December 21 – Snow White, Zappa birthday, Gottsching, Heart


The first cel-animated color feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is premiered in Los Angeles by Disney.▷LA Times, 1938 ▹

The story is based in the Brothers Grimm version of the fairy tale Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge. Snowdrop was part of the first English translations; the first, illustrated volume is published in 1823 as German Popular Stories.

Disney’s film may have been inspired by a 1916 live-action US silent film. Its release is wisely timed to partake of Xmas magic for a star-studded audience at the Carthay Circle Theatre. Disney mortgaged his house to pay for the $1.5 million production; Hollywood referred to the project as ‘Disney’s Folly’; his wife said ‘No one’s ever gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture.’

Following the general release the following February 4, the film grossed $66 million — which was quite a lot of money in those days. By May it was the most successful film of all time.

Its #10 for (adjusted) domestic lifetime gross:$184M. In 1939 its given an honorary Oscar statuette — and seven little statuettes. In 2008 the AFI calls it the #1 animated film. (*)

First commercially issued soundtrack

Another first: its soundtrack album is the first ever released, as six songs on a set of three 78-rpm singles on RCA. Heigh Ho (The answer to the old question is: Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey) ( Website )

See also: 1933 animated short


Birthday of prolific American composer, electric guitarist Frank Zappa, member of the Mothers of Invention.

He wrote 79 albums, the bestselling of which was 1974’s Apostrophe (US#10). Stinkfoot, live 


German ‘kosmische musik’ guitarist Manuel Gottsching, formerly of Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra, records his first solo album, E2-E4. It’s released in 1984. E2-E4 

AllMusic calls it ‘one of the most important, influential electronic records ever released … it just sounds like the mainstream house produced during the next two decades.’ (*) It’s sampled for a 1989 Sueno Latino ambient house single, which becomes a #1 in parts of Europe. May remix 
 ( Ashra site


Seattle/Vancouver band Heart scores a US#1 with their 8th, eponymous album. It spends 92 weeks in the top 200. Track These Dreams becomes a #1 single.

Following albums Bad Animals (9th, 1987, includes Alone (US#1,UK#3) ) and Brigade (1990) also reach the top 10.

The outstanding Airplane-ish psych single Crazy on You (dig, #2 in the Netherlands) appeared on the band’s 1976 debut album Dreamboat Annie, which eventually sells a million copies. Crazy, live 1977 second album Little Queen included hit single Barracuda(US#11,CA#2).

The band is inducted into the Rock HoF in 2013. ( Website )