I thought the first time I heard "Bolivar Blues".
    To be honest though, I've never played them back to back to analyze the differences.
     
  3. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Not entirely the same, but the first few bars are very similar.
     
  4. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    There are discussions on this on a number of websites

    http://www.fluther.com/3572/a-wierd-coincidence/

    Strangely, the Wikipedia page on the Cruella de Vil character states "Thelonius Monk recorded a song called "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues Are" in 1956, which includes the tune from Cruella Deville's song.", when the movie in which the song appeared is actually from 1961. So it's rather the composer of the song who was inspired by Monk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruella_de_Vil
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  5. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    They both start by going up the blues scale (1st, 3rd, 5th 6th and b7th) and then the same thing a fourth up, a pretty normal move for a blues.
     
  6. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    My very good friend wrote one of them (he lived to a ripe old age). He told me it was an homage.
     
  8. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Would this be him?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Leven

    BTW, while we are talking about similarities, I've always thought that Rod Taylor, who provided one of the voices in
    101 Dalmations, bears a striking resemblance to Robin Williams. (Or is it vice-versa?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Taylor

    And, according to Wikipedia (which is infallible), Disney's Cruella was based on the personality and mannerisms of Tallulah Bankhead.

    I also wonder if Thelonious Monk saw or even heard of 101 Dalmations.
     
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  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Dsc00583.jpg Yes, Mel Levin (third from right in the hat). The Gold Star Studio gang. We had breakfast together every Tuesday morning for years in the 2000's. Mel was one of the greatest people I've ever had the pleasure to know. Every Tuesday he would greet me with "Lionel Barrymore, glad to see you!"

    Loved him. Photo by Kevin Gray.
     
  10. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Nice. Never heard of him until I looked up who the composer was a few minutes ago. I had thought it would be the Sherman brothers. I'm glad that you confirmed for me that the song similarities were not a coincidence.

    I don't get the Lionel Barrymore reference. I've seen pics of you and you do not look like him.

    So, did you ever meet Mr. Monk?
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    No, I don't look like Lionel Barrymore. That's what made Mel, Mel.
     
  12. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    :D
    I like people who are like that.
     
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  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    The man was 90 and his "filter" was gone. He just said whatever the hell he felt like saying. First time I met him I told him it was an honor to meet him and what was it like to work for Walt Disney?

    He looked at me and said: "Walt Disney, that c***sucker?"

    I just fell down laughing, his response was so unexpected. Guess Mel was owed some royalties.

    Nonetheless I was careful not to mention Uncle Walt to him unless I wanted a good laugh.
     
  14. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    Like I said, I like people who are like that. :D

    OK, so did Disney really have x-rated versions of his cartoons that he showed to people?
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

  16. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    OK -- thanks.
     
  17. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    The Monk tune is Bb-D-F-G-Gb 1-3-b5-6-b7
    Cruella is Bb-B-D-E-F Anacrusis-1-b3-4-b5
    And then up the 4th as you said.

    That is a good question regarding copyright. The rhythm is the same. The melody.....probably not close enough.
     
  18. Tony Stucchio

    Tony Stucchio Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York City
    In any case, it probably would have been difficult if a jazz musician/composer like Monk tried to fight the Disney Goliath. And since he was supposedly a bit eccentric, Monk probably didn't care -- if he knew at all.
     
  19. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Good point. Monk probably knew better than to fight Disney if they owned the rights (which I am sure they did).
    I must admit the rhythm is pretty much exactly the same and that held flatted blue note coming at the end of the line makes them very similar in tone. However, IMO there is enough difference in the melody for it to go to court. Monk probably got a good laugh from it and didn't care.
     
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