Hoyt Curtin

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Hoyt Curtin
Hoyt Curtin.png
Born Hoyt Stoddard Curtin
September 9, 1922
Downey, California
Died December 3, 2000
Thousand Oaks, California
Nationality American
Occupation(s) Composer
Music producer
Musical director
Crew credits Various Hanna-Barbera series until 1986
Years active at Hanna-Barbera 1957-1986

Hoyt Stoddard Curtin (September 9, 1922 – December 3, 2000) was an American composer, music producer, and the primary musical director for the Hanna-Barbera animation production company.

He composed most of the music at Hanna-Barbera, ranging from incidental music to theme songs. He served as the primary musical director from the studio's beginnings with The Ruff & Reddy Show in 1957 until 1986, except from 1965 to 1972, when the primary music director was Ted Nichols.[1][2]

Curtin died on December 3, 2000 at the age of 78.


Curtin grew up in San Bernadino, California, and was the son of father who ran an insurance agency and served as the deputy assessor for the San Bernadino County. He took piano lessons at the age of 5 and won a prize for singing at a local house's talent show between the ages of 11 or 12. By his ninth grade, he worked professionally and played in jazz bands throughout high school.[1][3]

Deciding to become a composer, he begun his major at the University of Southern California, where he obtained a master's degree after serving the US Navy during World War II.[1][3] In the 1950s, Curtin was an in-demand composer for TV commercials. He first met William Hanna and Joseph Barbera when he worked on a Schlitz beer commercial they were producing for MGM in 1957.

"About two weeks later they called and had a lyric they read over the phone. Could I write a tune for it? I called back in 5 minutes and sang it to them ... silence ... uh oh, I bombed out ... the next thing I heard was a deal to record it! Ruff & Reddy. At that moment they had quit at MGM and started their own company. All of our first main titles were done in that fashion. Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, etc."[4]

Starting in 1957, he was the composer of many popular theme songs for Hanna-Barbera's cartoons, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Yogi Bear Show, Top Cat, Jonny Quest, Super Friends, Josie and the Pussycats, The Smurfs, and The New Scooby-Doo Movies and all its spinoffs until 1986. Beginning in 1960, Curtin also composed incidental music for various Hanna-Barbera series.


Other credits

Curtin also composed for two of the background tunes heard in the 1959 Ed Wood film, Plan 9 from Outer Space, although he was deeply embarrassed by the film's poor quality.


  1. ^ a b c Woo, Elaine (December 11, 2000). "Hoyt Curtin; Composer of Cartoon Music". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2023.
  2. ^ Doll, Pancho (June 2, 1994). "REEL LIFE / FILM & VIDEO FILE : Music Helped 'Flintstones' on Way to Fame". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2023.
  3. ^ a b https://www.spaceagepop.com/curtin.htm
  4. ^ Gary Karpinski - email interview with Hoyt Curtin, 1999. Retrieved December 9, 2023.