August 24, 2001

Daws

Hi Bri,

am looking forward to your lead sheet.

Daws' choice in many productions in which he was involved was to remain unbilled. This is because of his loyalty and friendship with Mr. "B", in fact Joe has a letter from Daws in this regard stating he knew where his bread was buttered.

Inside the animation community Daws enjoyed the admiration of everyone Including Mel Blanc who said: Daws is my only competition. But it was with the fans of the cartoons and therefore the fans of Daws where he experienced the most joy.

It would be nice if you have a mind to to e-mail Joe and tell him you enjoyed his work. After Bill's passing he could use a little cheering. oh, and tell a friend.

A-Dios

Greg

Greg: I'm sorry you had trouble getting through to me. Since your original email was dated 8/8, I'm sure that you tried to send this several times, before it finally went through. The Delivery Failure Notice mentioned that there were 2 messages, but I only read one. Hopefully that was just an error and there was only one.

I sent you an attachment of Daws' Song.......I'm not sure that you ever rec'd it, given your email that I got today. Anyway, we have now put it on the web page. Just go to the Walter Tetley Web Page and click on Daws's Song and it will be there.

Greg Jones, my partner is thinking about revamping the site selections in the left margin, however (possibly placing everything into a Table of Contents). Depending on when you check it out, there may be the Table of Contents, rather than simply the title Daws' Song, and you would have to look it up.

There are a few things, here and there, in the "song", where I have had to take ARTISTIC LICENSE. When you have to make something rhyme and also have to keep your lines within a reasonably similar amount of syllables, you can't always say things exactly the way you want.

So I want you to understand that, when I wrote, "went to Warner Brothers and battled Mel Blanc", I did not really mean that there was a feud between them..........I meant that Daws went to try to break into cartoons, there, and he was told by many: "Why bother?..........Mel Blanc does everything." For that line, the easiest way to say, what I wanted, and keep the syllables right, was to word it just like that (you will notice that some of my lines have varying numbers of syllables-----I just did the very best I could, as a lyricist..........I don't write poems or songs very often).

Just about all of the things, that I wrote in the song, are based on things that Daws told me in his taped letter. For this song/poem, I tried to include at least a few things, that I had not mentioned before, in the Tribute to Daws Butler (under Daws Butler's Corner) and also in Showcasing Daws' Talent. I felt that Daws' Song would be more interesting with some new, different information.

You mention some very interesting things about Mel Blanc and Daws in your email. About Daws electing to not receive any credit for much of his work "outside of" Hanna-Barbera........I had read a little bit about that, in Keith Scott's The Moose That Roared. Scott did not explain it quite the way that you did, however.

Scott said that the main problem was that there were competing sponsors (the commercials) on Jay Ward and Hanna-Barbera cartoons. I think he said that there were different kids' cereal companies sponsoring those different shows (Jay Ward was using General Mills; I don't know what H-B was using).

Scott said that there could have been a lot of problems if Daws was credited for doing voices on cartoons where competing cereal sponsors were doing commercials for these different shows. In 2001 I imagine that there would be no problem at all, for a voice actor to receive credit like this. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, however, I am sure that it was a whole different ball of wax.

I am glad that you told me, what you told me, however; your version, of why Daws elected to not receive credit, paints the portrait of a very unselfish and kind man. Maybe both stories are true------but it makes Daws look even better, than he already did before (in my eyes), to know that a lot of it had to do with loyalty and "knowing where his bread was buttered".

I went out to the Hanna-Barbera studios in August 1987, right after I finished my Masters degree in Spanish, at Penn State. At that time I did not have a car. I took a round-trip Greyhound Bus, out there, during a "travel special", when the total bus fare was only $99.

I did not go out there just for the H-B studio; I went to see other things in the state. Anyway, one of the casting directors had arranged for me to come into the studio. She said that she would give me a mini tour of the place and even allow me to sit in on the recording of one of their cartoons. That was neat! I met Don Messick, who did many, many voices for decades for H-B (Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith, Boo-Boo Bear, Arnold the newspaper boy on the Flintstones, etc.).

I was disappointed that June Foray and Daws Butler were not there that day. Someone there told me that June Foray was doing A LOT of work for them, by that time. The casting director, who arranged for me to visit, said that Daws Butler was still working for them (this was the year before he died). She said that someone had to read his lines to him, into a head set, and then he would repeat, what they said, into the mike. Since he had had a stroke, it took him a little longer, than it used to, to read the lines from his script, and digest them mentally. The director said that they did this for him, to help him out.

Right before I left the studio I asked the casting director if I could meet Joe Barbera and William Hanna. I was not planning to take up much of their time; I just wanted to meet them! She would not let me meet them. She made up some excuse as to why I could not meet them, and sent me away. What a shame. I was so close, yet so far away. Now William Hanna is gone (just this year he died) and as for Joe Barbera------at least I have his email address now. Thanks!

Why does his email address have a competing studio name in the address (Warner Bros.)? He is still with H-B, even though Bill Hanna died, isn't he?

Brian