ANIMATION SPIN
June 17, 2014 posted by Greg Ehrbar

Casey Kasem’s “Scooby Doo” Records

Casey Kasem, who passed away on Sunday at 82, lives on in hundreds of cartoons, particularly his many Scooby-Doo projects – and yet he only appeared on a few records as “Shaggy”.

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SCOOBY-DOO: 2 NEW ADVENTURES!
TV Cast
Peter Pan Records #8222 (12” 33 1/3 RPM / Stereo / 1978)

Producer: Ralph Stein. Music: Library Stock. Running Time: 28 minutes.
Performers: Don Messick (Scooby-Doo, Crook #1; Billy); Casey Kasem (Shaggy, Policeman; Mr. Franklin); Frank Welker (Fred, Crook #2, Old Tom); Heather North (Daphne, Billy’s Mother); Pat Stevens (Velma).

Since Casey Kasem was so ubiquitous on radio, TV and cartoons, it comes as a bit of a surprise that he recorded precious little material especially for records. The first Scooby-Doo records were four 45 RPM Peter Pan read-alongs in 1977. Three of them were released on an LP album and two made it to an LP with a read-along book. But actor Duncan Robertson voiced Shaggy for those records, even though Frank Welker, Heather North and Pat Stevens were on hand to play Fred, Daphne and (the second) Velma.

casey_kasem_scooby_dooThe following year, children’s record producer Ralph Stein (on past “Spins,” you may have read about his TV & Movie Favorites album or his Wizard of Oz LP) managed to get the whole cast together—again for Peter Pan Records – with Casey Kasem in attendance, voicing Shaggy and two other characters for the album.

Neither of the stories on Scooby-Doo: Two New Adventures! appear to have been adapted from other sources—though the first one, “Scooby-Doo and the Bank Robber,” is very similar to “Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Sticky Money” on the earlier records. (Imagine that—Scooby-Doo stories that are practically identical!!)

In “Bank Robber,” the Mystery Inc. gang takes shelter from a storm, only to find that two crooks are hiding out in the same place. There’s not much to this story. The second one is more interesting, if only because it has a variety of characters and a softer side.

“Scooby-Doo and the Cookie Caper” is more like a Lassie episode than anything else. “What’s that, Scoob? What are you trying to tell us?” are the kinds of lines you hear, along with a kind-hearted old baker, a miserly bakery owner, an impoverished mother and her disabled son. Melodramatic as it is, the script gives the cast some room to play around with their voice roles, especially Kasem.

Peter Pan Records released one additional album the same year with the TV cast, Christmas With Scooby-Doo.

GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
“Scooby-Doo and the Cookie Caper”
Casey Kasem is superb playing a very un-Shaggy-like character here—a Lionel Barrymore-type miser named Mr. Franklin. An actor as well as an announcer, Kasem seems to embrace the opportunity to stretch into different characters and attitudes.



SCOOBY-DOO’S SNACK TRACKS
TV Soundtracks
Kid Rhino R2-75505 (Compact Disc / Mono / September 15, 1998)
Performers Include: Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Marilyn Schreffler, Vincent Price, Davy Jones, Jerry Reed and Danny Janssen.

Songs: “Recipe For My Love,” “Seven Days A Week,” “Daydreamin’,” “Love The World,” “Tell Me, Tell Me,” “Pretty Mary Sunlite,” “I Can Make You Happy,” “Move Over,” “Ruby Cool Guy,” “Gotta Have Time,” “I Could Be A Star,” “Dooby Doo,” “Me And My Shadow,” “Scooby’s Mystery Mix.”
Instrumentals: “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (Main Title),” “The New Scooby-Doo Movies (Main Title),” “The Scooby-Doo Show (Main Title),” “The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (Main Title),” “The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo (Main Title).”

Scooby-Doos_Snack_TracksIt took almost 30 years for a Scooby-Doo soundtrack album to be released, but Rhino finally did it. Capturing all the theme songs from various TV incarnations, “romp” songs from season two, songs from a TV special and more, this is a very mixed bag.

Several songs are by Danny Janssen, stemming from the Monkees/Archies TV series trend of having characters “romp” through a climactic chase scene—set to a pop song—just before the resolution. Of course, it made sense for The Monkees and Josie and the Pussycats to employ songs in this way, but Scooby-Doo had no band! No matter. That “recipe” song would be stuck in my head for many a Saturday afternoon and evening.

When guest stars like Davy Jones and Jerry Reed appeared on the hour-long New Scooby-Doo Movies, sometimes they would croon a tune. Jerry Reed’s “Pretty Mary Sunlite” was played beyond endurance in his particular episode—that was the show in which the gang seemed required to call Jerry by his full name: “Jerry Reed! Where are you, Jerry Reed? Hey gang, I found Jerry Reed! Boy, are we glad to see you, Jerry Reed.” Maybe it was a “Charlie Brown” thing. (And remember the episode in which when Velma pronounced Sonny and Cher’s last name as if they were members of U2?)

Though some who might never have wished for it, this album also contains soundtrack songs from the ABC special, Scooby Goes Hollywood, incidentally featuring the same principal voice cast of the Peter Pan album mentioned above.

Scooby_Cast-200The 1979 special had inescapable flaws, but it was a departure from the typical Scooby stuff and an unintentional time capsule of what was “in” at the time (complete with Steve Martin catch phrases). The valiant attempts to satire then-current movies and TV shows included Scooby, dressed as Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, falling off the hills that are alive. At one point in the hour, C.J. (Rip Taylor), having seen another of Shaggy’s pilots starring Scooby, smilingly left the room, closed the door and shrieked in mad horror. At least the show took plenty of amusing pokes at itself.

I wish this this album would have included some background music from the series by Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols. If you’re a Scooby watcher, you’ve know that music—especially the cues scored for the very first episode (when they actually matched the scenes) and reused hundreds of time afterward. It would have been nice to have that music without dialogue and sound effects.

GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
“Move Over”
Casey Kasem didn’t do a lot of solo singing (for another Kasem solo, check out Here Comes Peter Cottontail. In the case of Scooby Goes Hollywood, Shaggy got to sing the opening show-biz number. (Song starts after 10 seconds)

10 Comments

  • Greg:
    I guess they couldn’t get copyright clearance to use the Curtin-Nichols music.You’re right,though,it would have enhanced the soundtrack tremendously! And the cast was all great in the first one,especially Casey! I remember first hearing Casey in “HOT WHEELS”which the FCC,similiarly to LINUS THE LIONHEARTED,had branded as nothing more than half hour commercials for Post Cereals and Matel Toys.

    • The music they wer eusing that years was mostly the new “Superfriends” style stock (including the Scooby themed cues), which was ill fitting, so this was actually a relief.

      I also find it ironic how the culprit is Messick in his future Scrappy voice! Surprise no one else jumped on that one.

  • Kasem’s last recording as Shaggy was in 2009, when he participated in “The Official BBC Children in Need Medley,” a charity single performed by Peter Kay’s Animated All-Star Band (which also included Thomas the Tank Engine, Spongebob, Roary the Racing Car, Bob the Builder and other stars of animated TV). Kasem (as Shaggy) sang a few lines of the Fleetwood Mac song “Don’t Stop;” a vegan, he agreed to do it provided the video showed Shaggy eating vegetables. The song topped the UK charts that Christmas.

  • Greg, I got a question about Casey Kasem’s voice work. I know he was in “Transformers”, I was wondering if he did another Hasbro toys-based Marvel show as one (which I have a strange feeling this is something you are probably going to talk about sometime down the road) sounded like he would be used in. However, from the sources I looked at, it appears he did not participated in this 1980′s-era (and I mean that literally) show.

    • Hi Nic,
      Honestly, I’m not sure about that. The more I learn, the more I learn that I have lots more to learn.

  • Similar to how Peter Griffin refers to celebs by their full names?

  • I remember the Scooby in Hollywood special, and noting they had sequences built around oddly disguised caricatures of Henry Winkler and Penny Marshall in their Fonz and LaVerne roles. They were both on ABC; was HB planning on these and other stars voicing themselves and had to change late in the game?

    As for the “Jerry Reed” thing, throughout the Scooby Doo Movies I think the teenaged heroes very rarely first-named any adults (notable exceptions including the Three Stooges) . Sonny and Cher were indeed Mr. and Mrs. Bono, the comedy team was Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy, etc. I guess somebody thought Mr. Reed was too formal.

    • Good question about WInkler and Marshall voicing their own characters, especially when they voiced them on “Fonz and the Happy Days Gang” and the “Laverne and Shirley” army cartoons for H-B. Maybe they were approached but the asking amount was over the show’s budget. Using spoofy twists on the characters names (LaVonne for LaVerne) brings it under the form of legal parody, so that’s probably why they didn’t call them by their Paramount-owned character names.

  • … an unintentional time capsule of what was “in” at the time (complete with Steve Martin catch phrases).

    And that Donald Duck album from last week’s post had the blurb, “That Waddlin’ Crazy Guy” on its cover.

    • I miss that era!

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