Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cartoons and Comics: Huckleberry Hound

purchase [Easy Rider]

Hanna-Barbera literally dominated the American cartoon market  during the 60s with a slate of the most popular shows, including (to name just a few) The Jetsons (which see), Tom and Jerry, and Huckleberry Hound.

It should be no surprise that mention of some of these characters crops up in popular culture - in all sorts of creative endeavors, including music.
Before Pearl, Janis Joplin appeared with backing band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Their first album, while it gave indication of what might come next (Cheap Thrills), wasn't a major success. All the same, with 20/20 hind sight, you can sense what was on the horizon, and Joplin's voice is right there alright.

Easy Rider, written by guitarist James Hurley, fits our bill for this theme - if just barely: his lyrics include the line
..he watches Huckleberry Hound on his TV ...
Thinks I: Who didn't?

For most of us the obvious reference to Easy Rider is most likely the Dennis Hopper/Peter Fonda film. Which came out in 69 - three years after Hurley penned this song. (Among other similar titles is Jimi's Ezy Rider on Cry of Love)
But it's probably no surprise to you that the term Easy Rider goes back a ways in (American music)history - as a reference either to someone who rides through life kinda easy like, morals and so on, man or woman. There is suggestion that the phrase is also linked to CC (or See See) Rider, and that those two letters are also linked to all sorts of Americana that might interest you to research, not unlike Huckleberry itself.

A closer look at the complete lyrics and a sense of the 60s/hippies would suggest that the easy rider of this song is the guy who has an rather accommodating hippie girlfriend:
Well, I got a girl with a diamond ring,
I'll tell you, boys, she knows how to shake that thing.
Oh! Easy rider don't you deny my name

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