Back when I was a wee lad, long before cartoons could be seen 24 hours a day on at least a dozen different channels, Saturday was the High Holy Day for cartoon watching. Heck, it was the only day for cartoon watching, outside of the rare Sunday night cartoon on NBC's Wonderful World of Disney.
Despite whining about getting up early for school during the week, by brother and I would dutifully leap out of bed at 6:30 am and plop in front of the TV until mom chased our motionless carcasses off the couch at 10:30 or 11:00. During those extended vegetative states, one of my favorite shows early on was Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? series.
Even as a five or six year old kid, I picked up on how utterly bizarre the show was....but (at least to a little guy), it was a fun kind of bizarre. Where else could you see a gang of teens with no discernible source of income and a semi-talking dog foil so many curmudgeonly crooks...or Shaggy giving a werewolf a haircut...or (in later seasons) low-wattage celebrities like Jonathan Winters, Sonny and Cher, or Phillis Diller showing up and lending a hand?
Oh, sure...in hindsight it was a pretty lousy show, only getting worse as the years wore on (Scooby-Dum and Scrappy Doo...need I say more?), but at the time, that was the show I got up early for....at least until Land of the Lost came along in 1974. Still, despite Scooby's fading popularity, the original opening sequence is still one of the coolest, catchiest, grooviest, kitschiest things around...never failing to transport me right back in front of the TV on a 1970's Saturday morning! Written by David Mook and Ben Raleigh, it was recorded by studio singer Larry Marks (who also performed all of the background vocals) a mere three days before the show's September 13th (1969) premiere! And here it is, nearly 40 years later...