ANIMATION SPIN
June 16, 2015 posted by Greg Ehrbar

Hanna-Barbera’s “Squiddly Diddly” On and Off the Record

The only appearance of the clumsy cartoon cephalopod from The Atom Ant / Secret Squirrel Show is on the cover of this peppy album of original ‘60s surf tunes.

Squiddly-600

Hanna-Barbera Presents
SQUIDDLY DIDDLY’S SURFIN’ SURFARI

The Hanna Barbera Singers
Hanna-Barbera Records (Cartoon Series) HLP-2043 (12” 33 1/3 RPM LP / Mono)

Released in 1965. Executive Producers: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera. Vocalists: Stan Farber, Al Capps, Ron Hicklin. Arrangements: Stan Farber. Art Direction: Harvard Pennington. Cover Art: Robert Schaefer. Mastering: Joe Leahy, Dave Diller. Running Time: 21 minutes.

Songs: “Squiddly”, “Surfin’ Song”, “Surf is Up Today”, “Surf Busters”, “Hot-Doggin’ Man”, “Ho-Dad”, “Nose-Rider”, “Surf Bunny”, “Shoot the Tube”, “Gremmies”, “Hang Ten”, “Surfers Hall of Fame” by Stan Farber, Lynn Bryson, Charles and Peggy Shows.

This was the only Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series album I saw as a kid that I did not instantly want to buy. Once it was clear that it only contained surfing songs and no story, it didn’t have much appeal. Years later, I have a greater appreciation for it—especially from an historical perspective—but there is still a bit of disappointment at what it might have been.

Paul Frees, as Squiddly Diddly, is nowhere to be found on this disc, not even to introduce the songs. Maybe Squiddly isn’t way up there on the best-loved Hanna-Barbera character list, but nevertheless, a very entertaining story/song record could have been created much in the vein of the “Makin’ with the Magilla” cartoon storyline.

The story could go something like this. Side One: Squiddly escapes from Bubbleland, meets groovy teens on a local beach, learns to play multiple instruments at once and triumphs with his performance on a TV dance show. Side Two: Squiddly is a star but he misses his home, so he returns to play his songs at Bubbleland—but after his music disturbs the other sea life, chaos ensues and he goes back to his old job. (I just thought most of that up while I was typing it, so surely Charles Shows could have done the same.)

Maybe Shows and the Hanna-Barbera Records team had to balance their budget by producing something quick and inexpensive. Bringing in Frees and another actor or two, as well as studio editing and effects time, would have cost more than these twelve songs. The “Hanna-Barbera Singers” probably recorded them all at once for a fraction of the usual Cartoon Series time and money. Even the handful of other HBR “songs-only” albums required, at the very least, slight changes in instrumentation and variety. But Squiddly’s surfin’ songs are written, produced and performed in exactly the same way as most tunes on other HBR Cartoon Series records —with a twangy, goodtime pop/garage band style.

As a retro item, the album is still a treasure, especially from an aesthetic aspect. Like all six HBR albums based on The Atom Ant / Secret Squirrel Show, the actual TV title card art is used for the front cover (Robert Schaffer is credited as artist, though he is usually listed as the hand letterer.) As a listening experience, it’s a kick for those who enjoy fun, foamy, carefree beach party music. The album would have been better overall, though, had they added even a few more cartoon-related references into the lyrics.

GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN
“Squiddly / The Jetsons / Space Crazy”
These three songs are combined here because of their striking similarities, starting with the opening song from Squiddly Diddly’s Surfin’ Surfari (with its odd minor-key melody), then two from The Jetsons in First Family On The Moon (HLP-2037). This similarity is a key factor as to how relatively fast, simple and economical it must have been to string all these songs together at once in a few sessions.


GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN: BEACH BLANKET BONUS!
One of the seven “official” Beach Party movies and a low-budget Vincent Price comedy vehicle—both produced by American International Pictures—opened with clay animated titles by Art “Gumby” Clokey…

How to Stuff

HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Wand Records WDS-671 (Stereo) / WDS-671 (Mono) (12” 33 1/3 RPM LP /1965)

CD Reissue: Real Gone Music RGM-0013
Download Reissue: iTunes
This Beach Party film comes closest to a satirical “book musical” with the cast performing story-driven songs on camera. It’s a sort of funhouse mirror distortion of Mad Men and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

This is the Clokey main title sequence:

Goldfoot-45DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE – The Supremes
American International Records 3010 (One-Sided Promo Disc / 7” 45 RPM / Mono / 1965)
Download Reissue Available on iTunes.

DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE – The Beas
Dee-Gee Records 3010 (7” 45 RPM / Mono / 1965)
This film and its sequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, are every bit as erudite as you might imagine.

Here are the Clokey titles for the first entry in the Goldfoot “saga”:


Summer Beach Party

SUMMER BEACH PARTY
Varese Sarabande Records R2-74336 (Compact Disc / Mono & Stereo / 2006)

The soundtrack theme to “How to Stuff” sung by a studio chorus and the non-soundtrack single version of “Dr. Goldfoot” by The Beas are included on this CD compilation of songs and music from the golden age of Beach Party movies. It’s worth noting that, in addition to the Annette track, other material created for the Beach Party films was recorded and produced by Tutti Camarata at his Sunset Sound studios. Some of the vocal ensembles on this album sound similar to those appearing on Disneyland and Buena Vista albums of the mid-sixties.

11 Comments

  • I see “HO-DAD” is one of the tracks on the H-B Squiddly LP…
    The only other place I’ve ever encountered “Ho-Dad” is on the December 3, 1965 H-B “Shinrock A Go-Go” episode of The Flintstones, spoken by real Shindig host Jimmy O’Neill, as Jimmy O’Neillstone, during his introduction to the Beau Brummelstones.
    “Howdy-hi, Shinrockers and all you big Ho-Daddies!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKj3fjQ3S4Y

    The Beau Brummels on ABC’s Shindig:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_GeYgT58d0

    Jimmy O’Neill died in Los Angeles, on January 11, 2013, at age 73.
    – William

    • The failed TV pilot-turned-feature film “Agent for H.A.R.M.” had some random surfer guy pop by and say “Ho-Dad” in one scene on a beach.

  • I, too, tended to avoid the all-songs albums in the HBR series. This one in particular held no appeal once I realized it would be all music.

    The songs on this album seem geared more toward pre-teens and teens than the other albums. There isn’t much on here for a young kid. However, looking back I agree with you that the SD Surfin’ album is a treasure. The song “Surfin’ Craze” from the Flintstones episode “Surfin’ Fred” fits in well with the songs on the Squiddly album.

    Great synopsis of a possible story plot for Squiddly’s album! Probably pretty close to what would have been, had they gone with the usual story and sound effects. (It’s a little reminiscent of the Hillbilly Bears album story line!)

    The opening titles from “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” were fun to see again…I had forgotten how clever and funny some of these Beach Party movies were.

    The beach was a real happenin’ place in the sixties…in pop culture, anyway!

  • When Yogi’s Ark Lark and later Yogi’s Gang came out Paul Frees didn’t returned to reprised this role as Squiddly Diddlity so Don Messick filled is as the voice of Squddly Diddity. Also Little Eva of Doin’ the Locomotion fame preformed Makin’ with the Magilla (which is was one of favorite songs) . I was looking for that song and luckily I found Makin’ with the Magilla on ITunes nearly a year ago on a CD with Little Eva and other popular Girl Groups from the 1960’s.

  • On YOGI’S ARK LARK, Walker Edmiston did the voice of Squiddly. Messick took it over on YOGI’S GANG.

  • The song “Squiddly” appears on a CD of 60’s Garage Rock on the Zone 66 label called ‘Destination Frantic, Volume 2’. I am a Deejay for a non-commercial radio station in Austin, Texas. Although I play a wide variety of music from the past I do play a lot of
    Garage/Surf/Psych Rock. On the CD the band is listed as ‘The H-B Singers’ and not ‘The Hanna-Barbera Singers’. Guess they didn’t want the audience to know who it really was! Sounds like the copy it was lifted from was fairly whipped. The label is out of Australia so it’s interesting that someone down there got their hands on a copy.

  • Here’s a idea for a storyline for a Squiddily Diddly in Surfing Surfari

    Side One: Squiddly (Paul Frees) decides to venture out of Bubbleland Marine Park one sunny summer morning and noticed a man in a frantic state, it was the manager of the Surf Rock band called The Surfkatters,(Mel Blanc or John Stephenson) it seems that their drummer Rocco Bonzai had a mishap while surfing and couldn’t play the drums before a performance on a TV dance show So he ask Squiddily if he played the drum and Squiddly said Yes. The other Surfkattters (Howard Morris,Don Messick, Allen Melvin & Paul Frees) along with their back up singers The Mermaids (June Foray,Janet Waldo and Jean Vander Pyl) looks a Squddliy saying “Man where did Shep got this cat??” While the lead guitarist and singer Roddy sez “Don’t care where he came from as long as he plays good” to the band’s surprise Squiddly not only played the drums but doubled on the Trumpet and Tenor and Baritone Saxophone during the performance making them a hit!

    Side Two: Squiddly becomes a superstar along with the group and tours with them. But Chief Winchley (while watching the TV) discovers Squiddly preforming with the Surfkatters and their backup group The Mermaid and demanded Squiddly to return to Bubbleland. A sad Squiddlity said goodbye to his musical friend before returning to Bubbleland. A few week later Squiddily was playing around with a drum set and guitar when several seals, sea loins, sea otters, a bottle nose dolphin and a walrus was wondering what’s going on. So Squiddly told them the adventures that he was a part of a Surf Rock band. So the other sea critters persuaded Squiddly to form a musical group at Bubbleland with them at around the same time The Surfkatters and their backup group The Mermaids decided to pay a visit to their Ol pal Squiddily and discovers Squiddlity’s new sea creature band! So The manager asked Chief Winchley if they could use Bubbleland for a one time concert performance along having it televised on international TV and make a record of it featuring Squiddly and his band preforming with them. Chief Winchley agreed to it and Bubbleland had one of the biggest crowds in the park’s history and tons of publicity thanks to Sqiddlity Diddly!
    The End

    • Love it! Excelelnt story idea!

  • ANd like Atom Ant, Hillbilly Bears, and Winsome Witch, t’s the exact same art as the cartoon title cards.

  • Gorgeous illo on that Squiddley cover. I want it!

  • I loved the Supremes singing Dr. Goldfoot!

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