Whizzer the Talking Airplane

Artists Unknown

Jackalee W-1333 ©1947

Total Time: 12:09

Sonovox

An early voice effect using the same principle of the throat as a filter was the Sonovox. Instead of a throat microphone modulating a guitar signal, it used small loudspeakers attached to the performer’s throat. It was used in films such as A Letter to Three Wives (1949), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), the voice of Casey Junior the train in Dumbo (1941) and The Reluctant Dragon (1941), the instruments in Rusty in Orchestraville, the piano in Sparky’s Magic Piano, and the airplane in Whizzer The Talking Airplane (1947). The Sonovox was also used in many radio station IDs produced by PAMS of Dallas and JAM Creative Productions. Lucille Ball made one of her earliest film appearances during the 1930s in a Pathé Newsreel demonstrating the Sonovox. The Sonovox was commercialized by the Wright-Sonovox company, an affiliate of the Free & Peters advertising agency.

The Sonovox makes an even earlier appearance in the 1940 film “You’ll Find Out” starring Kay Kyser and his orchestra, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre. Lugosi uses the Sonovox to portray the voice of a dead person during a seance.

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