To honour the legacy of Joe Barbera who died a few weeks ago, Thursday Theme Songs for the month of January will focus on the work of Hanna-Barbera. This week we will look at one of the greatest shows in television history:
The Flintstones ran for six seasons from 1960-1966 on ABC and is the first animated television show made for prime time. The sitcom gained the record for longest running animated series which wasn't broken until 1997 by The Simpsons. The stories of Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their neighbours, Barney and Betty Rubble, gained huge popularity with kids and adults alike.
Many of the stories dealt with Fred and/or Barney trying to make ends meet with get-rich-quick schemes or find that it's not easy to keep their marriage together. The show even touched on issues not often seen in cartoons of that era, such as Wilma's pregnancy and Barney's infertility.
By the sixth season it was apparent that more kids than adults were watching The Flintstones and so a few new characters were added that greatly took away from the 'sitcom' feel of the show. The Gruesomes, a monster-like couple resembling the Addams Family or the Munsters, moved next door and a little green alien that only Fred could see, called that Great Gazoo, appeared to help Fred through his adventures. Many fans consider the appearance of the Great Gazoo as the moment the Flintstones jumped the shark.
Many spin-offs were made throughout the 70s and 80s including one where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are grown up, one about baby Flintstone kids and even one where Fred and barney meet the Fantastic Four's The Thing! All of these shows failed to capture the popularity of the original show and were just marketing grabs put out by Hanna-Barbera.
The theme song to the Flintstones is probably one of the most recognizable themes in TV history.
Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family.
The lyrics were penned by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera and the music was written by Hanna-Barbera's music master, Hoyt Curtin.
But did you know? The 'Meet the Flintstones' theme was written for a Golden Book Record and was not used on the show until its third season! A instrumental song called 'Rise and Shine', also written by Hoyt Curtin, was the original theme and this is the one that I am sharing with you today. Enjoy!