Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Advice from Yogi and Wilma

Here’s a little something for Daws Butler fans.

Hanna-Barbera got together with the U.S. National Safety Council in 1973 and put together a record featuring the studio’s characters giving safety advice to kids. (Adults should pay attention to some of this advice today). “Hear See Do” features Jean Vander Pyl as Wilma Flintstone and Daws as a large barrel-full of characters. A colouring book was included.

What’s interesting listening to this is how Daws handles characters normally voiced by other people at Hanna-Barbera. As you may know, he voiced Barney Rubble for several episodes of “The Flintstones” after Mel Blanc’s near-fatal car crash. But the Barney on the record doesn’t sound like the Barney he did in the cartoons. His version of Top Cat is, as you might expect, the Bilko-ish sound he gave to Hokey Wolf. His Fred Flintstone is a little more growly than the Gleason voice he used in the Flintstones demo cartoon (mistakenly called a “pilot”) as well as in various Hanna-Barbera and Jay Ward productions. Perhaps his oddest voice—and I haven’t listened to all of the cuts below—is the lisping version of Magilla Gorilla which doesn’t sound anything like the way Allan Melvin played him. Daws also speaks for Boo Boo, So-So and Ricochet Rabbit; it’s a shame Don Messick wasn’t hired to voice his own characters.

This wasn’t the only public service campaign the studio was involved with. In 1989, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were honoured by B’nai B’rith as ‘Men of the Year’ for their involvement in a long list of worthy causes, including such campaigns as A Drug Free America, Buckle Up For Safety, and Just Say No To Drugs (Variety also reported: “MCA prexy Sid Sheinberg, honorary chairman for the event, quipped that some people figure Hanna-Barbera is an “Italian woman with a Jewish first name.’”)

Anyway, listen and see what you think. It’s neat hearing the characters do something outside of cartoons. One of the cuts is missing. And I’m not quite sure what to make of that sabretooth mouse on the cover.

A1 The Safe Way To School

A2 Don’t Ride With Strangers

A3 How To Ride A Bike

A4 Obey The Safety Patrol

A5 Walking Where No Sidewalks Exist

A6 Lock Car Doors

A7 Don’t Take Chances

A8 Don’t Throw Stones

A9 Don’t Play With Strange Animals

A10 Walk, Don’t Run

A12 Keep Arms Inside Car And Bus

A13 Be Careful On Skateboards

A14 Be Careful With Knives, Scissors And Sharp Objects

A15 Keep Toys Off The Floor

A16 Don’t Run With Things In Your Mouth

A17 Store Poisons Properly

A18 Green Means Go, Red Stop

B1 Safety At Night, Wear White

B2 Play In A Safe Place

B3 Enter And Leave Cars On Curb Side

B4 Wet Hands And Electricity Don’t Mix

B5 Never Step From Behind Parked Cars

B6 Cross Streets At Corners

B7 Watch For Cars In Driveways

B8 Fasten Seat Belts, Don’t Stand Up

B9 Never Swim Alone

B10 Stop, Look, Listen

B11 Use Lights And Reflectors On Bicycles

B12 Don’t Play In Streets

B13 Look Both Ways Before Crossing Streets

B14 Correct Signals For Riding A Bike

B15 Don’t Ride Double On A Bike

B16 Remove Skates Before Crossing Streets

B17 Don’t Run Around Swimming Pools

B18 Prevent Forest Fires


  1. Snagglepuss's one is hilarious but 'Magilla' sounds like Quick Draw with false teeth.

  2. Also, 'Yakky Doodle' I think sounds more like BlabberMouse.

  3. That weird pink creature in the background looks like the unfortunate result from Baby Puss mating with a horny male koaladon.

  4. Enjoyed hearing Hoyt Curtin's cues under the dialog. Yes, Daws' Top Cat voice was definitely his " Bilko " voice. Too bad Messick, Melvin, Stang and a few others couldn't have come on board for this session.

  5. Are you sure that this is Jean Vander Pyl? Doesn't sound like her. Her Wilma is a bit lower.-Georgi

  6. Strange Animals had what I thought was Daws as Yogi but the Bamm Bamm ref gave it away as Barney (well, the source was the same, Art Carney). "Hoyt Curtin"';s music is I THINK Ted Nichols..Steve

    I too saw the odd "mouse critter".

  7. In one of the safety messages, Daws starts out with his Top Cat voice and transforms into the Yogi Bear voice by the end. He must have been getting tired.

    The music and sound effects greatly enhance these recordings. While it's interesting to hear Daws' take on other characters, my favorite tracks are those where he performs the characters that were actually his own. Jean Van der Pyl's tracks as Wilma are also noteworthy.

  8. This is great stuff to share! Thanks!
    Interesting to me....Wilma sounds a bit off....perhaps they had a sound alike fill in for those spots? Something tells me that this may be the result of who was around at the time that had some free time to do the spots....

    Still so very cool!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. By the 70's, Jean Van der Pyl's voice does seem to have changed a bit. In these recordings as in the "New Fred and Barney Show" her Wilma voice has softened. I do get how her voice could sound different to anyone who is used to the Wilma voice from the Flintstones that sense, she does sound "a bit off." Maybe as she got older it was harder to speak in that register and keep the voice as sharp and crisp as it was during the run of the original series. But that is definitely Jean's voice delivering these safety messages.

    1. Thanks for replying scarecrow33. Glad I wasn't the only one thinking that...was starting to doubt my sanity.

      Jean Vander Pyl's Wilma was definitely different after the 1970s, but so was the whole concept of ''The Flintstones''. However, her Tallulah Bankhead, Maw Rugg and Snobbish society woman were always played brilliantly without a hitch. Interestingly enough, her Rosie in the 1980s was also different but it was good change. Her earlier version was higher, and the lower register she later used was better suited for Rosie. Hey, this woman was not only equally brilliant at creating original characters and delivering fantastic impressions, but she also played Juliet in a production of ''Romeo and Juliet''.

      Daws Butler is just the symbol of acting.

    2. She would have been perfect as least voice-wise. I can easily "hear" her interpretation in my "mind's ear." I have long appreciated her range of voice talent. "Top Cat" and "The Jetsons" are just two more examples beyond "The Flintstones" that show off her versatility. I agree also that her later Rosey voice was good.

  10. Age, smoking, alcohol, voice direction, even equipment can contribute to someone's voice sounding different.

    1. Voice direction? Any particular director you have in mind? Because if you are thinking of blasting Gordon Hunt, I will fight you to the end.

  11. Yeah, some of the voices Daws did sound very similar to his voice characters:
    1. Top Cat=Hokey Wolf
    2. Boo Boo=Augie Doggie
    3. Barney Rubble=Quick Draw McGraw
    4. Dum Dum= (a dopey version of Yogi Bear)
    5. Magilla Gorilla=Quick Draw McGraw
    6. Yakky Doodle=Blabber Mouse
    7. Fred Flintstone=a little similar to Dinky Dalton
    8. Ricochet Rabbit=Dixie Mouse
    9. So So=a old man version of Elroy Jetson

  12. I get the impression this product is from 1966 or '67, not '73. There are no characters featured that were created after 1964, and no music score from after 1966. Had this been made in '73, there would probably be additional characters either originally voiced by Daws (Captain Skyhook, Lambsy, Hair Bear) or imitated by him. I shudder to think how his rendition of a 1969-created Great Dane (who was certainly popular enough by 1973) would sound!!