Katherine Wright the Mystery Girl:
Catherine Wright was a radio and blues singer best known as the "Mystery Girl," who would later go on to provide the voice for the animated cartoon character Betty Boop, possibly on radio as her name was not listed by Max Fleischer in any of the cartoons from 1930-1934. She is said to have appeared in a Betty Boop theatre production in 1933. Catherine started her career on radio where she would sing popular "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" and blues songs, and sometimes toured the vaudeville circuit. Catherine would often sing on 562-WMCA - New York and 370-WPCH - New York, while singing on radio, Catherine was often mistaken for Helen Kane, which is what led her to become a sort of Helen Kane impersonator and "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" singer of songs. In 1929 she signed with Victor Records and Columbia Records, in which she recorded several songs. Catherine Wright can been seen performing live in person in the 1934 Fleischer Victory Newsreel, "Boop-Oop-a-Dooping" to the song "Don't Take My Boop-Oop-A-Doop Away" alongside Mae Questel, Margie Hines, Bonnie Poe and Little Ann Little. In 1929 Catherine appeared in Earl Carroll's revue The Sketch Book. In 1929 she also appeared in the happy, snappy publix revue Marathon Frolic with Joe Browning Sr., Jules and Josie Walton, Whitey Roberts, Dave Gould and the Marathon Steppers.
- Catherine Wright: "We'll just love to 'Boop' for Justice McGoldrick, we think he's just a dear." (New York Supreme Court, 1934)
Miss Wright - Block Program (1929)
Miss Catherine Wright, widely known "blues" singer, and imitator of Helen Kane, premier crooner of baby talk song, will be guest artist on the William H. Block Company Christmas hour which will be broadcast at 6 o'clock tonight over WFBM. Miss Wright who is starring at the Indiana theater this week in Marathon Frolics, is best known as the "Mystery Girl." A name gained among New York radio audiences because her voice closely resembled that of Helen Kane before the microphone. Miss Wright is making a tour of the Publix circuit, coming to Indianapolis direct from New York. (The Indianapolis Star)
Carroll Solves Mystery (1929)
"The Mystery Girl," who sings over Station WMCA and who is thought to be Helen Kane by many of the listeners in, is the latest addition to the cast of the still untitled Earl Carroll Revue with book by Eddie Cantor. (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle)
Out of "Sketch Book" (1929)
Within a week, four girl princlpals and possibly more may be out of Earl Carroll's Sketch Book. When the production had its premiere here Nancy Decker was standing in the wings in street attire waiting for a written release from Carroll. She had obtained a verbal one. Estelle Fratus, the Rendezvous club, gave in her notice, effective next week. Maintained she was poorly spotted. The Mystery Girl, Katherine Wright, extensively exploited on the radio, will be out next week.
"Mystery Girl" Opens (1929)
The radio Mystery Girl, who is under the management of Tom Kennedy, opened for RKO this first half. The program billing asks the questions "What Does She Look Like" and "Who Is She?" We'll take our guess and say that she's short in height, is pretty and has fluffy red hair. As to her name, our guess is that it's Catherine Wright. She has been a favorite with radio fans and opened with Earl Carroll's Sketch Book, leaving it after several performances.
The Original "Mystery Girl" (1929)
"Just why Katherine Wright is called the Mystery Girl. I don't know, the only mystery to me is how Broadway has missed her." - Ed Lowry.
Madison Square Gardens (1929)
Then came saucy little Katherine Wright, red headed and cute as the dickens, to do a bit of impersonating of Helen Kane, the Boop-Boo-Do-Do-De-Boop lady. Miss Kane's the saucy little thing that made such a hit in Sweetie. Remember her? She's the one that sang "He's So Unusual." Katherine did the same song, and gave a very credible impersonation of Miss Kane, too, and followed that up with "Let's Do Something." If our memory hasn't failed us, that also was one of Miss Kane's songs in Sweetie.
"Mystery Girl" to Sing in Brandford Feature (1930)
One of the features of the hour will be the introduction of "The Mystery Girl," a performer whose voice and manner are said to resemble that of Helen Kane, but whose real name and identity are kept secret. "The Mystery Girl" has roused considerable comment as a result of her broadcasting from several metropolitan New York stations.
Kathern Wright the Mystery Girl (1930)
Kathern Wright, who is billed as the "Mystery Girl" at the Uptown for the current week is causing much comment as to her resemblance to Helen Kane. She is the exact double for Miss Kane in personality and voice and when she sings her feature song "Ain'tcha" you would almost believe it is Helen herself in her recent picture, Pointed Heels.
Betty Boop Production (1933)
Maria Gambarelli (Gamby) who is understood to be leaving the Radio City Roxy, may appear in the Betty Boop production being planned by M.S Bentham. The show, which will run two hours, will also feature Katherine Wright. It was opened in Pennsylvania last week.
Mystery Girl on Radio (1929-1930)
- "Is There Anything Wrong In That?" (1929)
- "Don't Be Like That" (1929)
- "Everything I Do I Do For You" (1929)
- "That's Why I'm Happy" (1929)
- "I'd Do Anything For You" (1929)
- "I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling" (1929)
- "Button Up Your Overcoat" (1929)
- "Cold in My Doze" (1929)
- "Ain'tcha" (1930)
Kate also recorded two songs for Victor in 1929, in which she is credited as Catherine Wright.
- BVE-57147 "Widmung" 11/15/1929
- BVE-57148 "My Lovely Celia" 11/15/1929
In 1929 Kate Wright recorded as "The Mystery Girl" for Columbia Records anonymously. The artist was later revealed to have been Kathryn Wright/Catherine Wright by discographers. The recordings were Columbia Records crafty attempt to cash in on Helen Kane's popularity as a rival to the Victor Company. The label issued four sides by a anonymous artist called The Mystery Girl. So few sides released suggests that this attempt to exploit Helen Kane's fame was not successful. Wright would provide the vocals for Betty Boop when Betty's main three voice actresses were unavailable.
The Mystery Girl Review
In 1985, The Mystery Girl recordings were reviewed in the paper; "Much less ethical was the brief appearance of "The Mystery Girl" also in 1929 a shamelessly Boopish approach with no holds barred. This was out-and-out copying and in some ways the mystery girl out-Boops the original (Helen Kane). Her dizzy testimonial, "Do I Know What I'm Doing", and the fabulous "I'd Do Anything For You" are shining gems of rinky-dink charm. Halfway through this latter tune she's even agreeing to babies, even though, like turnips she can't stand em. I was also thrilled by her version Fats Waller's "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling". Her whining little voice wrings out the sweet words just so. The liner notes speculate that this Mystery Gal was none other than Kate Wright, one of the several women who's voices were used for the voice of Betty Boop in the films."
"Do I Know What I'm Doing?" (1929)
The Mystery Girl Recordings
N.Y, May 14,1929
N.Y., Jul 9, 1929
- W148738-3 "Do I Know What I'm Doing?" Co 1902-D
- W148739-3 "He's So Unusual" Co-1902-D
Kathryn Wright Appearing At Happy's Tavern on Myrtle Ave (1937)
Conway, the spy reports that Kathryn Wright, the original Betty Boop girl is now appearing at Happy's Tavern on Myrtle Ave after a triumphant tour of the West says Conway. Sounds like a praise-agent.
- All of her roles in 1933 and 1938 that she was originally credited for are incorrect and were actually provided by Little Ann Little.
- Max Fleischer went through the early cartoon series, and only Margie Hines and Mae Questel and Bonnie Poe and Ann Little were credited for animated cartoons recorded from 1930-1934, which he explained in court. Indicating that Kate Wright, might possibly have been one of the several radio voices for Betty Boop, as she did not record for the character in any of the early cartoons prior to the lawsuit or during the suit was taking place. Which is why she did not appear at court to give a testimony.
- According to information Wright was a "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" singer of songs, and most likely appeared in the newspapers alongside the voices of Betty Boop to try and negate Helen Kane's claim of being the original "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" singer of songs. However according to information given Wright has tripped up, as in most articles it is highly indicated that she was a copy cat.
- Kate Wright was also known as "Aunt Kitty" by close friends and family.
- Information about Kate Wright recording as the anonymous artist known as The Mystery Girl was uncovered by discographers in the late 1980s.
- The Mystery Girl's Recordings (1929)
- Kate Wright at Adp Library
- The Mystery Girl at 45worlds
- The Radio Mystery Girl (1929)
- The Mystery Girl to Reveal Identity (1929)
- Miss Wright: Block Program (1929)
- Kane Suit Ends 1st Inning: No Doop, No Boop, No Error (1934)
- The Mystery Girl ("Here and There") (1984)