A version of ''Meet the Flintstones'' released in 1961 was sung by the cast and had wildly different lyrics
“Meet the Rubbles!” and have a “Scooba-dooba-doo time!”
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Image: Golden Records
When The Flintstones started airing in 1960, it was aimed at an adult audience. It was the first animated show to air in a primetime evening slot. Heavily inspired by another sitcom about a sarcastic couple and their neighbor friends, The Honeymooners, it was even sponsored by Winston cigarettes in the early years.
But that doesn’t mean it was only for grownups. Anyone who grew up in the 1960s can attest that the adventures of Fred, Wilma and the rest appealed to all ages. There was even a direct attempt at marketing to kids, two years before Pebbles was born and merchandising really took off!
In 1961, Golden Records released a children’s album titled Songs of the Flintstones featuring eight tracks with names like "Dino the Dino" and "Bowling Alley Blues." The first song, however, is instantly recognizable.
It's an early version of the tune that would become the famous theme from the show. Only this "Meet the Flintstones" was sung by the cast and featured different verses!
"Hello, Fred and Wilma, they're a couple just like you and me," the first verse begins. The next verse mentions Dino and another sings "Rubbles! Meet the Rubbles! That’s the other stone age fam-i-ly!" It ends with Barney singing "Have a scooba-dooba-doo time" instead of Fred’s famous catchphrase. Is that a Hanna-Barbera precursor to Scooby-Doo?
The music was written by frequent Hanna-Barbera composer Hoyt Curtin and performed by Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl, Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet –—Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty, respectively. Remember, in 1961, "Rise and Shine" was still the opening theme to the Flintstones show. "Meet the Flintstones" would not be introduced until season three, in 1962.
A long timpani solo midway through "Meet the Flintstones" may be the biggest difference between this earlier version and the one later used at the beginning of each episode. If only that had been in the show!
You can listen to it here.