Hoyt Curtin

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Full Name:

Hoyt Curtin

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Hoyt Curtin is best known for his musical work and theme songs for numerous Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. He composed music and theme songs for shows such as “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” “Yogi Bear,” “Smurfs,” “Jonny Quest,” and “Scooby Doo.”

Family and early life

Hoyt Curtin was considered by some to be a prodigy. Raised on a ranch in near San Bernardino, California, with his father, owner of an insurance agency and deputy assessor of San Bernardino County, Curtin began playing the piano at the age of five, and he was composing music by the time he was in sixth grade. At the age of twelve, Curtin was awarded a prize for his singing at a local movie theater’s talent contest (SpaceAgePop). Curtin played with the bands and jazz ensembles in high school, and he even formed his own orchestra during his freshman year (Milt).

Career outline

Hoyt Curtin aimed to write musical scores for movies, but when he was unable to find work with movie studios, he ended up writing jingles for television and radio advertisements. He was noticed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera after recording a song for a beer commercial that they had produced. Hanna and Barbera then contacted Curtin to write a theme for their cartoon “Ruff and Ready” (SpaceAgePop).  “Ruff and Ready” was Curtin’s first collaboration with Hanna and Barbera. After that, Curtin went on to compose nearly all the themes and music for Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The last music he wrote for a Hanna-Barbera cartoon was for Smurfs (1981), and he retired in 1992.

Personal style

Jean MacCurdy, president of Warner Bros. Animation, recalls that “Hoyt was the king of jingle-making,” “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” (Woo)


Curtin was largely inspired by jazz music, as can be heard in his theme song for “The Flintstones,” which Curtin described as “a catchy little tune; Just a simple thing arranged for jazz and singers.” (Juddery)  He also wrote rock and pop influenced music for shows such as “The Cattanooga Cats,” “Josie and the Pussycats,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids,” and “The Partridge Family, 2200.” (Juddery)

Honors and awards

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 2000




  • Woo, Elaine. “Hoyt Curtin; Composer of Cartoon Music.” 27 December 2005. The Curtin Clan Association Genealogical Centre. – http://www.curtin.org/hoyt.html

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