Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Fred, Hoagy, and Barry

My favorite cartoon of all-time, hands down (sorry Superman) is The Flintstones. Second would be Jonny Quest.

One of the early episodes of The Flintstones (season opener, season two, September 15, 1961) featured  Hoagy Carmichael,  composer, singer, self-taught pianist, and actor who wrote several of the most highly regarded popular standards in American music.

In the episode, Fred decides to take Barney’s poems and pay someone to put them to music. Fred just assumes it’ll be a hit and they’ll be rich. At Rockwell Music Publishers they run into someone else they believe to be another get-rich quick hopeful who is really Carmichael (the first celebrity to voice themselves on The Flintstones).

The songwriters help our heroes and adapts their words to music, and introduces the new composition at the Pilton Hotel.

A member of the Songbook Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Carmichael wrote a slew of ‘wunnerful’ standards, the most famous being “Stardust” from 1928. Carmichael’s inspiration came from a moonlit walk where he thought about old flames.

Segue to Barry Manilow. Mom liked him, a lot. My feelings about Manilow require a bit more explanation.

Those early, syrupy, schmaltzy songs like “Mandy” I can do without. Up-tempo Manilow? Much better.

An as much fun as I poke at Manilow I’ve admitted the son of a gun always does a great and reverent job on old classics.

In 1987 he expressed a desire to record a “techno-swing album.” The result was “Swing Street,” not his most popular LP, but it still went Gold. The lite jazz band “Uncle Festive” assists.

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