The earliest Hanna-Barbera cartoons have a different feel to them than what came later, partly because of the stock music dropped into the background. Hoyt Curtin was hired to compose themes for each series as soon as the studio went into business but the music within the cartoons themselves came from production music libraries used in television and industrial films. Eventually, Curtin was asked to come up with cues to be used in the theatrical Loopy De Loop (1959) and his music eventually displaced stock music in all television cartoons made for the 1961-62 season.
The bulk of the music came from the Capitol Hi-Q library, created in 1956. Some of the music was especially composed for it, some came from other libraries such as EMI Photoplay and Sam Fox (probably the ‘Variety’ series). Most of the rest of what was played in the background of the cartoons was from the Langlois Filmusic library, compiled in 1954, whose credited composer was Jack Shaindlin.
None of this music was found in record stores and it wasn’t designed for home listening. It was only made available to film, TV and radio production companies on a contractual basis and used to set moods in the background.
You’ve been able to listen to many of the cues here on the blog. There are a number that are notably absent because I simply don’t have them, don’t know who might and, in some cases, can’t identify them at all. However, I’m going to post a few odds and ends that I haven’t before and I suspect these will be the last new ones you’ll find here.
A number of the cartoons (especially Huck’s) revolved around plots dealing with Merrie Olde England. Hi-Q had a whole specialty category—the ‘X’ series—where it put international music and a variety of other things. Among them were three English-style cues used by Hanna-Barbera, all of them credited to Geordie Hormel of Zephyr Records. They were on reels X-9 and 10.
ZR-103 PERIOD MAIN TITLE
ZR-126 ENGLISH MAIN TITLE
ZR-127 PERIOD CHASE
I suspect the two or three “American Indian” music cues used in several cartoons (such as the ones with Chief Crazy Coyote and Li’l Tom Tom) came from the ‘X’ series as well but I have not been able to track them down.
Hormel had another short cue that got some play as an introductory piece for western-set cartoons. It was from the Hi-Q ‘M’ series. There were two versions, one medium and one faster. Here’s the faster version:
ZR-39A WESTERN SONG
Music from the ‘M’ series was rarely used; the H-B sound cutters stuck mainly with the ‘L’ (“Light”). The best-known ‘M’ cue was not used in cartoons. It is the theme to The World Tomorrow radio and TV show, one of a bunch of documentary cues written by Bill Loose. Hanna-Barbera picked a different documentary pieces, a lovely, short, majestic fanfare by Phil Green. It can be heard at the start of a number of shorts, including the Huck cartoons ‘A Bully Dog’ and ‘Legion Bound Hound’.
EM-147 DOCUMENTARY MAIN TITLE
An ‘M’ cue by Loose opened ‘Snow White Bear’ and was, as far as I can tell, never used again.
C-71 ROMANTIC MAIN TITLE
Besides the ‘X’, ‘M’ and ‘L’ series, Hi-Q had two others. One was the ‘D’ (“Dramatic”) series. Only a few cues from this one, which found its way into dramatic TV shows and low-budget science fiction movies, were deemed appropriate for cartoons besides Ruff and Reddy and generally didn’t get much use. Here are a few I have only been able to find in one Quick Draw cartoon. The first was at the start of ‘Choo Choo Chumps’. It and the second cue both were used in ‘In the Picnic of Time’ when the ants begin their attack on Doggie Daddy. The third showed up under a bunch of sound effects and dialogue in ‘Scary Prairie’ when Grumbleweed flies into the air to the end of the scene after the boulder crashes on Quick Draw. The fourth was very briefly heard in ‘Masking For Trouble’ when Sundown Sam shoots Quick Draw in Sagebrush Sally’s house. In the first two cases, only the last half of the cue was used. All written by David Rose who signed over the royalty rights to Bill Loose and John Seely. In each case, the first name is what’s on the Hi-Q disc.
TC-14 CHASE-MEDIUM aka ZEALOUS PURSUIT
TC-15 CHASE-MEDIUM aka SPIRITED PURSUIT
TC-9 CHASE-HEAVY aka HURRIED PURSUIT
TC-74 SOMBER aka OPPRESSIVE DEATH
Another ‘D’-series cue only seems to have been used once. It’s a Joseph Cacciola cue that appeared when Aloysius meets the fake Aloysius in the Snooper and Blabber cartoon ‘Puss N’ Booty’. There are three versions in reel D-6; the cartoon seems to have used the slow one. A number of Cacciola’s cues in the Sam Fox library were later imported into Hi-Q and given generic names.
The other series was the ‘S’ series, which YourPalDoug (who has a wonderful music blog, by the way) says was discontinued by Capitol. The ‘S’ series was for short edits of main cues to be used as intros, extros and bridges to (or from) scenes; you hear this sort of thing on radio and TV sitcoms. The Huck series stayed clear of them and generally went with longer, full music beds, but the sound cutters on the Quick Draw series (especially Snooper and Blabber) loved the little bridging music. The bulk of it originally came from the EMI Photoplay Q-2 discs repacked by Hi-Q and given ‘EM’ or ‘PG’ designations (‘GR’ is the code used in the EMI library). I’ve posted most of them here before but apparently missed a few of them. They’re all by Phil Green. Here are the ones I can find.
GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER SHORT BRIDGE No 1
GR-455 THE ARTFUL DODGER SHORT BRIDGE No 2
GR-457 DOCTOR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 1
GR-458 DOCTOR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 2
GR-82 FRED KARNO’S ARMY SHORT BRIDGE No 2
GR-85 THE BRAVEST WOODEN SOLDIER SHORT BRIDGE No 1
GR-86 THE BRAVEST WOODEN SOLDIER SHORT BRIDGE No 2
GR-97 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO SHORT BRIDGE No 1
GR-98 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO SHORT BRIDGE No 2
PG-160G LIGHT MOVEMENT
PG-161G LIGHT COMEDY MOVEMENT
PG-161H LIGHT MOVEMENT
PG-177C LIGHT COMEDY MOVEMENT
GR-346 FIRST BUDS
Finally, some odds and ends. Arrangements of several old public domain songs surfaced occasionally, like ‘Oh, Susannah’. One, almost a standard in any old movie’s snake charmer scene, appeared in one third-season Huck cartoon. Bill Loose did the arrangement of Streets of Cairo. It was on the original Hi-Q reel X-4 (Capitol replaced whole reels of cues with newer material; X-4 was replaced in the 1960s).
Spencer Moore concocted an odd version of Pop Goes the Weasel with a clock ticking effect. It’s heard just before the Fat Knight clubs Huck with a mace in ‘Sir Huckleberry Hound.’ You’ll also spot it toward the end of the Goofy Gophers cartoon Gopher Broke (1958), which used the Hi-Q library during a musicians strike. Another Moore cue only appears to have been used once, when Matilda the Kangaroo appears in Snooper’s ‘Hop to It.’
Phil Green came up with an eerie number featuring plucked strings found in ‘Impossible Imposters’ when Snoop and Blab enter the Mad Scientist’s hideout. It’s from EMI Photoplay 6-019 Additional Incidentals.
A western dance theme from the Sam Fox library pops up in a couple of Huck and Quick Draw cartoons. Hi-Q doesn’t list the composer and I don’t have the original name from Sam Fox.
Finally, there’s a short cue that came from another library, Valentino, from New York. It still sells library music for commercial purposes. It’s not the version of ‘Chopsticks’ you played on a piano as a kid. It was composed by the prolific Roger Roger, a Frenchman who seems to have been employed by many European music companies to compose stock music. It was used in a couple of Pixie and Dixie cartoons, such as ‘Missile Bound Cat.’
C-135 STREETS OF CAIRO
GR-57 THE SHADOW OF A MAN
SF-11 LIGHT MOVEMENT
Unfortunately, there are a number of cues I don’t have, including:
● About a dozen of Jack Shaindlin’s cues from the Langlois library that made appearances in many cartoons; Shaindlin was used on both the Quick Draw and Huck shows. Most are, alas, unidentified.
● There’s a short trumpet fanfare piece in ‘Missile Bound Cat’ I can’t place.
● A Green cue in ‘Space Bear’ when the alien is pointing to the film of Yogi.
● Boo-Boo discovering the ranger inside Whitey and telling Yogi in ‘Bearface Disguise’ is accompanied by what may be another Green cue.
● The brief woodwind bed when Doggie Daddy jumps in the well in ‘Crow Cronies’, though it may be a Clarence Wheeler piece called ‘Woodwind Capers.’
● The creepy muted horn cue when Ranger Smith is on the phone in ‘Space Bear,’ among a number of cartoons, that may have come from the Omar Library (distributed by Capitol).
● A nice little string Western piece at the opening of ‘Doggone Prairie Dog.’ It sounds like a number of similar Sam Fox library cues.
● The opening music to ‘Fast Gun Huck’, a building dramatic bed. I suspect it’s a Spencer Moore or Geordie Hormel cue on a ‘D’ series disc I don’t have.
● A completely inappropriate “1950s Modern Living” style cue that opens the Quick Draw cartoon ‘Slick City Slicker.’ I’m a sucker for music like that.
● ‘The Happy Cobbler’, the Hecky Krasnow composition in a number of Augie Doggie cartoons (there’s another odd cue when Boinga-Boinga climbs the walls in ‘Mars Little Precious’ I don’t have, either). It came from the Sam Fox library.
● Latin American music that takes up the first couple of minutes in ‘Bull-Leave Me’ with Quick Draw and a chuckling bull.
● And several Hawaiian music cues by Ed Lund in ‘Hula Hula Hulabaloo’.
So this is the best I can do. I hope you’ve enjoyed the music. It’s taken me a very long time to find it with the help of some very kind collectors who enjoy it as much as I do.