|Paul Tripp, circa 1946
♫ While serving in the army during WWII, he comes up with the story of Tubby, a dejected tuba who's mocked by the rest of the orchestra as overweight and one-note, but who triumphs in the end. Written in collaboration with composer George Kleinsinger, Tubby the Tuba integrates story and melody in the same manner as Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, with each character given a distinctive musical motif.
♫ Released in 1945 with Tripp narrating, Tubby the Tuba is a hit, but it becomes a smash after Danny Kaye re-records it, selling over eight million copies. Over the years, it has many more interpretations, conducted by everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Arthur Fiedler, and narrated by Annette Funicello, Julia Child and Carol Channing, among others.
♫ Paramount buys the film rights in 1946, and it's released as a stop-action "Puppetoon," later nominated for a Best Animated Short Oscar.
♫ In 1954, Tripp releases Tubby the Tuba as a book, below, which remains in print to this day, then goes on to a thriving career as a producer of children's television shows. He is living in No. 45 when the original recording is first released (and is profiled by Tudor City View at the time), but we suspect he relocates after fame and fortune arrive.