Baby Esther

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Esther Jones
Baby ESther JONEZ


Baby Esther

Esther Jones who's stage name was "Baby Esther" was a popular entertainer at Harlem's Cotton Club in the late 1920s. Baby Esther interpolated words such as 'Boo-Boo-Boo' & 'Doo-Doo-Doo' in songs at a cabaret. Helen Kane saw Baby's act in 1928 and used it in her hit song I Wanna Be Loved By You in 1928. An early test sound film was also discovered, which featured Baby Esther performing in this style, disproving Kane's claims. Baby Esther's manager also testified that Helen Kane had saw Baby Esther's cabaret act in 1928. Supreme Court Judge Edward J. McGoldrick ruled: "The plaintiff has failed to sustain either cause of action by proof of sufficient probative force". In his opinion, the "baby" technique of singing did not originate with Kane.


The Afro American Newspaper (1934)Edit

In 1934 the Afro American newspaper stated:

Baby Esther originated the Boop-a-Doop style of singing, and Helen Kane white movie an radio star barefacedly swiped it and made a fortune from it a court trial reveals as Miss Kane sues imitators, "Mae Questel, Bonnie Poe, Little Ann Little, Kate Wright, Margie Hines of the Boop style. T'would be logical now for Baby Esther to sue Miss Kane to even things all around.

$250,000 LawsuitEdit


  • Esther's manager also testified that Helen Kane & her manager saw baby's act somewhere between 1928-1929.
  • Scholar Robert G.O' Meally said, Betty Boop herself had, as it were, a black grandmother in her backround.
  • Baby Esther was presumed dead by 1934, just when the lawsuit had ended.
  • Lou Bolton testified for the defense. Bolton testified that nine years ago in Chicago he taught Baby Esther a negro child under his management to interpolate "do-do-de-do-ho-de-wa-da-de-da" between the bars of music in popular songs, which means the scat lyrics produced wasn't actually Boo Boo Boo's & Doo Doo Doo, but later adapted to Boop.

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