The Launceston Examiner let the cat out of the bag on 10 May 1938. Not only did it out Billy Costello as the voice of Popeye the sailorman, but it also let it slip that the alter ego of the spinach chewing mariner liked to play ukulele while yodelling expertly. If only to save face, we are told that Mr Costello was a speed-boat fanatic, too. He also liked to eat spinach, ,.. really.
Billy Costello apparently modelled Popeye’s famous vocalising on the voice of his Irish-American father, who had been a drummer in Paul Whiteman’s band, and had partnered Ginger Rogers for two years on the vaudeville circuit.