Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

The other day I was listening to a soundtrack from a Road Runner/Coyote cartoon. It was composed by Carl Stalling, who happens to have had two discs released of his collection of Warner Bothers music. There were tracks from a Speedy Gonzales cartoon, a couple of Bugs Bunny ones, as well as other incidental music he composed for other ones. I looked at one of the dates in the liner notes and stopped reading for a moment.

It said the Road Runner cartoon 'Zoom and Bored' was composed in 1957. That was exactly 50 years ago! And then it occurred to me how long Bugs and the rest of the Warner Bothers cartoons have been entertaining people... Since 1940. Coming a close second would be another show called The Flintstones. It was created in 1960 and lasted until 1966. It ran in reruns seemingly forever. For as long as I can remember, The Flintstones was always at noon on CFRN. I remember watching it with Uncle Les at Grandma's house. I recall what CFRN went through when they decided they needed the time slot for other programming. They ran a Flintstones marathon that started Friday evening and went until Saturday morning. They played the most popular episodes and I recorded a few for posterity. (C'mon, Samantha from Bewitched was on one of the shows! And what about Ann-Margrock - I mean, Ann-Margret?) I taped some of the episodes and until recently, still had that video tape.

Sidenote: Yes, I tend to collect things, but these are things that need to be preserved. Thankfully computers have made that a lot easier. I have over 250 CDs of cartoons, shows, and music archived. (No, that does not include porn, these are all regular broadcast shows)

It occurred to me that the soundtracks of Warner Brothers cartoons were always recognizable to me. They were around for such a long time that I bet everyone can recognize snippets of the music if tested. Or recognize bits of The Flintstones soundtrack. And then I thought... are Bug Bunny cartoons still airing? I suppose specialty channels like Boomerang or Cartoon Network probably have them somewhere in their lineup... I would hope they do anyway.

But the point of this post was to highlight the awesome greatness inherent in some of these pieces of music. Soundtrack composers are a very talented group of musicians. I should know... For years I've collected soundtracks and noticed the music used in TV shows. The only soundtrack that has managed to elude me so far are the groovy tracks they laid down for the 60's cartoon version of Spider-Man. You know, the same show everyone knows the words of the main theme... 'Spider-Man, Spider-Man... Does whatever a spider can?' Now that was some really good music! The action music... the groovy jazz... yeah, it was sweetness! :-)

Hmmm... think I better try another search... I know that soundtrack exists, but it's very, very, very rare. I've got some work ahead of me, so have a great day!

Soundtracks listened to while writing this entry:

The Carl Stalling Project - Music from various WB cartoons
The Official Battle of the Planets Soundtrack
The Soundtrack and Underscore from The Flintstones and The Jetsons
Music from Justice League Unlimited
Teen Titans and Brady Kids main themes
The soundtrack from thirtysomething
Stealing the Enterprise from Star Trek III
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