Tripp, Paul 1916-2002
TRIPP, Paul 1916-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 20, 1916, in New York, NY; died August 29, 2002, in New York, NY. Actor, television producer and director, business executive, lyricist, and writer. Although Tripp never described himself as an educator, he is remembered as a pioneer in the field of children's educational television. His most lasting achievement was likely the orchestrated story he wrote, in collaboration with composer George Kleinsinger, and titled Tubby the Tuba. The story of a lonely tuba relegated by his size and clumsiness to play a monotonous "oompah" harmony yet longing for a melody he can call his own, Tubby the Tuba was hailed not only for its timeless message of perseverance and triumph over adversity but for what it taught millions of small children about the instruments of the orchestra. The story, originally recorded by Tripp in the 1940s, was subsequently translated into several languages and presented in concert by the world's leading conductors. Tripp was also a leader in the early days of children's television programming. He produced, directed, and wrote the award-winning TV series Mr. I. Magination, in which, dressed as an engineer on a miniature train, he drew young viewers into imaginative stories from the past as well as into the classics of literature. Tripp's later television series included On the Carousel, which earned him an Emmy Award in the 1950s, and Birthday House. Despite his television work, Tripp's primary occupation was that of a lyricist; he is credited with the publication of at least 600 songs and the release of some thirty children's albums. He also penned the script and lyrics for the 1966 feature film The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, in which he also starred. His stage appearances included tours as Benjamin Franklin in 1776 and in the solo show Will Rogers, U.S.A. In the 1960s Tripp served as president and director of Fantasy Music Publishing. He also wrote children's books, including The Strawman Who Smiled by Mistake and The Tail That Went Looking.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2002, obituary by Myrna Oliver, p. B11.
New York Times, September 1, 2002, obituary by William H. Honan, p. L34.
Times (London, England), September 4, 2002.
Washington Post, September 3, 2002, p. B6.