The Genius of Hoyt Curtin

I often think back and wonder why I like certain things, and then I realize it was an influence from my early childhood. Most of that was spent in the early 1960s, a period I still love till this day. It was the dawn of the Beatles, Surf Music, James Bond movies, Clint Eastwood Westerns a lot of things I still like. And one of the things I loved back then was Jonny Quest. The jazz music in that show was so amazing, it had a huge influence on my musical tastes since. I think it may be why I am drawn to swing jazz with that big brassy sound that was used in so many things back then.

The man behind the Hanna-Barbara themes back then was named Hoyt Curtin. He wrote the theme to the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Space Ghost and most of all Jonny Quest. Here are the main title credits. I can listen to this over and over again and I have. It and the ending credit music is simply phenomenal. But I didn’t know until I came across the above clip that the incredible trombone sequence in that song was done as a joke. Amazing.

Here is the top three most popular episodes of Jonny Quest. A show I saw when it debuted and watched over and over again well into my teens. My sisters will attest to that because it really annoyed them. But I think that show had a big influence on my writing. I loved the international locations, colorful characters and adventure stories.

The shows back then promoted science and learning and made you want to think about new and interesting ideas. Today it’s all about idiots and their stupid behavior.

I hear Warner Brothers wants to make a Jonny Quest movie starring Zac Efron and the Rock. No comment.

Anyway, Hoyt Curtin was an amazing jazz composer who should have been one of the giants of Jazz in my opinion. His work is incredible.

Here’s an interview I found with him.


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  1. Yeah, I was never a fan of HB except for that year they did Jonny Quest and a dfrew other shows I liked at the time. But there was a lot of things they did that annoyed me. Mu main ionterest in them was their music and that was great.

  2. Just got the box sets for Johnny Quest Birdman/Galaxy Trio and Space Ghost/Dino Boy.
    HOLY S**T.
    This stuff is pretty much museum quality pop art. It’s hard to believe such genius existed and could be folnd on tv.
    The aesthetics of the visulas and animation and richnesss of the writing and of course the music…magical.
    I teach animation at a university and I refrain from showing this stuff to save my self the head ache. None of my students have enough soul to get the ceativity of these modern masterpieces.
    Oh well…
    I enjoy the work no less though.
    Hoty Curtin rocks on.

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