The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

13 May
Bob Hunt

Name and Number

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments

Christopher: a moniker with staying power.

You might think of the Social Security Administration as a rather monotonous bureaucratic arm of our government, a sea of anonymous cubicles inhabited by humorless accountants. But think again: these people know how to have fun with data. Sure, they have to issue all of those sacred, 9-digit numbers to every citizen and attend to the rather serious business of allocating funds to retirees. Along the way, though, they make time to compile an annual list of the 1,000 most popular names bestowed upon babies each year. The 2007 list was just released, and the names Jacob and Emily, reigning king and queen of infant nomenclature, have been echoing from every media canyon and crevasse. The SSA finds this so compelling that its website offers the top 1,000 baby names for every year since 1880 (In case you were wondering, John and Mary were the Jacob and Emily of that year).

Now, at last, pop culture pundits have at their fingertips a tool that can answer the question that has been nagging us for so long: What impact did “The Brady Bunch” have on our nation’s baby name preferences? After surveying the last 100 years of data, I can tell you that the answer is…well, almost no impact at all. All six of the Brady sibling names peaked in popularity well before the series debuted in 1969 (For you statisticians out there, here are the names and their peak positions/years – Greg: #77/1961-62; Marcia: #74/1951; Peter: #35/1955; Jan: #131/1954; Bobby: #23/1934; Cindy: #19/1957. How appropriate is it that the self-esteem-challenged Jan had the least popular name?).

But wait, you protest, surely the actors who portrayed the Brady kids inspired a frenzy of namesakes. Not quite. With one exception, the actors’ names topped out before the Bunch ever hit the airwaves (And here we go again – Barry: #61/1962; Maureen: #74/1951; Eve: #441/1908; Mike: #36/1960-61; Susan: #2/1957-60. How eerie is it that, like Jan, Eve’s name had the lowest peak position?). The exception, as you’ve no doubt noticed, is Christopher, a name that has been astonishingly popular since the Brady days. It was #2 in 1972, 1973, and from 1979 to 1994! In fact, Christopher is the Dark Side of the Moon of Brady-related names, having never left the top ten since its debut in 1967.

In 2007, only Mike (#750), Susan (#644), Eve (#618), Bobby (#507), Cindy (#398), Peter (#178), and the ever-popular Christopher (#6) remain in the top 1,000. But there lurks another name that is enjoying its greatest resurgence in popularity since it peaked at #103 in 1910. Coming in as the 140th most popular name of 2007 is…brace yourself…Oliver.

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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