Billy Murray

Billy Murray
Voice of bimbo the dog from early betty boop cartoons


Billy Murray
William Thomas Murray


Billy Murray as Bimbo:


Billy Murray as Tommy Cat:


Billy Murray as Lulu Belle:

Billy Murray (May 25, 1877 - August 17, 1954) was a popular singer in the early 1900s. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, the music from his early days was considered nostalgic (the modern term would be "oldies") and Murray was in demand again. He did voices for animated cartoons, especially the popular "follow the bouncing ball" sing-along cartoons and was one of several voices the character Bimbo.

Murray portrayed Bimbo from 1930 to 1931. His last role as Bimbo was in Silly ScandalsClaude Reese later took over the full-time voice role of Bimbo. Murray was intrigued by the theater and in 1893 entered a troupe of traveling vaudeville. Early in his career, he also appeared in minstrel shows. In 1897, for Peter Bacigalupi, owner of a San Francisco phonograph company, Murray made his first recordings.

None of Murray's cylinder records was known to have survived with Bacigalupi as of 2010. He began recording frequently in New York City and New Jersey area in 1903, where he focused major record labels in the U.S. as well as the music industry in the Tin Pan Alley. Murray, dubbed "The Denver Nightingale," had a strong tenor voice with outstanding enunciation and conversational delivery compared to the era's bel canto singers. He also sang slightly flat on comic songs, which he felt improved the comic effect.

While he occasionally performed well-selling romantic numbers and ballads. Billy Murray also discovered Margie Hines, as he had found in her voice exactly what the Fleischers had been seeking for Betty Boop.

On the 8th of April in 1932, Murray and Margie Hines along with Monroe and Silver, Marie Tacovino, Miss Elanor and Tom Smith, William Wirges, Sam White, Eva Puck, Abe Reynolds, Joseph Kahn, Charles Harrison, Lamber Murphy, Frank Preston, Frank Croxton and the Ramblers Trio of the B. A. Rolfe musical organization of the air all appeared at the Baldwin G.O.P. Benefit at the Baldwin Republican Club at the Freeport Theatre.

More than $500 was donated by Murray, Hines and the vaudeville acts for the "Baldwin Community Service" for unemployment relief.


1930-1931 BimboSillyScandals1931 Bimbo Dizzy Dishes
1931 Casanova Cat Any Little Girl That's A Nice Little Girl 1931 Tommy Cat Any Little Girl That's a Nice Little Girl
1931 Lulu Belle Any Little Girl That's A Nice Little Girl 1931 Lulu Belle Any Little Girl That's a Nice Little Girl
1931 AnnieFleischerStudios03 Joe Little Annie Rooney


  • Murray died of a heart attack in 1954 at the age of 77.



  • Finding His Voice
  • Oh, You Beautiful Doll
  • I've Got Rings On My Fingers




  • He was often teamed up with Walter Scanlan, they both worked, together and separately, for the Fleischer Studios during 1929 and 1931. Scanlan was also able to impersonate Murray to perfection. Both provided voices on the 1929 Fleischer Studios Short film Finding His Voice, a instructional film on how to use the Western Electric sound-on-film recording system.
  • "Okay Colonel" was one of the quotes that Murray often used when he voiced Bimbo the dog in the earlier Fleischer Brothers cartoons. 
  • He married three times, his first two marriages ended in divorce.
  • Some of the songs he performed in the Fleischer Studios cartoons, had been also recorded by him on record.