Song:Colonel Hathi's March (The Elephant Song)
Album:Walt Disney's The Jungle Book
Though you may not know his name, I'm sure you would recognize British character actor J. Pat O'Malley if he appeared on your TV. He worked regularly for Disney including providing the voice for Colonel Hathi in the 1967 film The Jungle Book. And though he wasn't known for his singing, O'Malley started out in England as a big band singer. He was born Mar. 15, 1904 in Burnley, Lancashire, England. He started out in music halls and he recorded solo in 1925. Then in 1930, he sang with Jack Hylton's big band. Both guys came to the US to work with Ray Noble. That venture was short lived. Hylton returned to England but O'Malley stayed in the US. He called himself J. Pat O'Malley so he wouldn't be confused with the actor Pat O'Malley. O'Malley appeared on Broadway in the 1945 play Ten Little Indians and the 1952 musical Of Thee I Sing. He appeared in a few films like Lassie Come Home in 1943. He started working for Walt Disney providing voices for the 1949 film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and the 1951 film Alice In Wonderland. He worked regularly for Disney including the 1955 film Spin and Marty. O'Malley was a regular doing guest shots on TV shows like Hogan's Heroes and Green Acres. And he continued to work for Disney including the 1967 film The Jungle Book. Based on Rudyard Kipling's novel, it was the final film produced personally by Disney before his death. Disney regular George Bruns composed the score. Disney hired Terry Gilkyson to write the songs. But with the exception of Bare Necessities sung by Phil Harris, Disney thought his songs were too dark and Richard and Robert Sherman came to the rescue. O'Malley provided the voice of elephant leader Colonel Hathi and he sings Colonel Hathi's March. When the soundtrack was first issued in 1967, it just had songs from the movie. The CD is an expanded version which includes some of Bruns' score. It's available as a budget CD. O'Malley continued to appear on TV in the 70s. He was a regular on the 1973 series A Touch Of Grace and he had a recurring role on Maude. J. Pat O'Malley died on Feb. 27, 1985 at age 80. Here's J. Pat O'Malley performing Colonel Hathi's March in the 1967 film The Jungle Book.