Tuesday, 14 August 2012

From the Bookshelf

Here’s today’s trivia question: What does this….

….Have to do with this?

A hint—the photo at the top is of the man who immortalised the phrase “Ah, there’s good news tonight!” We’ll get to the answer in a second.

But first…

We’re getting word about books that have been, are about to be, or may be, published that involve Hanna-Barbera. You might want to know about this one from Leslie Stern, whose step-father was H-B designer Iwao Takamoto.

Iwao himself wrote a book not too many years before he died and it’s a nice remembrance of his time at H-B. Of course, there’s the sad side about what happened during World War Two, as his and other innocent Japanese families were removed from their homes in California and moved to camps.

Tim Hollis, who somehow manages to churn out book after book, has another one. The cover you see to your right is pretty self-explanatory. Hanna-Barbera’s deal with Kellogg’s that put Huckleberry Hound on the air in 1958 logically seems to have had a pitch clause as a lot of the syndicated H-B characters started hawking cereals. Later, of course, Post picked up the Flintstones as spoke-cartoons in ads that were, to be honest, more fun than those Flintstones sequel shows.

You should find the book through on-line sources.

If you want to see my all-time favourite H-B cereal commercial, watch below. I think someone told me Ed Love animated this. Daws Butler does a great job as Mr. Jinks. And how can anyone hate meeces singing “Yeah, yeah, yeah”?

And now the answer to our question above. Here’s the connection.

Elliot Field, as you may be able to see in the fuzzy caption, provided voices on the Quick Draw McGraw Show. He was the original voice of Blabber Mouse (four cartoons) and played Grumbleweed and a variety of other roles in the first Quick Draw cartoon. At the time, Elliot was the afternoon drive host on KFWB radio in Los Angeles. He had arrived after a brief but successful career on stations in San Antonio and Dallas. But, before that, in Walter Winchell’s column of June 18, 1956, is the squib.

Elliot Field, long with Gabe Heatter, will be a news specialist for a Boston station.

Elliot wrote me to explain that he was Heatter’s show and recording producer on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1952-56.

But Elliot’s career goes back to the Golden Days of Radio. Last week, he celebrated the 70th anniversary of his first job in radio. His first job was on “Youth on Parade,” a sustaining (no sponsor) programme fed to 83 CBS stations from WEEI Boston. A chap named Dolphe Martin created the half-hour Saturday morning show in 1941, which featured young people singing, an orchestra, adventure sketches, doing impressions, and so on, just like any variety show. The show went network the following year after 44 broadcasts.

You may be wondering how Elliot was hired at Hanna-Barbera, which was looking for new talent (and not familiar voices from network radio) when Quick Draw went on the air. And why he left before coming back to work on a few episodes of “The Flintstones.” I’m curious, too. Elliot says he’s putting everything together in a memoir. It’s be interesting to read when he gets done. When it’s published there will, indeed, be good news tonight.


  1. Wow! Given the music and wigs, that P&D & Mr. Jinks ad HAD to have been made AFTER the last cartoon featuring them was done -- and maybe by 2-3 years!

    Maybe we shoulda had them instead of The Impossibles!

  2. Knew that it was Elliott Field doing Blabber Mouse and the witch in one cartoon of Snooper and Blabber, not Jerry Hausner. Elliot Field started his career on radio in 1942, huh? How old was he then? Kinda looks like Cary Grant in the picture.

  3. Hi, Anon. I think he was 15. I'll have to go back through my e-mails. The host was Milton Grubbs, who was a couple of years younger.
    I see Youth on Parade's main vocalist passed away a few weeks ago. Click on this sentence for the story. Billboard gave her some fine reviews at the time the show aired.

  4. So Elliott Field was the only voice artist besides Daws on those Snooper and Blabbers then..("Puss & Booty","
    Switch Witch", and the several others)..that means Jerry Hausner was at HB only on that one Flintstones, one of the several Pebbles erpisodes I actually like, which shows through Dino
    s jealousy that there is a bad side to her (Dino disappears, and a somewhat Ed Wynn l;ike producer voicved by Hausner owns a lookalike Dino, supposedly slso Hausner, and naturally Fred and Barney are 1) now trying to get the real Dino bakc and 2) mistake the "phonmy" for the real deal, "Dinkoi Disappears".Season 4.)