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Hoyt Curtin, Legendary Composer, Dead At 78

(December 7, 2000 - Burbank, CA) – Hoyt Curtin, the composer of some of the world’s best-loved cartoon music, died Sunday, December 3 at the age of 78. A native of Los Angeles and life-long musician, Curtin enjoyed a decades-long association with animation legends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, during which he composed theme songs and episodic scores for virtually all of the Hanna-Barbera shows including: “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” “Banana Splits,” “Captain Caveman and Teen Angels,” “Huckleberry Hound,” “Josie & The Pussycats,” “Jonny Quest,” “Quick Draw McGraw,” “Space Ghost,” “Top Cat,” “Wacky Races,” “Wally Gator” and “Yogi Bear.” His last project with Hanna-Barbera was composing the main title and classically themed score for “The Smurfs.” During his lengthy career, Curtin composed hundreds of song titles. Curtin first met Hanna and Barbera at MGM in 1957, where he was recording music he had written for a national commercial that the duo was producing. After the success of their initial collaboration, Hanna and Barbera asked Curtin to compose music for lyrics they had written for the title song to their first animated television series, “Ruff and Reddy.” Over the next three decades, the trio worked in the same way--Hanna and Barbera would write lyrics and then give them to Hoyt so he could write the accompanying music. The trio stayed closed until the end of Curtin’s life. Joe Barbera said, “Few people will ever have the chance to work with a true genius--all of us at Hanna-Barbera who worked with Hoyt are among those few. I hope he is still writing sweet music wherever he is.” “Hoyt never failed to create a distinctive musical theme, perfectly capturing the feeling of every show he worked on,” said Jean MacCurdy, President, Warner Bros. Animation. “He helped set the standard for all musicians working in animation and his contributions to the field will be remembered and enjoyed by people of all ages for many years to come.” Curtin is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Danielle, and their three children. A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 9th at Valley Oaks Memorial Park and Mortuary in Westlake Village at 1:00 p.m.
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