Hoyt Curtin’s crowning achievement at Hanna-Barbera may have been the tracking library he wrote for Jonny Quest. His cues evoked adventure, suspense, danger, triumph, exotic locations and whimsical comedy. And Warner Leighton, Larry Cowan, Ken Spears and the rest of the film editing crew did an incomparable job matching Curtin’s cues to the action on screen.
Fans of the series have been puzzled for years why Rhino records or someone never released a CD of the Quest music, considering how incredibly popular it is among Hanna-Barbera fans. Surely it would be an instant seller. I once asked the late Earl Kress about it; Earl helped assemble the Hanna-Barbera Rhino CDs and had gone through the master recordings of the Quest cues. I can’t remember his answer but it doesn’t matter now. A release of the music is finally coming. Not a bootleg (there are several of them out there) but an official release.
The complete Quest library has more than 106 pieces of music but I imagine the longer and best-known cues have been picked for release. (For example, the masters in the Hanna-Barbera music vault had alternate versions and inserts for the main title theme).
I can’t vouch for the quality of the CDs because I haven’t heard them and, to be honest, I had never heard of the company until cartoon musicologist Greg Ehrbar alerted me to it. But people have been waiting for this music for a long time and I hope fans won’t be disappointed.
Greg has provided a link to the releases here.
I suspect fans will now be clamouring for Ted Nichols’ cues for Space Ghost and The Herculoids next. Nichols is overshadowed by Curtin but came up with solid work for the action-adventure shows of the mid-to-late ‘60s.
Jonny Quest Main Title (without sfx)