Check out Jean Vander Pyl’s well-earned lead role as a helpful, huggable harpy in this HBR album based on The
Atom Ant Secret Squirrel Show segment.
WINSOME WITCH in “It’s Magic”
Hanna-Barbera Records Cartoon Series HLP-2042 (12” 33 1/3 RPM / Mono / 1965)
Executive Producers: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera. Producer/Writer/Director: Charles Shows. Music: Hoyt Curtin, Ted Nichols. Song Arrangements: Al Capps, Larry Goldberg. Editor: Larry Cowan. Engineer: Richard Olsen. Mastering: Dave Diller, Joe Leahy. Hand Lettering: Robert Schaefer. Cover Art: Fernando Montealegre. Running Time: 29 minutes.
Voices: Jean Vander Pyl (Winnie Witch); Daws Butler (Opening Narrator, Sheriff, Schoolboy, Townsperson, Killer Miller, Cactus); Dick Beals (Elmer, Other Schoolchildren).
Songs: “Winsome Witch,” “Nobody Loves A Witch,” “Winnie’s Magic Broom,” “Abrakadabra” by Lynn Bryson and Charles & Peggy Shows.
Winnie The Winsome Witch, as established at the start of this album, has a Casper-like dilemma (and a Casper-like name). Winnie is looking for acceptance on days other than Halloween. So she takes her broom to the wild western town of Gunsmoke, Arizona and gets a job as the schoolmarm. After taming the classroom with her magic—not to mention her gentle but firm charm—she does the same with the leader of an outlaw gang.
This album is one of six Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series albums released to tie into the segments from Hanna-Barbera’s latest Saturday morning offerings, The Secret Squirrel Show and The Atom Ant Show: Secret Squirrel, Atom Ant, Precious Pupp and Granny Sweet, The Hillbilly Bears, Squiddly Diddly and Winsome Witch.
All six cartoons were enjoyable and might have enjoyed longevity—beyond syndication in the Banana Splits & Friends package—had changing TV cartoon tastes not dictated otherwise and (though Secret Squirrel was later revived in 1993).
The five HBR LP story records (Squiddly Diddly’s disc was a song album) were probably recorded before the cartoons themselves were finished—if Winnie’s magic words on this disc are any clue. She does not use the “Bibbidi-Bobbidi”-ish words she spoke constantly on the cartoons: “Ippity-Pippity-Pow!” However, the “Jet Screamer effect” is still there.
The Hanna-Barbera Singers’ tunes are a bit unique among HBR records. The opening song has a casual, easy listening vibe; what my siblings and I called “cocktail lounge music.” Skewed to younger listeners, the songs resemble those on HBR’s “Golden Cartoons in Songs” volumes, as well as the “Pebbles” song on the earlier “Hansel and Gretel” album.
Having a 12-inch album cover with art that matched actual title art of the cartoons was overwhelmingly exciting. (I would hold up the album cover as the title came on the TV screen.) The album art details differ slightly from the broadcast version (the background in particular).
GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
Excerpt from “Winsome Witch in ‘It’s Magic’”
Spoiler alert! This is the final story segment on the album, so if you’re planning to get a copy from eBay, this will give away the ending! Will everything turn out fine for Winnie and the town? And… what about Naomi?