Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spotlight: Thurl Ravenscroft

You already know I love everything from Yesteryear. I'm obsessed with Old Hollywood: the movies, the actors, the actresses. When I read a book, 99.9% of the time it is a biography or autobiography about someone from the golden era. It fascinates me! From time to time on my blog, I want to spotlight someone who I find interesting. 

I am fascinated by the man called Thurl Ravenscroft. Yes, that is absolutely his real name! He has had a hand (a voice, really!) in all of my favorite interests. Thurl moved from his home in Nebraska to attend art school in California, where he was urged to make a move into show business. He got many calls to be a studio singer, eventually taking his talents to radio in the mid 1930s.

In the late 1940s, he and a fellow singer formed a group called the Mellomen. They performed on television, radio and in movies and performed backup for many of the popular singers of the time. They started working with Elvis Presley when his favored back up group, the Jordanaires, were unavailable for the film It Happened At The World's Fair. The Mellomen sang back up for Elvis on three other films as well, Roustabout, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, and The Trouble With Girls (as a group called The Bible Singers). 

The Mellomen as "The Bible Singers" in The Trouble With Girls
alongside Elvis. Thurl is on the far right.

In the 50s, the Mellomen got their start with Disney. In addition to several short films, the group performed in Alice In Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book. The Mellomen also recorded several records and did television shows for Disney, such as the original Mickey Mouse Club. Thurl lent his voice to several attractions at Disneyland as well. His booming bass voice can be heard on the Mark Twain Riverboat, as Fritz the parrot in Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, and in my two favorite attractions, the Pirates of the Caribbean as part of the group singing Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me), and as Uncle Theodore, the lead singing bust in the Haunted Mansion who croons Grim, Grinning Ghosts. 

Thurl (2nd from right) with the Mellomen on the Mickey Mouse
Club on November 8, 1955. 

The singing busts inside the Haunted Mansion. Thurl
is the bust who has um... lost his head.

A fun video of Grim, Grinning Ghosts
Video courtesy of imgonnaeatya.

Fritz from Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. 
Photo courtesy of Jack Spence.

Thurl became a Disney Legend in 1995.

Thurl also is the voice behind the Christmas classic You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch from the 1966 television special How The Grinch Stole Christmas. However, his name was accidentally left out of the credits, leaving people to give the credit to a multitude of singers such as Boris Karloff, who actually narrated the show, and even Tennessee Ernie Ford. 

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel.
Video courtesy of 

Mr. Ravenscroft was most famously known for his role as Tony the Tiger for the Frosted Flakes cereal commercials! He was uncredited for his work as Tony the Tiger, though he did the voice for over 50 years.

Thurl and Tony the Tiger.

Thurl passed away in 2005. I'm thankful for his many works through all walks of entertainment. A lot of what he's done makes me so happy!! 

Until next time,


All Things Thurl
Thurl Ravenscroft Wiki

**All photos used on this blog post were found on Google Image search. If they belong to you and you do not wish for me to use them, please email me!**

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