Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 23, 2002
In Reply to: Follow the bouncing ball posted by ESC on October 23, 2002
: : : where did the phrase follow the bouncing ball come from?
: : It became widely known when Mitch Miller's TV program "Sing Along with Mitch" was popular. I'm not sure Mitch and his crew originated it, though.
: Wasn't this sing-a-long bouncing ball a feature of early movies too?
"A popular attraction of early motion picture exhibition were the Sing Alongs. In between pictures, the house organist would play a popular song of the day and the audience would be invited to sing along. If they didn't know the words it was ok because they would be shown on screen through the use of slides. Between 1924 and 1925, the idea came up within the Fleischer Studios to place these words on to film. That was a fair idea in it's self, but it was decided to take this thought a step further and also provided some guidance (as to what to sing and when) for the audience. They eventually came to the idea of bouncing a 'ball' over the word that was to be sung in its proper place in the song."