2 April 2008 | LinKen2467
A comment from "Little Toot's sister"
I've loved reading the other comments because it was my dad (Hardie Gramatky) who wrote and illustrated the book from which Walt Disney made the animated feature that was part of "Melody Time" (I believe it was in 1948, by the way).
Walt Disney was like a father to my dad (who had lost his father in Dallas from tuberculosis when Dad was only 10, and then he and his mom and two brothers moved out to South San Gabriel, CA), and when Dad and Mom moved to NYC after six years working as an animator for Disney, Dad was one of only one or two former employees with whom Walt maintained a good relationship. In fact, after Little Toot was published in 1939, Walt really wanted to take a ride on a tugboat, and Dad arranged that with Eugene Moran (of Moran Towing) in 1945.
Walt Disney was a genius and he really understood why this mischievous little tugboat would continue to please generations of children 69 years later (2008). People still write me about how much the original book (a beautiful restored edition was published by Penguin Putnam last September, restoring the colors and art to what Dad created in the first edition) meant to them and how they can still remember the "Little Toot" song from "Melody Time".
One thing that the Gramatky family didn't learn until after Dad died (1979) is that Capitol Records wanted to bring out a record with the song from "Melody Time", but the Andrew Sisters weren't interested. A children's record??? Well, Alan Livingston, president of Capitol Records at the time, told us that he got other singers instead ... and the record was the FIRST children's record to go platinum ever, and every time Alan saw the Andrews Sisters at a party, they would say how they were kicking themselves that they passed on this opportunity!
Wonderful memories. Linda Gramatky Smith (Connecticut)