Here are a few of the more interesting Instagram facts I was able to dig up.
As always, be sure to check back in the future as I will be updating this post as new and updated stats become available.
A child prodigy, Shield seemed destined for a life as a touring concert pianist, but his career changed track when he enlisted to join the Army during the First World War.
He served as band-leader and soon developed a taste for conducting, and upon his return to civilian life Shield found employment as arranger/conductor at the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.
Could any of us casually whistle a title tune dating, say, from the earliest days of soundtrack recordings?
All durable classic themes, to be sure, but what about movie themes of an earlier vintage?
Hatley was also a skilled composer, writing a large amount of special material for the boys’ feature length movies.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.
The composition’s originality stems from its two disparate melodies played together in dissonant counterpoint – a bold, sprightly ‘bugle call’ melody representing the assured, confident persona of Oliver Hardy, and a descending two-note ostinato signifying the “cuckoo” world of Stan Laurel.
The timeless popularity of “The Dance of the Cuckoos” has ensured that the name of the tune’s composer, Thomas Marvin Hatley, will forever be associated with Laurel and Hardy.
In contrast to many other productions from the early 1930s, which now appear slow and dated due to the distinct lack of musical scores, the toe-tapping tunes of Leroy Shield continue to keep viewers enthralled and entertained, adding a dash of sparkle and life to every moment of these treasured productions.
Leroy Bernard Shield was born in Waseca, Minnesota, on October 2, 1893.