ANIMATION SPIN
July 18, 2017 posted by

Golden Records First (and Last) Cartoon Music Compilation

Golden Records First (and Last) Cartoon Music Compilation – Four decades of animation, as interpreted by the venerable Golden childrens record label, were combined into just one eclectic album in the early seventies.

CARTOON FAVORITES
Music & Stories from Original Hit T.V. and Movie Cartoons
Wonderland-Golden Records LP-285 (12 33 1/3 RPM / Mono)
Released in 1972. Compilation Producer: Ralph Stein. Running Time: 31 minutes.

Voices: Gilbert Mack (Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Henery Hawk, Pepe LePew, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Blabbermouse, Super Snooper, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Pixie, Mr. Jinks); Paul Frees (Announcer, Boris Badenov); June Foray (Rocky, Natasha, Red Riding Hood, Grandma); Bill Scott (Bullwinkle, Wolf); Edward Everett Horton (Fractured Fairy Tales Narrator); Alan Reed (Fred Flintstone): Mel Blanc (Barney Rubble); Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma Flintstone); Bea Benederet (Betty Rubble); Grace Stafford (Woody Woodpecker); Jack Mercer (Popeye); Frank Milano (Ranger Smith, Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo, Major Minor, Snagglepuss).

Cartoons & Songs:
Merrie Melodies:
Merrily We Roll Along by Eddie Cantor, Charlie Tobias, Murray Mencher;
Jay Ward
Rocky, the Flying Squirrel / Bullwinkle / Boris & Natasha / Fractured Fairy Tales:
I Was Born to Be Airborne, Im Rockys Pal, The No-Goodnik Song, Fractured Fairy Tales by Paul Parnes:
The Flintstones
Meet the Flintstones by Hoyt Curtin, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera;
Woody Woodpecker
The Woody Woodpecker Song by George Tibbles, Ramey Idriss; Cartoon Showtime by Walter Greene, Judy Zahler;
Popeye
Im Popeye the Sailor Man by Sammy Lerner.
Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo
Before Yogi, Cutie of the Cave Set by Paul Parnes;
Snagglepuss
Im King of the Jungle by Paul Parnes;
Blabbermouse
Blabbermouse by Fay Winter, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera;
Huckleberry Hound
Huckleberry Hound by Hoyt Curtin, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera.

Finding this album can be confusing because the title is inconsistent. The front cover says: Music and Stories from Original Hit T.V. and Movie Cartoons, and the vinyl label calls it Cartoon Favorites (as it was listed in the Wonderland-Golden catalog) with the subtitle The Original Hits from the T.V. and Movies. Most of the songs are also not given their actual titles on the cover or on the label, but are mostly identified by the characters themselves.

The cover art, presumably art directed by producer Ralph Stein (who performed such duties on numerous Golden discs), is a paste-up of art elements from various albums of long ago. Identifying each is not unlike finding the pictures in an issue of Highlights magazine.

Although Golden Records (which was renamed Wonderland-Golden and later just Wonderland after Western Publishing retained the rights to the Golden name) released several LPs, EPs and singles in which songs from previous Hanna-Barbera, Lantz, Jay Ward and Warner Bros. characters (plus Popeye) were recombined, this is the only album in which characters from all these studios appeared on the same long-playing disc. It was also the last. By 1972, the childrens record business was still shrinking, Disney and Sesame Street were the frontrunners and Peter Pan was gaining on Golden and would soon outlast its rival.

Cartoon Favorites is relatively heavy on Hanna-Barbera and Jay Ward and is about 60% authentic in the voice department. It opens with side one and two of the sprightly Merrily We Roll Along released as a Little Golden Record and as a track on the Bugs Bunny Songfest album, which we explored here. It features frequent Golden artist Gil Mack doing all of Mel Blancs voices with musical accompaniment that, while uncredited, may have been the work of Dennis Farnon, whose fine arrangements grace the bulk of side one in the generous selections from the superb Rocky and His Friends LP, which we discussed here.

Rocky and His Friends is one of Goldens all-time best animation records, clearly made with the hands-on participation of the Ward studio. These excerpts offer the towering talents of June Foray, Paul Frees and Bill Scott in several songs as well as the soundtrack of Ridinghoods Anonymous from Fractured Fairy Tales. In 1972, when hope for finding the Rocky and His Friends album was next zero in those pre-eBay days, this album was practically beamed down from Heaven.

It would have been nice to have more than just Meet the Flintstones with Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl, Mel Blanc and Bea Benederetmaybe Split Level Cave? But again, it was a treasure to have even that much of the Songs of the Flintstones album if the original was out of reach. Golden had long since discontinued their Hanna-Barbera records.

They had not, however, discontinued their Woody Woodpecker song album, which was reviewed here. It was still in the catalog at the time of the release of Cartoon Favorites, both on LP and 45 rpm EP. So was the excellent Popeye the Sailorman and His Friends (see this previous Spin), upon which you could also enjoy I’m Popeye the Sailor Man by Jack Mercer, though the performance itself appeared as a Little Golden Record before the LPs.

The rest of the album is taken up with selections from Frank Milano and Gil Mack Hanna-Barbera covers from Golden’s Quick Draw McGraw and Huckleberry Hound and Songs of Yogi Bear albums. The decision of what to include and what to omit may have been based on the cartoons that were commonly circulated on TV during the early 70s, which would explain why properties like Magilla Gorilla might not have made the cut.

It might have been interesting, though, to include Push Button Blues from The Jetsons, since it was still very popular, or to dig back into their Total TeleVision songs, which we looked at in this Spin. Wonderland Records stayed away from animation from that point on, except for a brief association with Mister Magoo three years later (we covered the TV show album here).

GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
Meet the Flintstones

Its probably not news to Flintstone fans that Meet the Flintstones was the second theme song for the TV show, with an instrumental called Rise and Shine being the first. Both Meet the Flintstones and Rise and Shine made their debut with lyrics on the 1961 Golden LP Songs of the Flintstones, both performed exclusively by the TV cast. For the Cartoon Favorites album in 1972, a bit of reverb was added because the song sharply cut to dialogue on the 1961 LP.

5 Comments

  • I found this record in 1975 at a Toys R Us store in Sacramento and to me it was a treasure trove of material. We get a whole Fractured Fairy Tale story on record with Edward Everett Horton telling the whole thing. The missing version of the Flintstones song with different lyrics sung by the original voice cast. The extended Popeye song sung by Popeye. I used to play this record to my college roommates and we all thought it was a lot of fun.

  • Suprised that they didn’t let Mel Blanc voiced Bugs Bunny,Sylvester,Henery Hawk,Pepe LePew,Daffy Duck,Porky Pig,Yosemite Sam,Foghorn Leghorn or Tweety since he originated many of those voices on Golden Records/Wonderland’s The Music and Stories from Original Hit T.V. and Movie Cartoon LP Since Mel was already on the LP as the voice of Barney Rubble or added June Foray or Bea Benederet as the voice of Granny from the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons?

    • Especially since Bea was already Betty and June was Rocky. But Bea already did in October 1968, so naturally none of that would be original.

    • This is a compilation of previous Golden albums and singles. The Bugs Bunny material was recorded before the Flintstones, one in New York, the other in Hollywood.

      Golden, Peter Pan and even Disney didn’t always use the original cast voices, because of budget, scheduling, location and things like that. If you look at the previous Spins about these albums, there is more detail about how and why this happened.

    • “This is a compilation of previous Golden albums and singles”,Thanx. Yes, right after I wrote the above, I looked and saw that, indeed, it WAS a compilation… I know all about the reasons for recasting. WB and HBR also didn’t even use the original voices: logistical location issues, contractual rights, pay, an actor’s reluctance or even death (the Top Cat HBR Robin Hood LP suffered this with Maurice “Benny” Gosfield’s death, and Benny, I believe , was not on that LP, and when I listned to this when it was out..I hadn’t seen the Top Cat series. In 1977 I got the book TV Book, an unsual anthology with a “Judy Fireman” listed as editor. She had a timeline that showed, to my 17 year old eyes, Maurice Gosfield as Benny and NOT Daws Butler as I thought but ARNOLD STANG as TC. I’d hate to go through life thinking Daws was TC and that Benny never even existed! (L:eo De Lyon WAS created on the TC Robin Hood album for his voice for Brain, but apparently SPoof didn;’t appear orr HB maybe was too cheap to pay him for, if he actually played him, for playing Spook. No Fancy Fancy, who was played as Cary Grant by HB regular John Stepehnson..A similiar counter-example to recasting, was good old Officer Dibble-Allan Jenkins reprised his role.

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