Those famous words “Boop-Oop-A-Doop” that are so famously associated with Betty Boop, were first sung on stage in the Cotton Club by a jazz singer named Baby Esther. The “Betty Boop” cartoon character was the subject of a lawsuit by the popular singer Helen Kane, who claimed her singing style had been ripped off. Baby Esther’s performance in some old footage was shown against Helen Kane in trial(1934) which caused Helen Kane to lose her claim against the Fleischer Studios.
In May 1932, Helen Kane filed a $250,000 infringement lawsuit against Max Fleischer and Paramount Publix Corporation for the “deliberate caricature” that produced “unfair competition. While Kane had risen to fame in the late 1920s as “The Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl,” a star of stage, recordings, and films for Paramount, her career was nearing its end by 1931. Paramount promoted the development of Betty Boop following Kane’s decline. The case was brought in New York in 1934. Although Kane’s claims seemed to be valid on the surface, it was proven that her appearance was not unique. Both Kane and the Betty Boop character bore resemblance to Paramount top-star Clara Bow On April 19, Fleischer testified that Betty Boop purely was a product of the imaginations of himself and detailed by members of his staff. Little Ann Little, Mae Questel, Margie Hines and Bonnie Poe were all summoned to testify.