Monday, April 12, 2010

She's A Doll!

Volume 3 of Raymond Scott's groundbreaking ambient electronic album series, SOOTHING SOUNDS FOR BABY, features a track titled "Little Miss Echo." In 1962, about a year before the series was released, a high-tech doll of the same name was introduced by the American Character Doll Company. Built into the Little Miss's chest was a miniature battery-powered tape machine controlled by a knob styled to look like a bow; the device would repeat up to 25 seconds of speech.

Scott had two young daughters at the time, and I speculated they might have owned the doll, but they don't recall it. Considering his lifelong fixation with all aspects of sound recording, it's likely Scott was intrigued by the novelty toy. Perhaps he was inspired by
this creepy TV commercial, or maybe it was just a coincidence. At any rate, Raymond would be shocked to know he himself is now a doll.


  1. GREAT blog entry, Jeff!

    Yes, I gotta wonder too, if the doll inspired Raymond Scott's tune of the same name. Would make sense.

    It reminded me of the earliest talking doll ever created, by Thomas Edison!
    There was a tiny cylinder phonograph, cylinder record and horn inside of her!

    Thanks. Hope you are well!

    William Carroll

  2. Yeah, @William Carroll is right, it's really a curious thing how could the doll have the same name as the track of Raymond Scott, perhaps the toy company was been inspired by the title of the song "Little Miss echo" or vice versa. Nevertheless, Raymond Scott has his own doll now. Your blog is interesting and not boring to read.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Andy Schmit

  3. I had one of the Echo Dolls, she was as tall as I was when I received her for Christmas. I enjoyed talking into the recorder (operated by the little triangular button near her throat). Sadly, after moving in the late 70's at 19 she, along with several other dolls, were left in a box in the back of my then boyfriend's car never to be seen again. I can't tell you how often I've thought about my doll, hoping it was given to a little girl who would appreciate and take care of her.