Saturday 27 August 2022

An Interview With Hoyt Curtin

Times were changing in the late 1950s when it came to background music on television.

Some producers had been relying on leased stock recordings from production music companies. Hiring a composer and orchestra were too expensive and the head of the American Federation of Music, James Caesar Petrillo, was too meddlesome in refusing to lower the potential cost. But by 1959, Petrillo was out because of a scandal, and producers evidently decided the price was right to have someone come in and score themes, bridges, openings, endings and so on. The days of Ozzie and Harriet having music someone heard on Dennis the Menace were about to end.

Hanna-Barbera was one of those producers. Other than opening theme songs, the studio, from Day One in 1957, relied on sound cutters picking music from the Capitol Hi-Q library and Langlois Filmusic (distributed by Capitol) to fill the backgrounds of cartoons.

That day came to an end. In 1959, Columbia Pictures ended its theatrical release agreement with UPA and, in its place, put Loopy De Loop cartoons on the big screen produced by Hanna-Barbera. Why not? It owned part of the cartoon studio.

Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera decided Loopy should have something other than library music enhancing its theatrical shorts. The studio had hired Hoyt Curtin to write themes and arrange variations of them for bumpers. Why not hire him to create a library of cues for exclusive use of (and owned by) Hanna-Barbera?

That’s what it did.

Then H-B got into the half-hour prime-time television business, so Curtin was brought in to write music for The Flintstones then for everything else the studio was producing, music that is familiar to almost everyone of a certain age (the lyrics for some themes may not be, thanks to the production involving the Randy Horne Singers).

At the time, this was all “kid stuff.” No one gave it any serious consideration, especially because it had to do with television. But the kids grew up, they still liked Curtin’s music and some had the smarts to seek out Mr. Curtin for interviews.

This one was reprinted in the September 1992 edition of Film Score Monthly. Curtin’s H-B history is a bit off in places, and he was asked about cartoons outside the scope of this blog, but it’s interesting nonetheless, especially his references to Carl Stalling and Daws Butler. And he’s quite correct about The Jetsons second theme. When it became The Orbitty Show, you can hear the synth where Curtin had used horns in the original.

We’ve skipped the filmography mentioned below. Basically it gives him credit for every single H-B cartoon. According to it, Ted Nichols never existed; Mr. Nichols has his fans, too. And it mentions all the original Hanna-Barbera shows which, outside of theme songs, owe more to Jack Shaindlin, Spencer Moore and Phil Green when it comes to scores.

(The photos comes from a 1972 article in another magazine we have not reprinted on the blog).


Hoyt Curtin has scored some of the most pervasive material in American culture, being the countless number of cartoons put out by Hanna-Barbera over the last thirty years. He began in the Hollywood of yesteryear, before lone musicians like Fred Mollin could capably score an entire television show or movie with only electronics. All studios had orchestras on call, and it was up to the composers to work with an "in-the-trenches " mentality of a different sort to score the assembly-line material for live players. It created a hectic do-it-yourself scoring schedule which many composers, like Henry Mancini and Jerry Goldsmith, claim to be instrumental in their training.

The following interview was conducted by James Vail for his radio program Cinemusic, which airs in Hammond, Louisiana on KLSU 90.9 FM on Tuesday nights at 9PM, re-run on Sunday at 4PM. The interview is reprinted here with Mr. Vail's permission, as is the mammoth Hoyt Curtin filmography which follows.

Vail: Could you describe your musical background and the events that led to your breaking into the film/television medium?

Curtin: I studied piano all my life, of course, and went to USC’s school of music and studied composition I was very fortunate to study with some very wonderful people because I was supposed to go to Juiliard after the war, on the G.I. Bill, and the man who enters you asked me why I was going to Juiliard [sic] when USC had people like Ernst Toch and the biggies at the time. Why go to Juiliard? They were just very crowded and they didn’t have anyone of that stature. So I called up my friend who let me enroll late at USC and drove back there at about a hundred miles an hour and went to lake my masters degree. It was great! We had some marvelous teachers. I studied with Miklós Rózsa and I just kept writing all I could, trying to get a job and that's not easy.

Vail: I see your first score was for The Mesa of Lost Women in 1952.

Curtin: (laughs) It’s the world's worst film, I think. It was really bad when I wrote it but now it’s worse. As I remember, it was about ladies on an alien planet who turned into tarantulas. I believe that was it. I didn’t have any budget so I had to do it with two pianos. A friend of mine, Ray Rash—one of the real great jazz guys—played the other piano. We really had fun doing that. I started out in what was called the industrial film business, because TV had just started to come in and companies like GE, Ford, and all the rest, they didn't spend their money in television, they spent it in industrial films. I finally got a job, by accident I went up and pounded on the door, literally, and the guy that owned the studio. Ray Wolf, had just fired his musical guy in a great huff. They were friends; that’s the worst kind. They had a big blow-up just the day before and here I am standing with this can of film in my hands that we made at USC. USC has a very good film department. They not only make the films but they have the kids score them. They’re still doing that. In fact I speak at USC, on occasion, and talk to the class that’s doing this. It’s marvelous! How else could you get to score films when nobody's going to ask you to do it for money? So, that part was marvelous. But then the company stopped making them and so I was unemployed, again. A friend of mine suggested I go to a studio called UPA which made the original Mr. Magoo shorts and they hired me to do some shorts. My teacher at the time was working there too. He wrote the one for Gerald McBoing Boing. Do you remember that one?

Vail: Yes I do. It's a fantastic short—exceptional score by Gail Kubrick. [sic]

Curtin: They tried a whole lot of new things. It was a little tiny company stuck behind a building out near Warner Brothers. They cranked out some of the real great stuff. In fact, the first one I did got an Academy Award and the second one got nominated. When Magoo Flew was the one that got the Academy Award. It was wide-screen animation; that shows you how ahead of things UPA was. I started working in TV commercials. That was where I really got going and I worked for a large company that was the “hot" company. That’s what happens these days. The ad agencies get on a company and do all of these ads at this company and if they’re not doing them there, then they’re not being done. I was the composer for Cascade Pictures and I’d write about ten a week. In so doing, I was called out to MGM to do a Schlitz beer commercial and Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were doing the commercial. We got along and we did a nice job. I didn't think anymore about that and finally the phone rang and it was Bill. He said, "Could you write a tune for that?" I called him back in about five minutes and sang it to him. He said. "Could you record that?" This was the way we started; it was over the phone—go do it! They didn’t have time to do any fooling around — no meetings, forget it. And they were on their way. This was Ruff and Ready [sic], their first one and we did the same thing for The Flintstones. That was supposed to be The Flagstones but somebody didn’t like the word ‘Flagstones’ for some reason and so they made it Flintstones. Yogi Bear and all of them were done over the phone, too.

Vail: The theme songs?

Curtin: Yes. And then, of course, there had to be the cues written. In animation, you don’t have lead-ins and lead outs. You let the action handle it. You score the whole thing. So, each episode had to have 22 minutes of music—that’s a lot. It was an awfully busy time. I was doing all of their writing until about last year.

Vail: At what rate were these TV cartoons being turned out back in the ‘60s?

Curtin: I'm not sure how many in 1960, but I know in 1970 we had nine, count them, new shows, new series. And those all had to be scored immediately. They all aired on the same day in September when the network season started. It was really something to have nine shows going. At times it would take ten of us to write that stuff I would write all the themes and then I had to find guys that could write for animation. It's not like live-action. That was a big chore. We put out an awful lot of music but very little of it was recorded at the studio. The studio had a very nice recording studio there, but it isn't big enough for the band. Originally, we used great big jazz bands.

Vail: What caliber of players did you have in the band?

Curtin: I always had the hottest — Pete Condoli, Conte Condoli. Franke Capp — the drummer, Nick Fortula, Barney Kessel. I always had the names, not because of their names, but because they played great. But see, these are the earlier guys. The later guys were hot, but you wouldn’t know their names as well.

Vail: They were studio musicians?

Curtin: That’s right, but they were the best of them. The whole studio scene comes down to a very few guys because the particular kind of music I was writing was very difficult sight reading; it had to swing. We could only get one shot at it; we usually got a run-through. Then we would record it and go on to the next cue.

Vail: The rehearsals/recordings were pretty much a one-shot deal?

Curtin: That’s right. We recorded usually three times a week, three hours each time. They had a big stack of music in front of them and we just went through it. Everybody was geared-up to work hard, get ten minutes off an hour and then come back and hit it again.

I remember now. I have main titles from 142 different series. You know, Speed Buggy, The Jetsons, of course, and things like Wheelies and the Chopper Bunch [sic], These are the Days, and The Smurfs. It was a big pool of music — just hundreds of hours of it. The studio was recently sold to a group and they brought in their own people and it’s going to be sold again, I believe. I think Universal is going to buy it.

Vail: Was The Flintstones your first Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon scoring assignment?

Curtin: I think it probably was the first big one, but they did Ruff and Ready, Quick Draw McGraw, Hokey Woolf [sic], Wally Gator, Huckleberry Hound — those things were first. Then The Flintstones came. It just took off. It started out in prime time — Friday night. It would go off the air, then be revived, and come back with new episodes. One of the things, I think, that helped the music was that the musicians liked to jam on that piece. I know a lot of recordings have been made of it by jazz groups. It’s fun. I love to hear it.

Vail: How long was The Flintstones’ original run?

Curtin: First they made two, maybe three years of new things. Then it went off for a while and later a large food company picked it up and did a series as the sponsor. Then it would go off and it would come back on again. I don’t think they’ve made any new material for some time, but I notice they are going to do a live-action picture with John Goodman as Fred.

Vail: I seem to recall hearing about that some time ago. Isn’t [Steven] Speilberg [sic] producing it?

Curtin: Yes. It’s going to be a real dynamite thing.

Vail: Are there any hopes of your writing the score?

Curtin: Would that I were. They haven’t asked me, but I'm ready. I’d love to do it.

Vail: Like most kids, I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. One of my all time favorites was one of yours, Hong Kong Phooey.

Curtin: It was funny because I remember that one very well. We had decided to write a song and to have Scatman Crothers sing it. I forget if Hanna wrote the lyrics to that or if I did. It didn’t make any difference because we went in as a duo. That was Scatman Crothers’ favorite song, too. We had a big Hollywood Christmas parade here and he was the Grand Marshall and when this guy came up to him to interview him, you know, off the street, he started singing Hong Kong Phooey. He was an awfully good musician and a nice guy. He played great — good guitar player. He sang great and was at his best when he accompanied himself. He was really a good scat singer He was in clubs and doing this and that, but when he did this Hong Kong Phooey thing, from then on do you notice he was a contender as far as motion picture acting is concerned?

Vail: Come to think of it, yes. I can recall seeing him more frequently in the public eye.

Curtin: Well, this all started with Hong Kong Phooey. That was his thing. He said, "I want to sing my theme song” and he would sing that thing.

Vail: Another one of my favorites has once again come back — The Jetsons.

Curtin: The Jetsons was another funny one. Every one of them was funny because you just don’t know what you’re doing and you'd wait to see if it worked out or not. It was a nice little show, just an idea, and I wrote a piece for the main title of it—just cute little cars going around in the air and everything. Everybody looked at the picture after it was done and they said, “Hey, this thing works!” So they had me write a chart to go with the chart that was on it. I think if you listen carefully, you can hear the two bands in there. I put strings and every thing on it with all those runs. When were were recording that, we were listening in the headsets to the original track so we’d stay with it. That’s how that was done. That was a two-part main title. You see, they’d see the picture done and somebody would say. "Hey, this is better that we thought it was going to be. Let’s load the music a little bit.”

Vail: Did you use any electronic instruments for The Jetsons?

Curtin: If you heard the record, we did two versions—a main title, the original around 1960, and then later they made a record. That one. I’m sure, had synthesizers. But I can't make that darn synthesizer swing. I have to have the band. You've got to have the swinging guys.

Vail: I've even played it with a college band and it's a fun chart to play.

Curtin: Awful simple, isn't it? Four notes and forget it. You know, it brings back the memory of writing the damn thing. I didn’t have any idea, I hadn't seen anything. I knew what was going to be on the film. We had one animation director who liked to get a tune, a track, and the track should have action and then when would design the pictures to go with it. And I somehow think I liked that because the music flows. You wrote a piece of music and then he'd put the animation on it. The kind that were tough was when you'd get the animated pictures and you had to match it with the music. There were always compromises to make to hit this and that. You can’t swing, it works but not as well. I like to write a tune, a piece, orchestrate it, make it move and let somebody put the pictures to it

Vail: When you found a certain cue that worked extremely well, be it action, suspense, or whatever, was it ever used again for other cartoons?

Curtin: Yes. The cutters get onto cues that work and those are their special cues. They go into their special bin and when something happens that they need it, they use it. But the musicians union requires that we score each and every thing. Then, if they substituted an old cue, nobody cared.

Vail: The consistency seems to be that most TV cartoons run for one, maybe two seasons and then they're off. Are there any cartoons in the past few years that have "stuck out" from the rest?

Curtin: Well, The Smurfs has done beautifully. It came over from Europe and it was Americanized. Scooby-Doo has done beautifully. The Flintstone Kids is still on. There aren't a lot of them as you say. One of the nicest ones I did went off after one season. A lot of times that happens. Wildfire it was called. The tune was written by Jimmy Webb, an awfully good writer. I didn't write the song, I scored it for him. It was a beautiful thing but it didn’t catch on. And that happened a lot

Vail: You wrote a lovely song for The Last of the Curlews.

Curtin: It was about these two curlews, they were just a pair, and they were flying over a field and this doggoned farmer picks up a shotgun and blows the lady away. It brings a tear to your eyes. Then old Clyde has to go wandering off but there aren’t any other curlews left. He's the last of them. That’s what the song is about

Vail: You also wrote an interesting primitive percussion theme for Korg 70,000 BC.

Curtin: It was live-action and it was about cavemen finding fire and all that good stuff I just thought, why not do it with just percussion and a conch shell? I had to find a guy to play the conch shell, of course. I deliberately played it out of tune. There’s a chord at the end and it’s just a little off, by design.

Vail: Could you describe the main difference in scoring for cartoons and live-action?

Curtin: I would say that you're a lot broader in animation. You haven't got facial movements, body movements, emotions, etc. The guy is thinking, the guy is getting ready to blow the town up or whatever—you haven't got that in animation. In live-action, whole areas might carry without music. Music might be an intrusion. Whereas, in animation, you pretty much have to go wall-to-wall. After you write animation, writing live-action is such a pushover. It's like you could write it with both hands at the same time... and I have, when behind.

Vail: Which do you prefer?

Curtin: Oh, I like the animation when the animation is good and funny like it used to be with this guy, Daws Butler. He was their [Hanna Barbera’s] big voice guy — Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw. I’d get to listen to his tracks and it was just easy to write the music.

Vail: In the past thirty years, has the TV cartoon evolved for the better or the worse or is it still basically the same?

Curtin: You know. I'm deeply rooted in Bugs Bunny and Carl Stalling and that kind of music. That kind of animation is just too expensive, so that's why we have the look we have now. Some of it is very inventive and some of it isn’t. But, if you ask me which would I prefer to watch, it would be the older stuff, naturally. Think of the things they put into it. The studio was required to have a studio orchestra — on call all the time. They had to be paid for ten hours a week whether they played or not so why not use the orchestra to play. That’s why you had all of those great scores.

Below is an industrial film scored by Curtin in 1959. It looks like American Motors shelled out some pretty good cash to make this, considering it was produced at MGM and has a good size cast for this kind of film. The director, incidentally, is Dave Monahan, who wrote cartoons in the 1930s at Warner Bros.

Sunday 21 August 2022

Flintstones Daily Comics, Dec. 1961, Pt. 1

There’s a site which has posted the Monday-through-Saturday newspaper comic strips of The Flintstones. I wasn’t going to post my copies because of that, but since they’re taking up space in my computer, I’ll put them up for December 1961 and leave it at that.

There are puns, there’s sexism (Wilma’s is a shrewish wife who won’t shut up or make up her mind), and there’s no Baby Puss. Those of you who get worked up about “Bibles” can get grumbly that Wilma’s mother doesn’t look anything like she does on the TV show. We note she hadn’t appeared on television yet.

I’m a little baffled about the comic referred to Fred’s foot as a wheel. I thought they were brakes, and the stone rollers at either end of his car were wheels.

You can enlarge any comic by clicking on it.

Friday, Dec. 1, 1961.

Dec. 2, 1961

Monday, Dec. 4, 1961

Dec. 5, 1961

Dec. 6, 1961

Dec. 7, 1961

Dec. 8, 1961

Dec. 9, 1961

Monday, Dec. 11, 1961

Dec. 12, 1961

Dec. 13, 1961

Dec. 14, 1961

Dec. 15, 1961

Saturday 6 August 2022

More Huckleberry Hound and Augie Doggie Music

There are many stories about the world being a lousy place. I could tell some. You could tell some. But this is a story about the world being a less lousy place because there are still kind and generous people out there.

This blog was started because of an affection for the stock music heard in the backgrounds of The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Quick Draw McGraw Show. To make a long story short, after a search that took several decades, I discovered the origin of the cues, acquired copies where I could and started documenting which ones were heard on specific cartoons, moving my efforts to this blog in 2009.

The easier way, of course, would be to have copies of the cue sheets that Screen Gems had to submit to ASCAP and BMI so royalties could be paid to the composers.

One of the greatest cartoon music scholars out there, if not the greatest, is Daniel Goldmark. He has written several books and, wonderfully, penned a thesis where the appendix contained a list of the music (except that composed in-house) heard in every single Warner Bros. cartoon (except the “Seely Six”) from 1930 to 1969, compiled from cue sheets. This is such an incredible resource. He was also the music coordinator on the Spümcø cartoons “Boo-Boo Runs Wild” and “A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith.” Music by Capitol Hi-Q! (the Smith cartoon opens with ZR-49 LIGHT UNDERSCORE by Geordie Hormel).

After years and years, I finally had the courage to ask Dr. Goldmark—we have corresponded about one his projects—if maybe he had any Hanna-Barbera cue sheets from the Capitol Hi-Q days.

He did. And, to my astonishment and extreme delight, he e-mailed me 135 pages of cue sheets for the first three seasons of the Huck show, before Hoyt Curtin took over. Not for all the cartoons, but a good percentage of the first two seasons.

At last, I could learn the identity of some of the music I have not been able to find.

Here are a few discoveries.

The sheets are for each half hour show. That means they list music for themes and bumpers in addition to the cartoons. The opening themes always run 24 seconds, meaning each cartoon had credits. The sheets also note the order in which the individual cartoons aired. They confirm what many people have said—there was a rotation each week, with Huck being the first cartoon one week, Yogi the next, and Pixie and Dixie the next.

The sheets for the first two years say “revised.” I don’t know why. I do notice some cues on the sheets are different than what you hear in the cartoons from the Huck DVD or any Huck cartoons that aired on American cable TV. I don’t have a copy any more, but a version of “The Runaway Bear” (E-29) was on-line that had a substitution for a Jack Shaindlin cue. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cue sheet for that cartoon.

Guyla Avery, according to the sheets, was part of the studio’s music department. Guyla was actually Bill Hanna’s secretary, and Iwao Takamoto told a story about how Bill would shout at her from inside his office until it was agreed to protect eardrums by installing an intercom. Hanna never quite figured out to operate it, so he continued to yell out at Guyla. She later married artist/designer Alex Toth.

Until June 3, 1960, the studio’s address on the sheets is 1416 N. LaBrea, which was the old Kling/Chaplin studios. The sheets for the third season, starting in September, reveal the company was now operating out of the window-less cinder-block building at 3501 Cahuenga (not to be confused with later new building down the street on Cahuenga we all associate with Hanna-Barbera).

Somewhat maddening is the fact the sheets only list names of music if they don’t contain an alpha-numeric. That means the sheets don’t actually tell us most of the names. For example, a sheet will read “6-ZR-50” and not tell us the name is “Light Underscore.” With that in mind, let me try to clear up the identities of some the music as revealed by the cue sheets.

● Not one, but two short pieces by Raoul Kraushaar were heard on the Huck show. They have an MR prefix: 7-MR-183 COMEDY MYSTERIOSO and 8-MR-377 COMEDY. They were on the Hi-Q reel L-58 published in 1959 and came from the Omar library, co-founded by Kraushaar in 1956 (he is the “R” in “Omar”). They both sound like they were recorded in the back of a room, with a clarinet, strings and muted trumpets. In some cases, they were edited together to sound like one cue. Hi-Q removed them from the library.
● The sad trombone music heard as the sneaky dog limps with a crutch in “Nuts over Mutts” is Jack Shaindlin’s LAF-72-3.
● “Oh Susanna” heard as Cousin Batty chats with Pixie and Dixie is Shaindlin’s LAF-88-7.
● George “Geordie” Hormel is responsible for ZR-21E SUSPENSE when the alien’s spaceship lands in Jellystone Park in “Space Bear.”
● In the same cartoon, the cue that the late Earl Kress said contained the name “Fireman” is LAF-1-2. He never could remember the complete name.
● The light symphonic music, memorably heard as the skunk is flying on a paper airplane in the Augie Doggie cartoon “Skunk You Very Much” is LAF-113-3. The cue sheet lists as the composer “Langworth” instead of Jack Shaindlin, and it doesn’t remind me of any of Shaindlin’s work.
● LAF-6-16 is a mystery. The cue sheets assign the code to two completely different pieces of music; Dr. Goldmark warns that cue sheets are not always accurate. One is the medium circus march that opens “Goldfish Fever.” But it’s also the code assigned to the brief piece in “Rah Rah Bear” where the players enter the field. That cue starts off the same but ends differently than Shaindlin’s “Boxing Greats No. 2.” On top of that, the medium circus march is reported as LAF-1-8 at the end of “Boxing Buddy.” The same cue is at the start of “Mark of the Mouse” but I don’t have a cue sheet for that. I don’t know what to think; I only have the sheets for the three cartoons mentioned above. For now, I will assign both codes to the march and leave the boxing cue without an LAF number.
● Mr. Jinks is sitting in a basket in “Party Peeper Jinks” while LAF-93-2 plays underneath. It starts with a flute and has quacking muted trumpets.
● A cue in the same cartoon between choruses of a birthday song to Jinks is LAF-93-15. It features woodwinds and strings.
● A fast circus-type chase cue called LA-74-4 is heard in a pile of cartoons, in some cases only the second half is used when the melody goes F-G-A-Bb-C and comes back down. Part of it is in the final scene of “Nottingham and Eggs.”
● Shaindlin provides the seagoing medley which opens “Pistol Packin’ Pirate.” It is LAF-65-7.
● The dramatic cue during the showdown between Sheriff Huckleberry (in the cartoon of the same name) and Dinky Dalton is L-31 SOMBER MOVEMENT by Spencer Moore.
● “Brave Little Brave,” with its specialty cues, doesn’t follow the Capitol Hi-Q numbering system. The music for about the first 4½ minutes is a Geordie Hormel piece labelled 11-ZR-K7C. The rest of the music is Q-743 by Spencer Moore. The closest cue I can find is L-744 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE. Same tempo, same orchestration, same double tom-tom beat, but the melody doesn’t quite match. My guess is the “Q” cues were in the original Capitol “Q” library, which was replaced by Hi-Q in 1956.
● “Show Biz Bear” features silent film serial style music played on an upright piano. These are Shaindlin cues entitled “Silent Movie Piano”; Shaindlin recorded a commercial album of these.
● Clarence Wheeler’s “Woodwind Capers” turns out to be a solo flute, four seconds long. It’s heard in “Hoodwinked Bear.” At least, that is all that was used.
● The version of “La Cucaracha” in several cartoons is an Omar library cue labelled OK-787 by Bill Loose and Jack Cookerly, who later played keyboards for Hoyt Curtin.

Whew! I think that’s it.

All this wonderful information is going to take some time to update the cues on the blog, as I’ll have to change some Quick Draw shows and other Huck cartoons for which I don’t have cue sheets.

People who like lists and lists of cartoons can stand by for just a moment.

You can see most of the music referred to was composed by Jack Shaindlin. We’ve posted about Shaindlin before, but a brief summary of his stock music career is he recorded with the March of Time orchestra for the Lang-Worth Mood Music library in the ‘40s, then formed a library music company in 1947 called Filmusic. The November-December 1952 edition of Film Music revealed:

The Hollywood office of Filmusic Co. of New York is making 1500 recorded selections available for TV and non-theatrical producers. The company, the largest independent music-on-film library in the country, is headed by Jack Shaindlin and features his sound tracks. Mr. Shaindlin has been musical director for the March of Time, Louis de Rochemont and the major studios in the east since 1937. His Filmusic sound track is used exclusively by NBC-TV.
The problem with trying to identify names of his cues (you won’t find my favourite Shaindlin cue, “Toboggan Run” in a copyright catalogue or in the BMI database) is simple. Shaindlin told Business and Home Screen magazine once that “the music was never published and hasn’t been ‘kicked around.’” Filmusic combined with Lang-Worth to become Langlois Filmusic in 1954 and Cinemusic in 1960. Shaindlin seems to have copyrighted only select cues for the sake of royalties, and certainly not the 1,500 mentioned above, including a good many of the ones heard in the Huck and Quick Draw shows.

Here are the Shaindlin cues that have been partially ID’d and a couple that have not been. These were sent to me years ago by Earl. I have held off posting them until I knew what they were, except for one cue he asked me not to post.

One cue I like has been half identified. It is two cues edited together. The first part of it is “Chump Chimp Title.” I have it on a Langlois collection, arranged a little differently but unmistakeably the same music. But my two-part Langlois cue includes “And Some Doings.” That part of the cue is different than what’s heard on the cartoons; that part you can hear at the end of “Baffled Bear,” as Yogi runs a gas station. Included is a vaudeville or circus dance cue that got a workout on the Quick Draw McGraw series; all Earl could remember was it contained “fireman” in the title. I cannot help but wonder if it comes from a different chimp short, The Rookie Fireman, shot in New York in 1936. As noted above, Shaindlin worked on the Shorty the Chimp series, but I can’t find the film on-line. LAF-25-3 is a fun cue, reminding me of little busy animals skipping through the woods. I’ve also attached “Six Day Bicycle Race,” heard several times in the Snooper and Blabber caper “Puss N’ Booty.” If I don’t have the real names, you’ll see quotation marks around fake ones. Don’t accept these as valid.

Two bonus cues are below, thanks to reader Evan Schad. With his help, I acquired a Synchro library 78 rpm disc containing the two Hecky Krasnow cues heard on several Augie Doggie cartoons.

LAF-1-2 "fireman"

LAF-6-16 "circus parade"

LAF-25-3 "dance of the forest squirrels"


LAF-74-4 "race to the finish"


LAF - "the greatest show on earth"

LAF - CHUMP CHIMP TITLE "and other cue"



Again, I am extremely appreciative to Daniel Goldmark for his generosity and selflessness in providing this valuable documentation.

Since people love lists, here are the cartoons for which we have a list of the cues with production numbers and episode numbers in brackets. Alas, only one of the three Yowp cartoons is present.

E-1 Pie-Pirates (003)
E-2 High Fly Guy (008)
E-3 Tally Ho-Ho-Ho (007)
E-4 Pistol Packin’ Pirate (005)
E-5 Judo Jack (002)
E-6 Little Bird Mouse (007)
E-7 Yogi Bear’s Big Break (001)
E-8 Big Bad Bully (004)
E-9 Slumber Party Smarty (002)
E-10 Kit-Kat-Kit (003)
E-11 Big Brave Bear (006)
E-12 Scaredy Cat Dog (006)
E-13 Baffled Bear (009)
E-14 Cousin Tex (001/012)
E-15 Foxy Hound Dog (005)
E-16 Jinks’ Mice Device (004-021)
E-17 The Ghost with the Most (009)
E-18 The Buzzin’ Bear (013)
E-19 Jiggers It’s Jinks (008)
E-20 The Brave Little Brave (010)
E-21 The Stout Trout (012)
E-22 The Ace of Space (010)
E-27 Jinks the Butler (013)
E-31 Sheriff Huckleberry (005)
E-32 Sir Huckleberry Hound (004)
E-33 Lion-Hearted Huck (002-013)
E-34 Rustler-Hustler Huck (006)
E-35 Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie (001/010)
E-37 Tricky Trapper (003)
E-38 Cock-a-Doodle Huck (008)
E-39 Two Corny Crows (009)
E-40 Freeway Patrol (007)
E-41 Dragon Slayer Huck (012)
E-47 Birdhouse Blues (021)
E-49 Prize-Fight Fright (021)
E-52 Brainy Bear (022)
E-53 Nice Mice (022)
E-54 Postman Huck (022)
E-55 Robin Hood Yogi (023)
E-56 King-Size Surprise (023)
E-60 Robin Hood Yogi (023)
E-61 Scooter Looter (025)
E-62 Mouse-Nappers (025)
E-63 Little Red Riding Huck (025)
E-64 Hide and Go Peek (026)
E-65 Boxing Buddy (026)
E-66 The Tough Little Termite (026)
E-70 Papa Yogi (030)
E-71 Ten Pin Alley (027)
E-74 Show Biz Bear (027)
E-76 King Size Poodle (030)
E-77 Nottingham and Eggs (032)
E-78 Rah Rah Bear (032)
E-79 Hi-Fido (027)
E-80 Stranger Ranger (031)
E-81 Somebody’s Lion (030)
E-82 Batty Bat (033)
E-84 Mighty Mite (031)
E-85 Bear For Punishment (033)
E-87 A Bully Dog (031)
E-89 Bird Brained Cat (032)
E-90 Huck the Giant Killer (033)
E-97 Hoodwinked Bear (037)
E-98 Piccadilly Dilly (037)
E-99 Goldfish Fever (037)
E-100 Snow White Bear (038)
E-101 Wiki Waki Huck (038)
E-102 Pushy Cat (038)
E-103 Space Bear (039)
E-104 Puss in Boats (039)
E-105 Huck’s Hack (039)
E-107 Booby Trapped Bear (041)
E-109 High Jinks (043)
E-110 Legion Bound Hound (041)
E-111 Price For Mice (041)
E-112 Gleesome Threesome (042)
E-113 Science Friction (042)
E-114 Plutocrat Cat (042)
E-115 A Bear Pair (043)
E-117 Spy Guy (044)
E-118 Nuts over Mutts (044)
E-120 Knight School (043)
E-122 Party Peeper Jinks (044)

Sheets are missing for Huckleberry Hound Shows K-011, 014 through 020, 024 in the first season, and K-028 through 030, 034 through 036 in the second, and K-040, K-045 to 52 in the third. .

Monday 1 August 2022

Farewell, Jane Jetson 1.0

July 31st may not have been the birthday of George Jetson, but it was the day after the death of the first woman to play George’s wife.

Comic actress Pat Carroll died on the weekend of pneumonia at age 95.

There are some readers who may have missed the posts some years ago about this, but Penny Singleton was not the first person cast as Jane Jetson. Hank Grant’s syndicated TV column (in the Binghamton Press), dated May 13, 1962, revealed:

Starring “voices” for the new “The Jetsons” animated cartoon series, now signed for Sunday nights on ABC-TV, will be Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll. Since they will be required to work only one day a week, Morey will continue as a regular on the Dick Van Dyke Show and Pat hopes to do the same on the Danny Thomas Show.
That didn’t last long. Grant wrote in the Hollywood Reporter two days later:
Casting of voices for Hanna-Barbera’s new “The Jetsons” series is now wide open, even for the top Jane & George Jetson roles. Begging off their firmed deals because of sponsor conflicts were Morey Amsterdam (Dick Van Dyke Show) and Pat Carroll (Danny Thomas Show).
Well, apparently it wasn’t all that tidy. Or placid. Here’s a wire service story from almost a year later.
Cartoon Firm Sued by Two
LOS ANGELES, April 12—(UPI)—Actress Pat Carroll and comedian Morey Amsterdam filed $27,600 suit Friday claiming breach of their contract to do voice characterizations for a television cartoon series.
Miss Carroll and Amsterdam contended in their superior court suit that they entered into a contract last April 28 with Hanna-Barbera Productions to do voice characterizations for the “Jetsons” and were to receive $500 a segment—with a guarantee of 24 segments for 1962-63.
Both said the defendant, Hanna-Barbera, failed to use them for the voice work.
It took months for the case to end up in court. This is from January 25, 1965.
TV firm sued
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Comedian Morey Amsterdam and actress Pat Carroll are seeking $12,000 each from Hanna-Barbera Productions, charging the firm signed them to provide the voices for an animated television show called “The Jetsons”—but used their services only once, not 24 times as called for in their contracts.
The case went to trial Tuesday, Amsterdam and Miss Carroll said their contracts called for them to get $500 each for each of the shows, planned for the 1962-63 season.
The Associated Press reported on January 29th the two of them lost their suits.

When we originally posted about this in 2010, it spurred author and fellow CITR alum Kliph Nesteroff to ask Carroll about it. You can read what she had to say over on his blog.

It took about a month to re-cast the main roles. The TV writer for the Alton Evening Telegraph of June 15, 1962 reported Penny Singleton was now Jane and George O’Hanlon had been hired as George. You’ll notice, by the way, the character was named “George” before O’Hanlon was cast.

The firing wasn’t really a setback for Carroll; she carried on with a long career in live action and animation. But we can’t help but think how different The Jetsons would have been with Carroll and Amsterdam as the lead characters.