Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Few More Background Tunes

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.

TC-216 TENSION

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
L-992 ANIMATION-CHILDREN
L-1147 ANIMATION-MOVEMENT
GR-57 THE SHADOW OF A MAN
SF-11 LIGHT MOVEMENT
CHOPSTICKS

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.

19 comments:

  1. Excellent entry, Yowp.."The Streets of Cairo" was used in Snooper and Blabber's "Hula Hula Hullaboo" but you also noted its appearance on a third season Huck [though which one seems to escape either one of us]..those chase cues TC-9 and TC-14 should have been used more often, as they're the stuff that might have been used on low budget movies, or Ruff and Reddy.

    EM-147, finally, was as noted earlier, used in a couple of first season cartoons on Huck---Yogi Bear, "High-Fly Guy", and Huck, "Tricky Trapper".

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  2. BTW The wah wah spooky trumpet cue was used in a phone scene in "Do or Diet", which even has a Hoyt Curtin sting before the S.Moore L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE cue, but it's not in "Space Bear"..

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  3. Merry Christmas to you Yowp,
    These finds are gems. Thank you so much for your hard work in securing and posting them for all to enjoy!
    Rudy Agresta

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  4. Great Job, Yowp!!! It was at this time last year that you gave us the excellent series on the Hi-Q library and it's various composers. Thanks for another wonderful Christmas present.

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  5. Errol, I hope the day comes where I get an e-mail from someone who tells me they have copies the Langlois cues I'm looking for, or some original 'L' or 'X' series material they're willing to send to me, but it appears unlikely. That's why I say I suspect this will be it.

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  6. Oh, by the way, great job sniffing out that M-8 ROMANTIC title from "Snow White Bear", and it's a rare one on me, too, as I have never heard it elsewhere either to my knowledge, this C-71 Romantic Main Title by Bill Loose. Fits the princess and prince story. I hate when they have two or more stories simiarly themed-"Love Bugged Bear", the one with handwalking,or something in a "Boo-Boo looks on" short scene, where he deduces that Yogi's gone off the beam [though he "always winds up on it" as that theme song goes] , where I had heard the flutey open bars that may be Shaindlin's "Happy Boy", from what I've heard, or it's "Woodwind Capers", this Clarence Wheeler piece, which in fact may have been something Clarence ghostwrote [but we'll never know] for Jack Shaindlin. "Love Bugged Bear", has, and in fact I pointed it out, the pre-Cindy ugly wig bear, with the driving Yogi madly in love. Everything that I've mentioned about who may have writen what here and before this post of course is speculation..:)

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  7. Steve, thanks for the improved post. Much clearer.
    It's not "Happy Boy" in that scene in "Love Bugged Bear", but I'm pretty sure it's a Shaindlin piece. He loved doing those muted trumpet blares after a flurry of notes, and he occasionally wrote short bridges like that (eg. the Mad Rush beds). I wish I knew which cue it was.

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  8. Yowp, thanks for yet again redoing and updating the odds and ends of stuff that you still don't have in the next-to-last-paragraph.

    BUT----that possible Omar cue is NOT IN "Space Bear" as far as I know----"the ranger on the phone...", that's "Do or Diet", another Yogi cartoon with the ranger on the phone which DOES have that spooky sneaky tune.

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  9. It certainly is. Go to the 3:30 when the alien zaps the tourists' car into the next scene with Ranger Smith.

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  10. Yowp, after searching I found a video of Space Bear, and you're right, though it's about later, at 4:00 , it's the first part of that cue "they forget where they put their cars"...very short part of that cue.

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  11. "English Main Title" was also prominently used in the 1962 "BIOGRAPHY" profile of George Bernard Shaw {Mike Wallace, narrator}: Wolper Productions used several Capitol Hi-Q cues in that one, as well as others in the series.

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  12. Glad to find another TC cue, TC-74 SOMBRE aka OPPRESIVE DEATH by David Rose, credited to Loose and Seely...of course, as we know, contractually not just did Mr.Rose sign away the rights and royalties but the credits, as well, a common practice..like Mel Blanc recieving exclusive WB cartoon voice credit, though for a rather different reason, but still showing how credit giving practices in Hollywood and New York of the day operated [not sure about internationally]. BTW I'm pretty sure those "Native American" cues so often used mentioned above ARE from "X" or "M", and are by Hormel, Moore, or Seely-Loose, or from Langlois [aka now Cinemusic] and thus from Jack Shaindlin. I doubt that it's from Phil Green or any of the others [the "Chief Crazy Coyote" stock music.] In the dim hope that some collection in follow-up to that 1995 Pic-nic Basket set, or better ALL of those are finally licensed on a production music site [dim hope] THEN the questions qould be answered..:)

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  13. PS Like apparently everyone else here, I just wish that some website or library would make available the stock cues of ALL of the old 50s composers----not just the one usually mentioned, but the "elusives", the Ed Lunds, the Henry Russell [Olsons}, etc., the "untouchables" [and I don't mean the TV show!] and while I'm at it, Henry Russell Olson may have been the composer who may be the answer to some of the questions..Internet Movie Databse has this guy down as one of the composers for anything with the "Capitol" cues in it, so does ASCAP! Even Big Cartoon Database contributor "bmode" mentioned the name. I only wish I knew which cues he did..sigh...I saw the name connected on ASCAP, though, most important, to the 1956 Gumby short "Little Lost Pony", which has a couple of Geordie Hormel [ZR-47] and Spencer Moore [L-80] cues, and a number I already cna ID has Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin [THEIRS dominate,] and that Phil Green "Piano" cue, PG-296, at the Production Music [when you get to the SITCOM LIBRARY, 50s and 60s, look for #34], LAST CHANCE SALOON. Henry Russell MAY have ghostwritten some of those by Hormel and Moore...sigh..

    Steve

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  14. I've always absolutely LOVED the background / incidental music in the early Huck, Yogi, Pixie & Dixie cartoons! This is great to find someone who shares the sentiment! I only wish it could all be located or extracted from the cartoons. For me, the music was KEY to the atmosphere and overall feel of the toons!
    Thanks for what you have done so far - I'm delighted beyond words!
    Greg Gardner, Canada

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  15. I know this is a bit out of your interest area shown here, but do you know anything about the music of Ted Nichols, created for the HB super-hero cartoons Space Ghost, Herculoids, Fantastic Four, Shazzan, Birdman, Mightor and Samson? Everyone says they just used old Jonny Quest music from Hoyt Curtin, which they did, but MANY new tracks were created for these shows also, and the credited music director on these shows is not Hoyt Curtin but Ted Nichols. I have the Jonny Quest Project CD's, but would love to have the new tracks made for the shows listed above also.

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  16. Mike, I've never researched Nichols, to be honest, and it's probably something someone should do.
    Some people like his work. I'm more partial to Curtin.

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  17. Hey, Yowp...here's something on Hecky Krasnow--he was also a producer for Columbia Records during the Mitch Miller era.
    Here's a link in case interested..

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  18. Thanks, Steve. Old copies of Billboard mention his Columbia career.

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  19. I don't remember if Bill Loose's "Streets of Cairo"["There's a Place called France"] was used in the Hucks, but I remember Snooper's first season "Hula Hula Hullaballo" using it.."symphonic piece on Quick Draw.....I'm a sucker for music like that". Me,too.Steve

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