Tunes from Toons

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I spent a lot of time in the car with my sons this past weekend.  My oldest son asked me if I remembered some of the shows he used to watch as a kid.  We began listing the shows he and his brother watched and had many laughs as we remembered specific episodes.  This led to us talking about songs from shows. With every song we recalled, the more I thought about the possibility of it being a topic for a blog.

The picture above may be a little misleading.  The Beatles cartoons all featured a Beatles song.  There were cartoons that were about bands like Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw, Butch Cassidy, The Banana Splits, The Archies, and The Chipmunks.  I am not talking about these cartoons.  This blog is about songs that were featured in cartoons NOT about bands.

The songs I wrote down are all songs that I remember instantly when I think about these cartoons.  They are NOT the theme songs to the cartoons themselves, although many of those theme songs are just awesome.  Some of these songs will stem from cartoons my kids watched, while many will be from toons I watched growing up.

I also want to point out that these songs are NOT from movies.  Almost every Disney film has 2-5 songs that come from them.  Yes, they are animated cartoons, but I am specifically talking about non-movie songs.

Let me start with a classic.  In the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Hillbilly Hare”, an innocent square dance becomes a physical brawl between two brothers (thanks to Bugs).  This scene and song was something my morning show partner and I talked about on the air one day!

My brother grew up watching Animaniacs.  We always laughed that they had a character based on Perry Como, who they called Perry Coma. Anyway, they have a few songs that stand out – one naming all the countries in the world, another naming all the presidents (up to Clinton, if I remember right), and one naming the all the states and their capitals.  I wish I had this song to memorize when I was growing up.

There was a season of Scooby Doo where they would play songs during the “chase scenes”.  There was always one song that stood out for me.  I never knew the name of it until I found it on an album of Scooby Doo songs.  It was called “Tell Me, Tell Me”.  Remember this one?

My boys watched a lot of SpongeBob Squarepants.  There were some episodes that were very funny, and others I found extra annoying.  One song from this show that my boys just loved was “Sweet Victory”, which they performed at the “Bubble Bowl”

They weren’t all “Rock” songs, but the Flintstones certainly had a few that stick out to me.  Hoagy Carmichael (one of the great songwriters of all time) appeared as himself on the show and sang “Yabba Dabba Doo”, there was the Soft Soap jingle, “Listen to the Rockin’ Bird”, and my favorite – The Bedrock Twitch, sung by Rock Roll (or in this clip, Fred).

There are some who would argue that the best song from the Flintstones came from Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, so here is that one.

There was one song from the Jetsons that I always remember.  Judy loves singer Jet Screamer (played by Howie Morris).  Elroy’s secret code gets sent into a song writing contest and becomes his next hit record.  Remember Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah?

An earworm that drove parents everywhere crazy came from the Ren & Stimpy Show.  Time to get Happy Happy with Stinky Wizzleteats…

The Simpson’s has had their share of amazing music in their over 30 years on the air.  There have even been albums of just music from the show.  There is one little gem that I can’t get enough of – and it is only about 45 seconds long.  Homer becomes a Stonecutter and they have their own song!  Yes, I often hit repeat when this comes on the iPod.

Ok, technically, this entire cartoon is a song.  I have to include it on my list, because, well, it’s my list and I love this!  Stan Freberg tells the story of the Three Little Bops with music by Shorty Rogers!

If I had to pick one cartoon that I LOVED watching with my kids, it would be Phineas and Ferb.  If you have never seen the show, its just plain fun with a new song in almost every episode.  Candace is always trying to bust her brothers (Phineas and Ferb – who make the most out of every single day of summer) while Perry (their pet platypus – who is also a secret agent) tries to save the Tri-State area from the evil scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

There are many songs I could pick from (My Undead Mummy and Me, My Nemesis, My Goody Two Shoes Brother, Busted, S.I.M.P – Squirrels In My Pants, and Perry’s Theme), but I will turn to one of their early episodes for my favorite.

In one episode, Flop Starz, they decide to write a hit song.  Their mom explains what a “one hit wonder” is and they are off to write it!  The result – Gitchee Gitchee Goo.  The song itself has been reviewed by critics who have said that the song could have easily been a hit song!

Your turn.  What songs do YOU remember from your favorite cartoon shows?

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Doodles

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I have never been able to draw. I wish I could. I have friends of mine who are very talented and can draw almost anything. I just can’t. I guess that is why growing up, I used a lot of tracing paper – because that was really the only way anything I attempted to draw would come out right. I traced a lot of cartoons and pictures. The minute I had to actually sit and draw something, forget it! I just can’t do it!

I remember in junior high, there was a guy who drew these amazing war planes.

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They didn’t have a pilot in them like the above drawing. He always seemed to draw some sort of angry face at the cone of the front of the plane. They always looked cool. He always reminded me of Dorfman doodling in class in the movie Animal House.

In high school, we had a guy who drew an entire deck of cards. Instead of Old Maid, it was called Old Stoner. The game played like Old Maid, except the matching were all related to drinking or drugs, and the Old Stoner was the card you wanted to avoid. He may or may not have appreciated that this earned him the nick name “Old Stoner” throughout high school. He also drew other band kids – I blogged about it in a post entitled “Mr. Shirley” sometime last year.

Dan Provenmire is one of the co-creators of the fantastic cartoon Phineas and Ferb. He was also the voice of the evil scientist, Dr. Doofenshmirtz on the show. I follow him on Twitter and he often posts his past and present “doodles” on there. He has posted early doodles that were tweaked into the characters on the cartoon, as well as other doodles. Again, it amazes me how talented people are! His “doodles” are far superior to any scribble I could ever attempt.

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Every year, Google holds a contest where kids “doodle” for a chance to be the “Google Doodle”. Google them and you will see that there are some VERY talented kids!!

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Every year, I used to go out to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I would always stop at a booth where this caricature artist was drawing people. I had him draw my sons one year. I would watch him as he looked at them (or whoever he was drawing) and chuckle about whatever he was going to exaggerate. His name was Michael Lofton and he was VERY good! His website is here: http://www.loftonillustrations.com/loftonil.htm

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So what brings about this blog about doodles and drawing? I saw a story this week about a 9 year old kid from England who kept getting in trouble for doodling in class. His parents were cool, though and embraced his love for drawing and enrolled him in some art classes. Here’s where it gets cool – his art teacher loved his doodles so much, he posted them on Instagram. A restaurant owner saw them and liked them so much, he PAID this boy to doodle on one of the walls of his restaurant!

The boy admits that because the wall was so large, he was scared that he wouldn’t be able to fill the entire thing! Once he started, everything flowed and it came out great! The boy’s name is Joe Whale and you can follow him on Instagram by searching for “The Doodle Boy”

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How cool is that?! I gotta give this kid major kudos! He’s a very talented young man! Kudos also need to go out to his parents for encouraging him to continue to do what he loves!

Deep down I know I will NEVER be as talented as some of the great artists I have mentioned here. Every once in a while I will doodle something, but it is usually just a scribble or mess. The best I can do is a doodle of myself that I use when I sign thank you cards at work. I guess I could do that here, too….

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