On Saturday morning, September 13, 1969, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! premiered. This is probably one of the most popular cartoons ever that even spawned a few live-action movies and tons of merchandise. The show went through many stages before it was ready for the public.
In 1968 Fred Silverman envisioned the show as a cross between the popular I Love a Mystery radio serials of the 1940s and the popular early 1960s TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, and artist/character designer Iwao Takamoto worked on Silverman’s idea. Their original concept of the show had the title Mysteries Five, and featured five teens (Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, and Linda’s brother “W.W.”) and their dog, Too Much, who were all in a band called “The Mysteries Five” (even the dog; he played the bongos). When “The Mysteries Five” weren’t performing at gigs, they were out solving spooky mysteries involving ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural creatures. Ruby and Spears then had to decide what to make their dog. The dog was going to be a sheepdog but that would conflict with the Archies (who had a sheepdog, Hot Dog, in their band) but then settled on a Great Dane.
The executives felt that the presentation artwork was too frightening for young viewers, and, thought the show would be the same, decided to pass on it.
Ruby and Spears reworked the show to make it more comedic and less frightening. They dropped the rock band element and began to focus more attention on Shaggy and Too Much. According to Ruby and Spears, Silverman was inspired by the ad-lib “doo-be-doo-be-doo” he heard at the end of Frank Sinatra’s interpretation of Bert Kaempfert’s song “Strangers in the Night” on the way out to one of their meetings, and decided to rename the dog “Scooby-Doo” and re-rechristened the show Scooby-Doo, Where are You?… The rest as they say…is history!
Matthew Sweet did a version of the theme that I really like
The original theme song