Friday, February 19, 2016

Ephemera for Lunch #35:
Snow White and The Godfather

This week's final "Ephemera for Lunch" record cover is also the oldest of the week. It's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a 45-rpm record published in 1950 as CF-620 by Caravan Records Inc. of New York.

The crazy thing is that I can't find much about the history of Caravan Records and the company's "unbreakable" red vinyl records.

I did, however, discover a few of their other children's titles, including Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Sleeping Beauty, Little Black Sambo, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood. They also published something called Foodini's Trip to the Moon.

If anyone can point us in the direction of more information or memories about Caravan Records, that would certainly be appreciated!

Here's how the back of this paper slipcase describes the record:
"This the musical story of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, a new version especially prepared for your child's entertainment. It follows the classic pattern of the original fairy tale, and is supported by original songs and sound effects that will delight any youngster."

While we don't know any more about the publisher, we are kindly given a set of credits for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The story is told by Merrill E. Joels and a supporting cast. It features Glenn Osser and his orchestra. And the original music and story adaptation were done by Paul Davis.

And that gets us to the best part of today's post.

Merrill Joels (1909-2011), the record's narrator, had a long career in show business. He also, according to, appeared in one movie.

That movie? The Godfather.

In a non-speaking role, Joels portrays the tollbooth collector who takes Sonny Corleone's money and then hits the floor as the bullets start flying and — spoiler alert — Sonny is turned into Swiss cheese.

I'd love to know the story behind this. If you're only ever going to appear in one movie, for just a few seconds, The Godfather is about as good as it gets.

As so, without further ado, I give you the cinema career of Merrill Joels...

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