Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hoyt Curtin Rocks: A few old Flintstones music cues

When re-watching vintage 1960s episodes of 'The Flintstones', a heaping portion of the cozy,
comfort-food nostalgia it kindles comes from the familiar background music heard throughout the run of the series.
As with so much of the TV I was glued to in my youth, the soundtrack to the show has been part of the soundtrack to my life.

Hoyt Curtin had been Hanna-Barbera's primary composer and arranger, responsible not only for the Flintstones underscore and its immortal theme song, but for the music heard in almost all of the animation studio's many productions, from their origins in the mid-1950s until Curtin's retirement
in the '80s.

For a while, much of Curtin's H-B music was commercially available on various cartoon music CDs released by the Rhino label, but sadly and shockingly it looks like they've all lapsed out of print.

From one of those discs, the background music cues posted below all go back to the original Flintstones series.
As a finicky nerd, it had bothered me that Rhino had chosen to tack each of these brief themes onto the end of the 'primary' songs-from-the-series tracks, as sort of unlisted 'mystery bonus fun'.

- - So, for the sake of my own dork-tastic needs (and maybe even yours) I futzed with them, to bring some focus to just those Curtin instrumentals.

All of the listed titles are ones I made up, just as a referential aid for the different files, previously unnamed on the Rhino releases.

- If you have knowledge of any 'real' titles for these cuts, or have more info to share about Hoyt Curtin's cartoon music, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.


(click for audio)

1. Reedy Saunter (1:22)
2. Quarry (0:30)
3. Short Chirpy Bridge (0:09)
4. Mischief March (0:23)
5. 'Oh Brother' Punchline (0:09)
6. Jaunty Stroll (0:55)
7. Harried Exit (0:11)
8. Brassy Exit Fanfare (0:10)
9. No Brakes! (1:00)
10. Bouncy Exit (0:18)
11. Driving Into Bedrock (0:41)
12. Stumbling Xylophone (0:27)
13. Morning After Pomp (0:32)
14. Walking Dino, Fred Follows (1:04)
15. Military Maneuvers (0:30)
16. Quizzical Exit Fanfare (0:07)

(click for audio)

- - OR click here to grab all 16 tracks in one 11.8 Mb zipfile.

- For a bit more of old Hanna-Barbera cartoon music by Hoyt Curtin, you might try here, or at a post about 'Jonny Quest' music at If I Only Had...

- And while listening to Flintstones music, you could do far worse than to peruse the dozens of fascinating Bedrock screen captures and other edifying wonders on display over at John K Stuff.


Yowp said...

Other than theme songs, Hoyt Curtin had nothing to do with any music used by Hanna-Barbera in its first three years of operation (1957-58, 58-59, 59-60 TV seasons). The studio used stock music from the Capitol Hi-Q library (which included some material from Sam Fox, EMI Photoplay and C-B libraries) and the Langlois Filmusic library.

Curtin's first underscore work was on the Loopy De Loop theatricals starting in late 1959. Some of that music ended up on Wally Gator et al.

It sees to me the Pic-a-nic Basket disc (no. 3) lists the names of all the short cues. It's nice to have them split apart like this.


banbointe said...

Jim - you are, as ever, a cultural resource nonpareil. Not that I'm expecting photo-realism, but Barney's nose loks super weird in that third shot. It looks like he's grabbing a shiv. And how come Fred gets knees and Barney doesn't? Do Fred and Barney have necks? What are we to make of Betty's enormous head size to body size ratio?

rich bachelor said...

I could sit there and just let "'Oh Brother' Punchline" play ad infinitum. It's the soundtrack to all our lives.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!!

This is the soundtrack to my life with no doubt! Thank you so much for this wonderful share.

normadesmond said...

thanks! this is great!

Anonymous said...

I love this collection of interstitial songs. So do you think this box set is worth tracking down? Copies vary in price online from $65 to over $240. It seems to have originally cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $50, so I might splurge on the low end if it's worth the effort.

Thanks for all you do, BTW!

reza said...

these songs always running in my head.....i love these soundtracks

Frank Coleman said...

Curtin was also responsible (in every sense of the word) for the infamous "score" to MESA OF LOST WOMEN -- essentially a relentless duet between an upright piano and a flamenco-style nylon stringed guitar. It sounds like it was recorded in two separate rooms on two separate occasions on two different planets, and pays no heed whatsoever to the "action" unfolding onscreen. Remarkably, the same track was used for Ed Wood's JAILBAIT and PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME. A triple bill from hell if there ever was one.

Pokey said...

Many different libraries!! Curtin's heyday would be around 1961-63, Flintstones, Top Cat, Jetson and Johnny Quest IMO.:)

Langlois Film Music had compositions credited exclusively to Jack Shaindlin, who supposedly composed most of them as well as letting others write them [a site on one of the many shows he "did music for", the original G.Reeves Superman, mentioned a few like Richard Mouhapt who wrote for Shaindlin's venerated Langlois FilmMusic. Since 1965 it's released as Cinemusic. Though that leaves an immensely large hole, thus leaving out many of those themes.


nyuudo said...

Great post... nevertheless I will always miss the Flinstones brief trumpets bridge when something disappointing happened to the characters (;_;)... those trumpets had been the recurrent reference over all (me and my friends) conversations.
Some original 1960 Spiderman's BGM too...

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of Hoyt Curtin's Music? Write it by Ear! a 3 CD music writing lesson book. I would like more copies and/or find out where to get them. I think they were self published as he signed it, gave it away free and requested that if you use it just to send him $10. Karen

Bob Barker said...

Did a Google search on that Hoyt book, Anon. The Akron (Ohio, USA) Public Library has two copies. Sucks for me to be Canadian -- in this case at least.;jsessionid=F673C420EE3254D03FE8E5BDB433740A?lang=eng&suite=def

Mike DiMartino said...

Love how Hoyt used bass clarinet.

Unknown said...

great now I can listen to Reedy saunter as i walk around instead of imagining it!

Jøta said...

Thank you dearly for sharing these good-old jolly tunes from the Flintstones. The series is currently re-broadcasted here in Germany, hence re-invigorating my fondness for these wonderful retro cartoons.

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