Wednesday 29 April 2009


I vividly remember the launch on British television of Hanna-Barbera's The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1961.

Huck was a fantastic character. A laid-back blue dog with a southern drawl and a penchant for singing "Oh, My Darlin' Clementine", Huck could be anything he wanted to be: caveman, gladiator, knight-in-armour, cowboy, farmer, fireman, taxi-driver, police officer, rocket scientist. Whatever the job - historic or contemporary - Huck would try his hand - I mean, paw!

I can still recall spending hours - probably days if I'm honest - filling a sketch pad with drawings of Huck and his animated repertory company of players: Yogi and Boo Boo Bear (and the long-suffering "Mr Ranger, Sir") as well as Pixie, Dixie and Mr Jinks.

"That's not going to help you get a job!" grumbled my Mum (aware that I was neglecting my math homework) and do you know what? She was right!

But I was unrepentant! I cut out and wore my Kellogg's Corn Flake box Huckleberry Hound mask (right), my love for H&B's animated stars undimmed by parental disapproval!

Of course, even then, I knew that the animation wasn't a patch on the stuff done by Disney - the films of Uncle Walt & Co were transcendent - but, unlike the Disney product, it were 'on the box' and pretty much every week.

After Huck Hound, came the meteoric rise of his co-star, Yogi Bear who (like Donald Duck with Mickey Mouse) eclipsed in popularity the founding father of the group, then there was Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, Touche Turtle, Augie Doggie (and Doggie Daddy), Top Cat (later re-named Boss Cat) and a host of others not forgetting, of course, The Flintstones.

Like Disney, H&B started their own record label and began issuing albums telling stories that were already well known through rather more famous Disney versions!

Cheeky, perhaps, but irresistible and - putting charges of plagiarism on one side - what wouldn't one give, today, to listen to any of the following...?

Click on images to enlarge

And I'm still rummaging through boxes of LPs in charity shops, hoping against hope to find a rogue (unscratched) copy of this undoubted masterpiece...

If you happen to spot one you will let me know, won't you?


SharonM said...

That brought memories flooding back. I used to love watching Huckleberry Hound, Pixie Dixie and Mr Jinks (I hate those mieces to pieces), Top Cat Bennie and Officer Dibble and that Smarter than the Average Bear, Yogi and his adorable sidekick BooBoo.

Hope you find that record!

Phil said...

I was tending towards disbelief, but through the power of Google I discover that Chicago Public Library has a copy of the Fred & Barney Sing Mary P LP.

And although some of the magic of vinyl will be lost, there is a link to a downloadable version of the LP here:

I downloaded it, and it works!

(Thinks...maybe this is where you found the images in the first place.)

recke: carrying out reconnaissance on a website before risking a perilous download.

Brian Sibley said...

LISAH - Of course, the combats between Mr Jinks and Pixie & Dixie didn't have the subtlety of animation that H&B had demonstrated in their early 'Tom & Jerry' cartoons, but the same anarchic energy was there. And how we loved Yogi snaffling all those 'pick-er-nick baskets'!

PHIL - Thanks to you (and Good Dog who e-mailed me the same link) I'm now listening to those songs. And... well... I think I can tell why this version isn't quite as well known as the one featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke et al. Bags of period 'charm' though! Thanks, guys...

Arts and Crafts said...

In Spain, the spanish voices of Mr Jinks and Pixie and Dixie had different accents, Mr Jinks was speaking with an andalusian accent,of Seville or other city of Andalucía, Pixie had cuban accent and Dixie mexican accent... but I never knew the reason of this curious dubbing of voices.

Brian Sibley said...

Fascinating! There was no racial stereotyping in the versions we had - apart from the standard cat and mouse depictions, of course!

Good Dog said...

They didn't have the energy of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons - or the frantic violence - but TC and the gang, and Yogi and Boo Boo were great, great fun. And watching Hanna-Barbera's output was far better than what the kiddies seem to be getting today with Tellytubbies (if they're still going) and whatever craziness they keep advertising for CBBC.

I have to admit, when BBC2 recently showed the wonderful Yellowstone documentary series, come the end of the first episode and the brief shot of the bear coming out of hibernation, I said to himself, "Here comes Yogi, out to snack the picnic baskets!" I was quite disappointed that the voice over failed to mention that.

SharonM said...

Ahh, the 'Freds' - I don't think I was ever more horrified than when Tom and Jerry received a makeover that removed all the cuteness and enjoyment from the characters.

Fred Quimby ruled!

Diva of Deception said...

I loved Huck, and Yogi and Boo Boo. Anyone remember the TV Comic which had Huck as it's cover cartoon story?

And Snagglepuss seemed to be a rare treat, not seen so often on screen but always remember his immortal cry of: 'Exit - stage left!' or was it stage right, I remember so well! :)

Brian Sibley said...

Sometimes with added parentheses, as in: "Exit - laughing all the way! - stage RIGHT!" Or left! According to Wikipedia it was either - even, sometimes, "Up" or "Down", though I can't say I remember his making those particular exits!

JunkCollector said...

I have a copy of the Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble sing songs from Mary Poppins, also the golden Cartoos in song. Both are pretty worn.