Friends, thank you for joining us once again for Retro Records. This week we have RCA’s 1952 adaptation of A.A. Milne’s Winne the Pooh and Tigger – furthermore this is not the Walt Disney version, this 78 RPM record is narrated by none other than James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart!
By 1952, Jimmy Stewart had already more than made a name for himself with roles in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rope, and Harvey to name a few. The inclusion of such an actor for the project was reported in Billboard back on July 14th of 1951. In fact that article which you can read for yourself over on the Jimmy Stewart on the Air blog, states that the head of audio recording was flying that Thursday to record two Winnie the Pooh albums with Stewart. All of this was part of RCA Victor’s Upside-Down book and record series, which basically meant when the story was finished you would flip your storybook upside down – as well as the record and listen to the second part of the story.
The story of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger was actually the second story in the first Upside-Down book set, the first being Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalump. The series featured music composed by Norman Leyden – who would work with the likes of Glenn Miller, Tony Bennet, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra to name a few. In addition it looks like this recording by Jimmy Stewart was released in multiple versions over the years, RCA produced 45 RPM records as well.
The story for Winnie the Pooh and Tigger focuses on what happened after everyone’s favorite silly old bear encounters Tigger in the 100 Acre Woods. Obviously this is a story for children, but as Disney’s Christopher Robin proved – sometimes it’s good to take a moment and catch up with old friends.
So sit back and let Jimmy Stewart share with you the story of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, here on Retro Records!