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”.
SCOOBY-DOO: 2 NEW ADVENTURES!
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.
The 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
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).”
It 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.
The 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
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)