Esther Jones who's stage name was "Baby Esther" was a populer 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. 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.
see $250,000 infringement lawsuit for more details
- 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 Chicargo 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 mixes things up, due to the fact that the scat lyrics she produced wasn't Boo Boo Boo's & Doo Doo Doo's, "Not to mention that everyone in the early 1930's used to use scat lyrics in songs".