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Mr. Moto in Java Jive

We are doing an arrangement of "Java Jive" and have been debating about the
meaning of "Hey Mr. Moto, I'm a coffee pot". I assume it is from another
era.

Thanks in advance

Chuck Jonah
Naperville Chamber Singers
on April 16, 1998 2:23pm
I thought it was a brand of coffee pots during that era....

Bette Weir
Madison, MS

BeeWeir(a)aol.com
on April 16, 1998 4:54pm
>We are doing an arrangement of "Java Jive" and have been debating about the
>meaning of "Hey Mr. Moto, I'm a coffee pot". I assume it is from another
>era.

>Thanks in advance

>Chuck Jonah
>Naperville Chamber Singers

"Mr. Moto" was a fictional bad guy in a bunch of mystery movies (and maybe
books) at about the time the song was written. (You know, the inscrutable
oriental villain. Like Wo Fat on Hawaii Five-Oh.)

My guess has always been that the reference is to spying in these movies,
as in, "Hey, I'm here spying on you, but I'm disguised as a coffee pot so
you'll never find me." That's purely conjecture, though.

John

John & Susie Howell (John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034


on April 16, 1998 5:35pm
I got your message and I was in a select choir that sang Java Jive last
year. I love that song. Anyway, our director told us that there was a
Japanese General named Moto. At that time there was a big push in which
citizens gave to the war effort by giving their coffee pots and cooking
pans to the army which was melting them down for bullets. I still don't
know exactly what the line means, but it may relate to that. Hope it
helps

kevin craig
austin college
kcraig(a)genesis.austinc.edu
on April 16, 1998 8:20pm
Perhaps what is meant is ___I'VE___ a coffee pot (as in I HAVE), in which
case, the story Kevin's
director told makes sense - it is a WW2 era indirect threat against the
Japanese army...

Not a nice thing to have in the program perhaps, but interesting background

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Sinasohn sinasohn(a)netcom.com SF Native CAL '80

Editor, Academic Computers Magazine CASA Arrangements Librarian

Bass & Business manager: PRESS ANY KEY - Acappella At Your Fingertips

Motto: There's a fine line between a groove and a rut!! Member, AAG

on April 17, 1998 9:02am
Dear Talkers,

Rare it is indeed when one has an opportunity to correct John Howell, but here
goes. John said: >"Mr. Moto" was a fictional bad guy in a bunch of mystery
movies (and maybe
books) at about the time the song was written. (You know, the inscrutable
oriental villain. Like Wo Fat on Hawaii Five-Oh.)
No, no, John. Mr. Moto was the detective *hero* played very wonderfully and
timidly by Peter Lorre, based on the books by John P. Marquand (I didn't know
the author-Leonard Maltin's book was my source for that piece of information).
He was terribly unassuming, but secretly very smart, and he would always trick
the villain into revealing himself with a minimum of violence. Lorre was in
eight(!) Mr. Moto films from 1937 to 1939 from 20th Century Fox-incidentally
the same studio responsible for the concurrently successful "Charlie Chan"
series. (they sure churned out those "B" movies in those days).

I still don't know about the "coffee pot" reference in "Java Jive", although
John may be right about the disguise idea. If the reference were about
*General* Moto (Kevin Craig's director's theory), why not say "General" Moto,
rather than "Mr."-it would just involve changing two eighths to a triplet-easy
to do?

Trying to be helpful.

Best wishes,
Steve

Steve Barnett
Composer/Arranger/Producer
Barnett Music Productions
BarMusProd(a)aol.com
on April 17, 1998 12:44pm
Steve Barnett wrote:

>No, no, John. Mr. Moto was the detective *hero* played very wonderfully and
>timidly by Peter Lorre, based on the books by John P. Marquand (I didn't know
>the author-Leonard Maltin's book was my source for that piece of information).
>He was terribly unassuming, but secretly very smart, and he would always trick
>the villain into revealing himself with a minimum of violence. Lorre was in
>eight(!) Mr. Moto films from 1937 to 1939 from 20th Century Fox-incidentally
>the same studio responsible for the concurrently successful "Charlie Chan"
>series. (they sure churned out those "B" movies in those days).

Thanks, Steve. I came pretty close, considering that I was 3 years old at
the time!

John

John & Susie Howell (John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034


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