Hoyt Curtain’s compositional process

Hoyt Curtin (1922-2000) was the primary composer for the Hanna Barbara studios. Popular theme songs he composed include The Flintstones, Top Cat, The Jetsons, Johnny Quest, Superfriends, Josie and the Pussycats, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and The Smurfs.  Of these, his favourite was The Flintsones, “I guess because it is a kick to hear musicians jamming it”. (1)

Curtin’s first collobaration with Hanna and Barbara gives an insight into his compositional process.  They were producing a beer commercial in 1957:

About two weeks later they called and had a lyric they read over the phone. Could I write a tune for it? I called back in 5 minutes and sang it to them … silence … uh oh, I bombed out … the next thing I heard was a deal to record it! Ruff & Reddy. At that moment they had quit at MGM and started their own company. All of our first main titles were done in that fashion. Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, etc.(2)

(1) Hoyt Curtin, in an interview with Gary Karpinski, 1999: http://www.classicjq.com/info/HoytCurtinInterview.shtml. Accessed 11 April 2011.
(2) Ibid.