Web Dreamtime
SiteSearch Google

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Episode 9 - The Outro

A podcast in three parts: Part 1 - Coco has a hot rod. Part 2: The Dharma and Greg connection. Part 3: The indisputable leader of the gang.

"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?"
Leonardo da Vinci -
Def Inventor

This is the Dreamtime podcast - occasional commentary on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour weekly show.

Episode 9 - The Outro

My last podcast was on Theme Time's intro, specifically "the Voice," who does the "Night time in the Big City," lead-in. I'll be coming back to that, ah, "theme," if you will in another podcast, but this week we're looking at the closing credits - the outro of "Theme Time" as read by your announcer, Pierre Mancini.

[Theme Time outro]

Part 1 - Coco has a hot rod

[From Theme Time - "Cars"]

Coco Shinomiya gets a special thanks each week on Theme Time, I suspect because Coco probably had a hand in the design of the Theme Time logo. A Los-Angeles based freelance art director and graphic designer, Coco is also sometimes known as Monster X, usually when she's pulling double duty on the same project.

Barnes & Noble, which is much better at listing full product information than Amazon, has over 100 titles associated with Coco's name; including, in no particular order, albums by Allen Ginsberg, Warren Zevon, Julie London, Connie Francis, and Buck Owens. She's been nominated twice for Grammies for album packaging.

As part of Dylan's posse, Coco did the cover design for Chronicles… and she has a book herself. Coco edited Hot Rods & Custom Cars: a book on hot rod customizing from one of my favorite publishers, Taschen Books.

She shares her home with a guinea pig named Roscoe and two hot rods -- a 32 Ford Tudor Sedan and a 27 T Roadster project… and she enjoys going fast.*

*Photos of Coco with friends and of her car courtesy of Tricia J.

[Dharma & Greg theme]

Part 2: The Dharma and Greg Connection

Eddie Gorodetsky, Debbie Sweeney and Diane Lapson are also named each week on Theme Time's credits. Like Coco, both Sweeney and Lapson are regular members of Dylan's crew: Sweeney and Lapson helped secure music clearances and were named as production managers on No Direction Home. Sweeney also gets a "special thanks" in the credits of the documentary about the making of Masked and Anonymous, Masked and Anonymous Exposed.

Gorodetsky, who's credited as Theme Time's producer, has an interesting bio in the International Movie database. Among his other credits, he's listed as a writer for the "Dharma and Greg" TV series, as well as both producer and supervising producer. In fact, an AP story from 1999 credits Gorodetsky with engineering Dylan's appearance on "Dharma and Greg." Gorodetsky also appeared in Masked and Anonymous, as well as The Aristocrats.

Interestingly, Gorodetsky was also a writer on the Batman animated TV series, a neo-noirish cartoon that could have coined the tag-line of Night time in the Big City. It makes you wonder whether he's the writer behind Theme Time's opening frame.

Part 3: The indisputable leader of the gang

[Fred bomp-bomps]

Oh, excuse me. Forgot you were still there. I was just thinking about the music we hear in the background each week as Pierre recites the credits. As more than one person has noted, it bears a striking resemblance to the theme music from a 1960s cartoon…

[Top Cat theme]

Top Cat
The most effec-tu-al Top Cat
Who's intellectual close friends get to call him T. C.
Providing it's with dignity
Top Cat
The indisputable leader of the gang
He's the boss
He's the VIP
He's a championship
He's the most tip top - Top Cat

Yes he's the chief
He's the king, but above everything
He's the most tip top - Top Cat!

Premiering in 19 and 61, "Top Cat," like its predecessor, "The Flintstones," was based on an earlier sit-com. For "The Flintstones," that was "The Honeymooners," of course, and for "Top Cat," the Phil Silvers' vehicle, "You'll Never Get Rich," also known at various times as "Sgt. Bilko" and "The Phil Silvers' Show."

In fact, the actor who did Top Cat's voice modeled it on Silver's, and the late Maurice Gosfield, who played the sweet Private Duane Doberman on "The Phil Silvers Show" also provided the voice for Benny the Ball in "Top Cat." "Top Cat" was known as "Boss Cat" in the United Kingdom due to a trademark conflict, as there was a brand of cat food with the Top Cat name sold in Great Britain.

Hanna-Barbera's main musical director, Hoyt Curtin, composed the music for "Top Cat," as well as many other popular cartoon theme songs, including those from "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," and "Jonny Quest."

"Hoyt was the king of jingle-making," says Jean MacCurdy, president of Warner Bros. Animation (now Hanna-Barbera's parent company). "His strong suit was coming up with the themes that almost anyone on the street could sing at the drop of a hat. He was really quite remarkable."

This has been Fred Bals with the Dreamtime podcast - occasional commentary on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour weekly show.

Dreamtime is not associated with Studio B, the Abernathy Building, or Sampson's Diner, but I keep looking. Maybe in my dreams.


Do you think Dylan's close friends get to call him B.D.?

No comments: