Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Phil Green Cartoon Music

The Yowp request line has been ringing off the hook, or would be if phones had hooks any more.

Actually, it’s a metaphoric phone. For people have been writing wanting to hear more of the music in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons before Hoyt Curtin wrote underscores starting in the 1960-61 TV season.

Much of the music came from the Capitol Hi-Q Library. I’ve promised a full post on the library and that’ll come in the weeks ahead. But suffice it to say the library was created in 1955 and released for commercial use, from what I can tell, the following year. Hi-Q featured cues written for it as well as some from other libraries, including Capitol’s sister company, EMI. And the music for that library is credited to composer Harry Philip Green.

Phil Green wrote gobs of music for the EMI Photoplay series of 45s. Most were written in what he called “suites,” perfect for films and, especially, television. Green would start with a theme. Then he would arrange one version for a main title and another for end titles. He’d then expand a bit with an underscore version, perhaps some bridges to be used in and out of scenes, and a couple of variations on the theme, say a comic or a dramatic version or a romantic arrangement.

One whole series of discs—EMI Photoplay Q2—was designated ‘Comedy Cartoon.’ These found their way into the Hi-Q library, along with a bunch of his suites in other Photoplay Q series (music companies sure loved the letter ‘Q’ back then). And starting with the Quick Draw McGraw Show, Hanna-Barbera widened the number of cues it had been using to include material written by the very prolific Green.

I’ve posted links to some of them at this post but below you’ll find a bunch more. I’ll avoid boring you with the minutiae of these cues but I’ll mention a couple of things. The “GR” designation was used only by EMI. Capitol renamed Green’s material either “EM,” “PG” or “UP” (what the difference is supposed to be, I don’t know, other than “UP” are replacement cues in updates of the library). Three of the cues in Big City Suite No. 2 (there were six in all, GR-247 to GR-252) were put on Hi-Q reel L-27 with the names EM-130 Metro M.T., EM-130A Metro E.T. and EM-130B Light Activity. All three are below with EMI names, though only GR-248 was used in cartoons. I don’t have EMI names for some of the others, so I’ve had to use the Capitol names.

EM-107D has left me baffled; I had presumed when Rhino released it in 1996 as part of the ‘Augie Doggie underscore’ in its H-B music collection that it was from of one of the Big City Suites. But it doesn’t fit the description of any of the cues in the two Suites in the EMI catalogue.

The longer Green material below was placed in the Hi-Q ‘L’ series, but the bridges were put in the ‘S’ (for ‘short’) series. Hanna-Barbera used them in exactly that manner; they were used to bridge from one scene to the next. Most of these cues in this post are bridges and under 30 seconds.

The volume varies on the cues as they came from different sources. Just click on the cue name and it should download into your media player in glorious mono. My personal favourites are EM-107D, GR-248 and GR-58.


EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT
GR-154 PICNIC OR COUNTRY SCENE
GR-155 PARKS AND GARDENS
GR-247 BIG CITY SUITE No 2 TITLES
GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY
GR-252 BIG CITY SUITE No 2 END TITLES
GR-58 GOING SHOPPING
GR-75 POPCORN SHORT BRIDGE No 1
GR-76 POPCORN SHORT BRIDGE No 2
GR-78 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 1
GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 2
GR-81 FRED KARNO'S ARMY BRIDGE No 1
GR-88 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD BRIDGE No 1
PG-168J FAST MOVEMENT
PG-171 PERIOD FANFARE
PG-181F MECHANICAL BRIDGE
PG-182D LIGHT MECHANICAL BRIDGE
GR-333 BUSTLING BRIDGE
GR-334 LIGHT AGITATED BRIDGE
GR-347 GATHERING THE PRODUCE
GR-348 EARLY MORNING

18 comments:

  1. Ahhh Yowp, Grand Poobah of stock music. Once more I tip my hat. Thanks for another great post!! So many of these Phillip Green cues I have heard over the years in live action sitcoms from the late 50s and early 60's, especially " The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet ", those 16mm educational films we watched in school--God Bless'em-Ha!..and as Steve mentioned, Gumby..plus another Clokey Production; Davy & Goliath. Thanks for the memories!!. Looking forward to another featured " Capitol Stock music " artist some day.

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  2. I think they also used some of these cues in the second go-around of Crusader Rabbit. Also the live-action "Dennis the Menace" show from Screen Gems. I seem to recall that at one point, there was a musician's strike in the late 60's and the studios had to use library music for at least 2 or 3 months.

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  3. Correct, Steve S., except it was late 50s.

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  4. Speaking of the musicians strike, Warner Brothers used PG-182D Light Mechanical at the 12 second mark in " Gopher Broke ". When the dog fell down the well, or should I say, when the Gophers sent the dog plunging down the well. Of course, that rift was used in many other shows that used the stock library when things would fall out of a closet, someone would slip, etc.

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  5. It's also used in "Bird in a Bonnett" with Tweety when Sylvester, grabbing feathers, falls down and we see an arial view of nthe city streets..LOL.Speaking of "Gopher Broke", a few notes are used of the cue GR-154 in the first gag they pull on that beagle from the "Foghorn Leghorn"'s, when one of the Gophers [the one voiced by Mel Blanc, I think",rides on a metal tureen for a fancy fired fowl or pig, as lowered by his buddy [the one with, I think, the Stan Freberg voice,]

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  6. You're right Steve. It was used in " Bird in a Bonnett" And the other voice was Stan Freberg. You know, it's funny. Whenever I would see those 5 Warner's cartoons as a kid growing up in the 60's,( back when there were some great morning and afternoon kid's cartoon hosts) I would always say to my brother; " Why are they playing the Yogi Bear music in this cartoon?-Ha!! As kids, we had no idea about musicians strikes and stock music. Even though we did notice that music played in Donna Reed or Father Knows Best was also in Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.. It has been interesting learning about this music over the years.

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  7. Steve Sherman, hello.
    I went on YouTube and watched some of the colour Crusaders by TV Spots. It doesn't sound like they were using Hi-Q cues. I wonder if they weren't using the Valentino library.

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  8. One thing that we've been talking about on the YouTube comments is that there is so much quick-cutting of cues on the Warner Bros. cartoons with the Hi-Q stuff. I think Treg Brown was cutting the music too as well as the SFX at that time (the music not as explicitly planned as a Carl Stalling or Milt Franklyn would under normal circumstances), and he would sometimes use only a few seconds of a cue.

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  9. Thanks for the note, Dave. Something from some interview is sticking in my head that John Seely himself actually picked out the cues. That strikes as odd as Seely was in an executive position at Capitol at the time (as director of library services).

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  10. In ASCAP and BMI dot com, and I was going to send an email to Yowp but might as well since I'm here, mention that Phil Green's credited NOW with an "Ephram Lishey"! Whoever that is. Since you added more to the overall Hi-Q section [C-19 and SF? Winter Tales, and I just noticed it goes back even further than Theodore M.Topani], and appreciate the ujpdating of that entry. It might be interesting if more cues were added to the earlier composer entries if any could be got.

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  11. Also, I just found a bunch of various Green cues, some we haven't heard before, on the Television Production Music Museum website. Go to http://www.tvpmm.com and click on "Listen" then look for a title on the list on the left called "Sitcom Production Library," or something like that.

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  12. Hi Anon. Cues 23-34 are from Hi-Q reels L-93 and 94, in consecutive order. The last four sound like Green-Love-Thorne pieces which I thought I had somewhere in my Hi-Q collection but can't find right now. They have that big production sound the Brits loved in the 60s.

    I'm glad to see Dave passed on to the webmaster what the cue names are. I have an idea where he may have found out.

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  13. BTW I sent in to the museum a list of some as did Dave. I note those names were there. I'm glad they posted the names there.

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  14. I've also heard "GOing Shopping" in "Doggone Prairie Dog" with Quick Draw during the applecore gag.SC

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  15. ever heard this before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewc1hixzYPY

    it's the background beat obviously

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  16. i'm trying to remember this one cue i heard in Gumby but i forgot which episode.I've heard it in HB cartoons and in the Mr. Peabody episode "Robin Hood". Here's the link>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV9ErTvgV6s (it starts at 0:38)

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  17. It's Geordie Hormel's ZR-47 Light Movement.

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  18. Did you know that the GR-247 Streets of the City jingle was remixed by Boomerang in this Top Cat commercial?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDMck4jRW8Q

    I was surprised to find out there was an original version of the song!

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