Well, Reed provided Fred’s speaking voice. There were a few cartoons where someone else was brought in to sing for Fred. Reed was a versatile dialectician during his days on network radio in the ‘30s and ‘40s but he was no swingin’ lounge cat.
But Duke Mitchell was. That’s Mitchell in the studio you see in the picture. He was tapped by Hanna-Barbera to sing jazzed-up versions of “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” (in the “Hot Lips Hannigan” episode) and “Listen to the Mockingbird” (in “The Girls’ Night Out”) in the show’s first season. You can also hear him as Boppy Barrin in the half-hour “Yogi’s Birthday Party” (aired October 1961). The cartoon studio had other plans for Mitchell, too. Reported Variety on April 13, 1961:
[Palm Springs’] Ranch Club’s Duke Mitchell, the recorded singing voice of animated Fred Flintstone, will double as a hepcat when Hanna-Barbera roll “Five Cats” pilot next month.We presume the squib is referring to “Top Cat.” Nonetheless, Mitchell never got a voice role on the show. Perhaps his schedule didn’t allow for regular recording sessions.
DUKE MITCHELLThose of you who appreciate irony will like the fact that Mitchell performed in the late ‘60s at Dino’s Lodge in Hollywood (Dino as in Martin, not Flintstones pet). My favourite Duke Mitchell story, though, is post-Flintstones. Harrison Carroll had a couple of lines about it in his syndicated show biz column of July 9, 1963.
Magic Inn, Seattle
Duke Mitchell (formerly & Petrillo) shapes up as a good single act in his bow here, first date on his own. Small, but energetic, lad socks over blend of standard songs and sharp impressions for good response, scoring particularly with vignettes of Vaughn Monroe, Frankie Laine and Billy Daniels. Brief act could easily be expanded. Mitchell’s selling of “Rags to Riches” and “Got You Under My Skin” reveal savvy as a crowd pleaser, with reliance more on entertainment than on showcasing of voice.
In here for two weeks and should be good draw for Magic Inn, currently only spot in town using acts. Reed.
SINGER Duke Mitchell knocked two teeth out of a persistent heckler at the Marine Room of the Hotel Olympic in Seattle. Heckler was introduced as the son of one of the most important political figures in the country, but I think he was an impostor.Variety’s Army Archerd revealed about nine months earlier that Mitchell, who was 5’ 8” at best, tossed a 6’ 2” drunk out of one of his shows in a lounge in Beverly Hills.
Petrillo was on the road with partner Suzie Petrovic when Mitchell died in Hollywood on December 2, 1981.
There’s a blog devoted to Duke you can check out.
There’s one other cartoon where someone else “sang” for Fred. Kind of. In the third season, Fred enlists Rock Roll (played by Hal Smith) to perform at Wilma’s show but has to take the stage himself and do “The Twitch.” But neither Reed nor Smith is singing. Do you know who is? Since you don’t, here’s the answer, thanks to the April 18, 1962 edition of Variety:
Jerry Wallace exits Challenge [his record label] next month; reportedly "very unhappy." He's not unhappy over new Hanna-Barbera voice he'll do in "The Flintstones" though. He'll do "Rock Roll," latest character for the tv series, a "singer" yet!Like Mitchell, Wallace made his own cult movie in the ‘50s, starring in 1955’s obscure “Corn’s A-Poppin’” (gripping scene from the film to your right). Wallace has another connection with Hanna-Barbera. During the 1950s, he performed as half of a duo with Red Coffey, who provided the voice for a pestering little duck in the early Yogi Bear cartoons. The duck was modified a bit and became Yakky Doodle (voiced by Jimmy Weldon).
Note: I realise Henry Corden sang for Reed in the Alice special and elsewhere; this post just deals with the “Flintstones” series.