Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Archie, Betty and Veronica get tied up in nuptial knots through the magic of “sound animation.”
THE FLINTSTONES STORY
Meet The Flintstones in The First Authorized Biography of
The Modern Stone-Age Family
Kid Rhino Records R4-71627 (Audio Cassette Only with Folio / Mono)
Released in 1994. Executive Producers: Richard Foos, Robin Frederick. Producer/Director/Writer: Earl Kress. Music: Hoyt Curtin. Engineering/Mixing: Larry Gonhue. Mastering: Bob Fisher. Art Director: Geoff Gans. Design: Wendy Sherman, Beth Escott. Cover Illustration: Scott Shaw! Other Illustrations: Hanna-Barbera Studios. Assistant to the Producer: Sharon Mack. Special Thanks: Fred Siebert, Tom Barreca. Running Time: 40 minutes.
Voices: Henry Corden (Fred Flintstone); Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma Flintstone, Nurse Crag); Frank Welker (Barney Rubble); B.J. Ward (Betty Rubble); Earl Kress (Harvey Limbroot, Sportscaster, Mr. Stonyface, Doctor, Policeman), Cheryl Chase (L’il Wilma, Linda Limbroot), Sharon Mack (Shelly Shale, Candy Rock), The Randy Van Horne Singers.
Song: “Meet the Flintstones” by Hoyt Curtin, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera.
Earl Kress (1951-2011) probably did more to bring the music and audio of Hanna-Barbera–commercially and officially–to the public than anyone else in the nineties. Under the supervision and support of Fred Seibert, who remembers Earl here, Earl restored and compiled hours of H-B music and songs, most for the first time. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the Hanna-Barbera legacy, as well as writing cartoons for the H-B and other studios including Disney and DePatie-Freleng. He was also instrumental in bonus features for Hanna-Barbera DVD collections.
The albums Earl produced for Rhino included The Flintstones: Modern Stone Age Melodies, Hanna-Barbera Classics, Volume 1 and Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Sound FX. The grand and glorious Hanna-Barbera’s Pic-a-Nic Basket 5-disc box set included these discs and was the only way to get Hanna-Barbera Classics, Volume 2. You can hear Earl tell his story, along with hours of Hanna-Barbera history with such veterans as Mark Evanier, Willie Ito, Jerry Eisenberg, Janet Waldo, June Foray and even Doug Young through the Stu’s Show Archives.
Earl also wrote, produced, directed and performed voices in an original production for Rhino Records that was only released on audio cassette. The Flintstones Story recreates moments from the lives of the modern stone-age family through sequences adapted from series scripts and original sections that could have taken place during the ABC primetime run.
The Flintstones Story offers a humorous explanation of how Bedrock got its name worthy of early H-B writer and pun master Charles Shows; plus sequences about the meeting of Wilma and Betty as youngsters, Fred and Barney in school, and the circumstances surrounding the Flintstone and Rubble marriages.
Kress adapted “Bachelor Daze” by Ralph Goodman and Herbert Finn, in which the foursome work at a posh resort pretending to be affluent;“Dress Rehearsal” a.k.a. “The Blessed Event” by Harvey Bullock and R.S. Allen; describing the circumstances surrounding Pebbles’ birth, and the final Flintstones episode about Grandpa Flintstone, “The Story of Rocky’s Raiders” by Joanna Lee.
ARCHIE in WILL YOU MARRY ME?
The Archie Wedding
Graphic Audio Entertainment ISBN 978-164881-821-9 (Compact mp3 Disc or Download / Stereo)
Released in 2021. Executive Producer: Anji Cornette. Producers: Richard Rohan, Duane Beeman and Matt Webb. Writer/Director: Scott McCormick, Adapted from the 2010 Archie Graphic Novel by Michael Uslan and Stan Goldberg. Original Score: Robert McDonald, Grayson Holland. Theme Music: David Zitney. Sound Design/Dialogue Editing: Robert McDonald. Running Time: 168 minutes.
Cast: Scott McCormick (Narrator); Robb Moreira (Archie); Laura C. Harris (Veronica); Triya Leong (Betty); Alejandro Ruiz (Jughead): Joel David Santner (Reggie); Rob McFadyen (Moose); Tania Milojevic (Midge); Matthew Schleigh (Dilton); Jillian Levine-Sisson (Ethel); Debi Tinsley (Nancy); Torian Brackett (Chuck); Steven Carpenter (Mr. Lodge); Richard Rohan (Fred Andrews); Nanette Savard (Mary Andrews); Katherine Aselford (Miss Grundy); Terence Aselford (Mr. Weatherbee).
Additional Voices: Katie Leigh, Rose Elizabeth Supan, Mort Shelby, Christopher Walker, Holly Adams, Colleen Delaney, Duyen Washington, Eric Messner, Yasmin Tuazon, Carolyn Kashner, Bill Gillette, Bradley Foster Smith, Henry W. Kramer, Nazia Chaudhry, Andy Brownstein, Michael Glenn, Nora Achrati, Dylan Lynch.
There have been numerous Calendar/Kirshner pop albums by The Archies which we talked about on this Spin, this one and this one. There was also the Peter Pan U.S. of Archie dialogue soundtrack LP; a Tifton story and song “studio cast” disc; and a Kenner solo EP with Dal McKennon. However, with the exception of transcriptions of The Adventures of Archie Andrews radio sitcom (1943-1953), never before has the entire Archie gang been presented in such an extended narrative and dramatic form.
There is plenty of comedy in “Will You Marry Me?” as adapted from an Archie comic novel, but the overall effect is more reminiscent of Life With Archie or Archie at Riverdale High magazines than Archie’s T.V. Laugh-Out or Reggie’s “Wise Guy” Jokes.
This is a cast of seasoned professionals, not trying to do imitations or a lot of “character-y” voices. One animation veteran that immediately stands out on the cast list is Katie Leigh in the supporting cast. Leigh voiced a countless number of cartoons, recordings and radio programs including Sunny Gummi on Disney’s Adventures of The Gummi Bears (subject of this Spin) and Connie Kendall on Adventures in Odyssey, one of the longest-running radio programs in history, playing opposite such notables as Hal Smith, Dave Madden, Walker Edmiston, Janet Waldo, Alan Young and to this day, Will Ryan, with whom she does a weekly podcast called Tell Ya Later.
There is a little science fiction in this story as well, which was expanded into quantum level in the new editions of Life With Archie: The Married Years. Archie travels down “Memory Lane” and finds himself getting married to Veronica in one direction and Betty in another.
For those who like the idea of Archie and friends in dramatized audio, particularly the more “serious” and “edgy” Archie, it seems like this is a long-range plan. For older ages, there is another dramatic adaptation available from Graphic Audio based on a very different Archie graphic novel series. Vampironica, Volume One is a gruesome horror suspense story with a dash of comic wit that is a complete story despite the title (the first comic was popular enough to inspire a second graphic novel).
Vampironica is not for the kidlets, folks (the box says 13+). Keep in mind that it’s gory and scary stuff, not the typical Archie. Our Aunt Gertrude would scold Archie, his pals and gals as “potty mouths,” so don’t play it for her or anyone impressionable or too “saahns-si-tive” (to quote A-Lad-In His Lamp).
Graphic Audio seems to be planning more titles. Appearing this week is Archie, Volume One, to be followed by Archie, Volume 2 next month. These are the stories that made headlines with the “realistic” Archie designs.
Those familiar with the kind of drama and wry comedy that BBC Radio continues to present in new programming on BBC Radio 4 and from over the decades on BBC Radio 4 Extra; The Twilight Zone radio adaptations by Carl Amari and Falcon Picture Group; or the Dark Shadows audio productions and other titles from Big Finish, the style might feel similar. There is comedy, but mostly drama. If that continues to be the seriocomic format, it would be great if they looked into the Bob Bolling Little Archie adventures, the vintage Life with Archie, Pureheart the Powerful or The Man from A.R.C.H.I.E.