ANIMATION SPIN
July 26, 2016 posted by

Hanna-Barbera Characters Talk ‘Safety’ – on Records

Daws Butler plays almost two dozen Hanna-Barbera characters offering three dozen messages to kids about safety in a very strange LP album package.

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“HEAR-SEE-DO” HANNA-BARBERA RECORD OF SAFETY
Featuring 36 Original Soundtrack Recordings
“Hear, See Do” Records (Pickwick) BRMC-1 (12” 33 1/3 RPM / Mono)

Released in 1973. Created by Pickwick International for Baker Rhodes Marketing. Executive Music: Hoyt Curtin, Ted Nichols. Produced in Support of the National Safety Council’s Accident Prevention Program. Running Time: 31 minutes.

Underscore Music by Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols from The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Yogi Bear Show, The Quick Draw McGraw Show, Alice in Wonderland, Top Cat, The Magilla Gorilla Show.

Voices: Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma Flintstone); Daws Butler (Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Snagglepuss, Peter Potamus, Touché Turtle, Dum-Dum, Magilla Gorilla, Barney Rubble, Wally Gator, Dixie, Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound, Boo-Boo, Ricochet Rabbit, So-So, Lippy the Lion, Augie Doggie, Yakky Doodle, Super Snooper, Elroy Jetson).

Selections: “The Safe Way to School,” “Don’t Ride with Strangers,” “How to Ride a Bike,” “Obey the Safety Patrol,” “Walking Where No Sidewalks Exist,” “Lock Car Doors,” “Don’t Take Chances,” “Don’t Throw Stones,” “Don’t Play with Strange Animals,” “Walk, Don’t Run,” “Don’t Play with Matches,” “Keep Arms Inside Car and Bus,” “Be Careful on Skateboards,” “Be Careful with Knives, Scissors and Sharp Objects,” “Keep Toys Off the Floor,” “Don’t Run with Things in Your Mouth,” “Store Poisons Properly,” “Green Means Go, Red Stop,” “Safety at Night, Wear White,” “Play in a Safe Place,” “Enter and Leave Cars on Curb Side,” “Wet Hands and Electricity Don’t Mix,” “Never Stop from Behind Parked Cars,” “Cross Street at Corners,” “Watch for Cars in Driveways,” “Fasten Seat Belts, Don’t Stand Up,” “Never Swim Alone,” “Stop, Look, Listen,” “Use Lights and Reflectors on Bicycles,” “Don’t Play in Streets,” “Look Both Ways Before Crossing Streets,” “Correct Signals for Riding a Bike,” “Don’t Ride Double on a Bike,” “Remove Skates Before Crossing Streets,” “Don’t Run Around Swimming Pools,” “Prevent Forest Fires.”

HB Safety Poster - click to enlarge

HB Safety Poster – click to enlarge

Wow! So many characters PLUS actual Hanna-Barbera TV soundtrack background music (supporting the album cover’s claim)! How could this miss?

Well, in some ways it’s very collectible for H-B fans because of the music, some of which never appeared on any HBR records. And it features Jean Vander Pyl as the original Wilma Flintstone—with Daws Butler as his originals: Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, Peter Potamus, Wally Gator, Dixie, Huckleberry Hound, Lippy the Lion, Augie Doggie and Elroy Jetson.

Students of animation voice work might well enjoy hearing one of the masters showing how much skill and acting is involved in doing voices, as opposed to just sounding funny. His Lippy the Lion is simply not the same as Peter Potamus, even though they both have roots in the voice of comedian Joe E. Brown. Speaking of Lippy and Peter, this is the sole vinyl appearance of Daws Butler as these characters, as well as Wally Gator.

Jean Vander Pyl does several selections as Wilma, but strangely there is no appearance of Pebbles, even though the tiny tot is seen in the visual materials included in the album package.

This album was either a TV call-in product or a direct mail item, or both. It follows all the principals of direct marketing, including the sense that there is a lot of “value added” with the purchase. You get 36 “original soundtracks” on a high-fidelity long-playing record! A coloring book with pictures that go with each safety message! A special folio showing all the characters in their safety messages to use as a guide for coloring! But wait! There’s more! You also get an oversized wall poster, for more coloring fun!

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If only the album was as entertaining as it could have been. Each character message is more like a public service announcement that a song or a story. Perhaps the idea of making all scripts into Seuss-style rhymes was an attempt to make it more playable, but it would have been much better to have a few original stories with the characters that had the safety messages woven throughout.

The 1965-66 Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series mixed and matched actors and characters with carefree abandon, but this album goes even further by putting Daws Butler in what must have been an uncomfortable situation of performing Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Touché Turtle, Dum-Dum, Ricochet Rabbit, So-So, Boo-Boo, and Yakky Doodle. He does a particularly good Magilla; his Yakky sounds like Blabbermouse. It had to be a ticklish situation as all the other actors were around at the time, but these things do happen and budgets can be an issue.

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Certainly little money was spent on decent graphics. The artwork looks like it was done with a K-Tel E-Z Tracer and some character model sheets. There is no regard for proportion or position. Even the mediocre Columbia 1977 HBR reissue covers were a little better, though not by much. It only serves to emphasize how good the original HBR LPs were, for both the album art and the recordings.

GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
“Hanna-Barbera Record of Safety”
It’s a very interesting thing to hear, especially with Daws Butler doing so many voices for one album. He sure was a trouper. The music is always pleasurable, of course.

13 Comments

  • I love that the art is so bad I was wondering if the creeper looking at Bamm-Bamm was an actual stranger or a poorly-rendered Barney Rubble. “Hey, you, kid, it’s me yer faddah. Yabba dabba, or whatever the hell he sez.”

    And those faces on Peter Potamus and Magilla do not reflect someone who has just hit themselves in the eye with a rock or burned a finger.

  • Daws had performed as Barney Rubble on about 5 episodes of “The Flintstones” as well as doing the character several times for the HBR record label. So–though similar to his Yogi Bear voice–there is some legitimacy to his performing the role here. He also did the voice of Fred Flintstone on the original pilot–and his Fred voice sounds about the same in this recording. He used his Hokey Wolf voice for Top Cat–on the “Robin Hood” album as well as this album.

    He was certainly a trouper to be willing to attempt so many characters that he had never voiced before, such as So-So, Yakky Doodle, Ricochet Rabbit, and Magilla Gorilla. These to my ears are less successful than the “authentic” voices of Yogi Bear, Quick Draw, Huckleberry Hound, Peter Potamus, Elroy Jetson, etc.

    What really makes this album “work” for me is the use of the sound and music cues from the H-B library. They lend a sense of authenticity to the safety messages. It’s amazing that only two voice artists are involved with this album. It is unfortunate that Jean Van der Pyl did not voice Pebbles or her other major H-B characters such as Maw Rugg or Winsome Witch.

    Daws must have gotten tired at one point in making all of these recordings, as in one of them he starts out as Top Cat but morphs into Yogi Bear. Either the record producers didn’t notice, or they figured the listeners wouldn’t care. It’s interesting to listen as he inadvertently transitions from one voice to the other in mid-recording.

    For the rest, he was remarkably consistent in maintaining the sometimes subtle differences in nuance, especially in differentiating similar voices such as Yogi Bear and Barney Rubble, or as referred to in your article above, Lippy the Lion and Peter Potamus.

    These recordings work remarkably well as supplements to the many record albums featuring these characters–in my play lists I use them right after the longer adventures–such as the “walk facing traffic” message from Top Cat which I have following the “Robin Hood” album–in which Daws uses the same Top Cat voice, or the Snagglepuss message following the “Wizard of Oz” album, or the Snooper message about riding double on bicycles right after the “James Bomb” story. They work really well in these contexts.

    Thanks for posting on this most unusual album.

  • That was one of the more unusual records that I’ve ever seen involving Hanna Barbera characters and that was way before PSAs using cartoon character became popular on tv. But that one creature in the background on the cover, is that a prehistoric version of either Pixie or Dixie?
    Fun Fact: Daws Butler did the original voices of Fred and Barney in a pilot episode short of The Flintstones (originally known as The Flagstones) before Alan Reed and Mel Blanc got the roles as Fred and Barney.
    Daws pitch in for Mel in several episodes of The Flintstones after Mel was severely injured in a automobile accident that nearly claimed Mel’s life.

  • Poor Wilma seems to have had palsy!

    • She also apparently drives in a UK car and on the left side of the street (I think).

  • There have been times when Daws Butler did all voices on TV shows like “THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW” where Daws did all the voices for the wrap-arounds or the characters who weren’t voiced by Daws just remained silent, even though participating in the gag. This record is amazing and, some of them could even receive all new animation, similar to the TWEETIE AND SYLVESTER song a few years ago.

  • Daws Butler used the very same Hokey Wolf voice for Top Cat when the latter appeared on the YOGI’S ARK LARK “Saturday Superstar Movie” circa 1972.

  • Love the instruction on top of each folio page: Look at each picture for correct colors when coloring the coloring book.

    So the wildly inconsistent and off-model artwork doesn’t faze the album producers, but by God, don’t even think about shading them in anything but the studio mandated color schemes.

  • I’d like to think that TC is holding the door open of the very limo he bums a ride on during his opening credits.

    • Yes, keep telling yourself that!

  • I just noticed the label with the picture of Fred. Look where the phonograph spindle goes. that has to have been deliberate.

    • As if a 6 year old would notice!

  • It’s really too late, I suppose, to be posting this, since this topic is now two days old, but here’s a vintage TV commercial I ran across on YouTube, selling this album via the good folks at K-Tel.

    I don’t know if embeds will work here, so I’m also including a direct link to the video.

    https://youtu.be/QiW9GrwuaH0

    Randy

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