One of the fun things about The Huckleberry Hound Show was the little vignettes that led into each cartoon. Huck would set up something and all the series characters would come out and do a little gag. They were cute and charming. Of course, what was a good idea was completely run into the ground in the 1970s when the characters were all lumped together in one lame series after another.
The characters got together in children’s records as well. The best ones were released by Colpix. In a stroke of originality, it was named for Columbia Pictures, which released the Hanna-Barbera cartoons through its Screen Gems Division. The reason these were the best of the bunch is they featured the real voices of the characters, unlike the Golden Records recorded in New York City with fair to awful approximations of the characters by NYC actors.
Here, for your listening pleasure, is Colpix release 210, ‘Huckleberry Hound and the Ghost Ship.’ This isn’t a really a comedy like the cartoons, it’s more of a 20-minute adventure with comedy. The script is pretty clever in places. It’s cool to hear Daws Butler, Don Messick and Doug Young do their thing, especially when they sing a funny song a capella. Oh, and one of the ghosts sounds like a certain cereal Cap’n. And the bad guy has got one of Daws’ familiar incidental English voices from the H-B and Jay Ward studios. More interesting for me are the notes on the back of the album.
It appears from the liner notes that Daws and Don co-wrote this. The musical bridges are a mystery. They’re not from the Capitol Hi-Q library; I don’t know if it could be licensed for re-recording. It’s not Hoyt Curtin’s music, either. My wild guess is it’s from the Major library out of New York. And while there are sound effects, they aren’t the ones Hanna-Barbera is famous for.
Besides Yogi, Boo Boo, Jinks and the Meece, Snooper (without Blabber), Hokey and Ding-a-ling, we get a bad guy pirate. If you look at the album cover, you can see his design is based on Crossbones Jones from the second Ruff and Reddy adventure, and was re-used in Pixie and Dixie’s Pistol Packin’ Pirate (1958).
Anyway, at your leisure, take a listen to it, if nothing for the voice work. It’s nice hearing some old friends in a different format.