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…

Author Archive

06 Jul
Bob Hunt

King’s Island Daredevils

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 1 comment


Looking backward. Some people think it’s a good idea, while others believe the opposite. The folks at King’s Island near Cincinnati seem to be simultaneously embracing both sides of the argument this summer. They’ve been celebrating their 37th season by inviting the descendants of daredevils to recreate the feats that their ancestors performed for park guests in the 70′s. On May 24, Robbie Knievel, son of legendary stuntman Evel, jumped over 24 Coke Zero trucks to beat Dad’s old record of 14 Greyhound buses in 1975. Rick Wallenda honored the 1974 1,800-ft. tightrope walk of his late grandfather, Karl (who fell from a highwire to his death four years later), by completing a 2,000-ft. walk high above King’s Island last Friday. In another nod to history, the park is now running both sides of its Racer roller coaster in the original front-facing orientation for the first time since they flipped one set of trains around in 1982. So much for looking backward.

As for me, I can’t help but glance in the rearview mirror. It was 35 years ago this summer that the cast and crew of The Brady Bunch descended upon King’s Island to film what would become one of their most memorable episodes, The Cincinnati Kids. According to the fan site King’s Island Central, the famous football toss is still there, along with an unchanged administrative boardroom where Mike was seen unfurling Jan’s poster instead of his architectural plans. You can still stand before the signature International Street Fountains and gaze up at a one-third replica of the Eiffel Tower. And of course, the Racer is still racing. Nearly everything else has changed, however.

Read More
10 Jun
Bob Hunt

Susan Day

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 1 comment


One of us just had a flaming shot (Hint: it wasn’t me).

One of the most surreal scenes I have witnessed took place in a biker bar on a cold December morning in 1993. The mere fact that I was there at all was odd enough, given that I’ve never frequented bars nor have I ever been enthralled by the staccato belch of a roaring Harley. A goofy, suburban milquetoast, I was a fish out of water amongst a grizzled, tattooed set that would have been a casting director’s dream if extras were needed for a dramatic recreation of the Rolling Stones at Altamont. They were all drinking and smoking and looked as though they had been doing so for hours. I was an open target for ridicule, but the leather and bandanna-clad crowd left me alone. It was obvious that I had invaded their territory for one geeky reason: Susan Olsen.

Read More
29 May
Bob Hunt

Music Men

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 1 comment

Earle Hagen (left) and Frank DeVol 

Some time ago I stumbled upon a cheap DVD that featured a pair of Andy Griffith Show episodes.  Upon giving it a spin, I soon discovered why the disc was destined for the clearance bin.  In an apparent attempt to avoid a potentially thorny copyright dispute, the fly-by-night distributor had actually replaced the theme music.  Andy and Opie still carried their poles as they walked along the fishin’ hole, but instead of being accompanied by the familiar and beloved whistling theme song, they sauntered to a goofy overdub of some generic tune that wasn’t worthy of a PowerPoint presentation.  As the episode began, I was too distracted by this outrage to even process what Barney was telling Andy.  Somehow, without a proper introduction to Mayberry, it just wasn’t the same.

Such is the power of a well-written TV theme, and such was the talent of Earle Hagen, who died on Monday night at the age of 88.  Hagen was the prolific film and TV composer whose quest for a simple Andy Griffith Show intro (“something you could whistle”) inspired one of the most memorable tunes in all of pop culture.  He was also responsible for the brash, big-band theme from The Dick Van Dyke Show, and if you’re not thinking about Rob Petrie and his ottoman right now, you’re probably not familiar with that one.  In addition, he scored and wrote themes for many other classic TV shows, including I Spy, That Girl, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Make Room For Daddy, and The Mod Squad.

Read More
20 May
Bob Hunt

Search and Win

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments


How about an autographed copy of this?

More and more, efficiency is the welcome partner of the modern consumer. In an age of overbooked schedules and routine multitasking, making the most of our time and money has universal appeal. Thus, we try to take the sting out of $4-per-gallon gas by utilizing fuel discounts earned through the use of supermarket loyalty cards. We zip around in hybrid cars that convert our forward momentum into usable electrical energy. We support businesses that donate a percentage of our purchases toward the charities we esteem. In essence, we try to find ways in which we can profit from our habitual behaviors (e.g., grocery buying, driving, shopping in general). Now, you can add the everyday task of Internet searches to your list of profitable habits.

Here’s how it works: Start using Search with The Greg Brady Project for all of your Internet searching needs. You’ll be getting the same great results that you’re already used to receiving from Google and Ask.com, because that’s who’s powering the GBP search engine. Random winning times are chosen each day, and if your search is the first one to occur after one of these preselected times, you are an instant winner of one to five Swag Bucks. This virtual currency can be accumulated and exchanged for a wide variety of prizes, not the least of which are autographed Barry Williams collectibles. If your significant other won’t allow yet another Barry collectible a place of honor in your home, there are plenty of other items to acquire, from gift cards to iPods to musical instruments (just the tip of the iceberg, really). And what’s more, you can earn additional Swag Bucks by shopping at participating online retailers, referring friends to Search with The Greg Brady Project, and even by doing your bit for the environment when you recycle old cell phones and mp3 players.

Read More
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?).

Read More
09 May
Bob Hunt

‘Mom’
‘Mom’

One of the funniest stories from Barry’s Growing Up Brady concerns his adolescent crush on Florence Henderson. The tale prompted a lot of publicity due to its apparently taboo nature. Taboo, that is, until we understand that: 1) their celebrated “date” was as innocent as a Brady Bunch episode, and 2) Florence Henderson is not Barry’s mother, fer cryin’ out loud! Barry himself has tried to help us understand this, writing the following: “Most everybody thinks of Florence Henderson as the quintessential television mom, and that vaguely oedipal association seems to have successfully inhibited the American public from ever realizing what a totally white-hot babe she really is.” Sorry, Barry, but I’m not buying it. She might not be your mom, but the rest of us can’t shake the conviction that she is our mom.

Recent surveys support this notion. As Eric Greenberg reported, Carol Brady came in third place (behind Clair Huxtable and Marion Cunningham) when TiVo asked viewers to identify their favorite TV mom. A recent Harris Poll found similar results after asking people to name the TV mom they wished had raised them. Once again, our Lovely Lady took third place (this time following June Cleaver and Clair Huxtable). Interestingly, when the Harris folks broke down their data into demographic chunks, they found that Carol Brady was the number one TV mom among two subgroups: Gen Xers and Republicans. Among conservatives aged 32 to 43, presumably, that preference must be through the roof.

Read More
06 May
Bob Hunt

The Cincinnati Kids. Hawaii Bound. Pass the Tabu. The Tiki Caves. The Subject Was Noses. You might know the five aforementioned Brady Bunch episodes by the key words King’s Island, Hawaii, and Oh, my nose! Time and again as I interviewed fans who were gathered for a recent personal appearance by Barry, these shows were cited as personal favorites. Although I would agree that each of them is a classic, none of them appears in my Brady Six.

The Brady Six is your personal top-six list of favorite Bunch episodes. There is only one criterion for inclusion: each episode you choose should be one that you never tire of watching, the sort of show that causes you to be delighted as the opening credits conclude and you realize that one of the best Brady Bunchesever is on the air. While compiling my own list, I noticed that five of my six favorites include Greg in a prominent role. I swear on my tiki idol that my list would still be the same if I were blogging for the Cindy Brady Project! Here, then, presented in the order in which they originally aired, is my Brady Six.

Read More
01 May
Bob Hunt

 

The ubiquitous yellow smiley face of the 70′s has never faded away, especially at Wal-Mart, where its contemporary cousin accompanies every in-store “price rollback.” But for the people of Canton, Ohio, there were quite a few more smiles in the aisles than usual on a recent Sunday thanks to the arrival of another 70′s icon: Barry Williams. There he was, sitting at a table near the front registers, and woe to the casual shopper who merely wanted to take the shortest path from greeting cards to the pharmacy. That route was occupied by a steady presence of fans and admirers. They snapped up autographed merchandise, captured photos, and mostly, they smiled.

Local resident Marcia Miller provided the reason why. “I’ve just always been a Brady Bunch fan,” she enthused, “because it was just one of those shows that made you feel real good.” With a prized CD of Meet the Brady Bunch in hand, she had arrived two hours prior to the scheduled start of Barry’s autograph session. Marcia described herself as a fan “ever since the show came on, 1968 to 1974,” and like others in attendance, she singled out the King’s Island show, Hawaii episodes, and Marcia Brady’s disastrous encounter with a football as memorable highlights.

Read More
21 Apr
Bob Hunt

Celebrity is a funny thing. We enjoy a famous person’s work and occasionally catch a glimpse of what is purported to be the star’s personal life. After consuming magazine interviews, chat show appearances, and the standard fare from an official website, we are left to fill in the holes by inferring what our favorite celebrities are really like. With no evidence to the contrary, we are likely to project our own preferences and values upon our heroes. The more we do this, the greater the disillusionment when we discover – horror of horrors!- that the personality we’ve admired for so long thinks very differently than we do. The naivete of a fan, if you will.

I used to be a big Woody Allen fan. The outrageous non-sequiturs of his short stories and the surreal silliness of early films like Take the Money and Run and Sleeper struck a major chord during my adolescence. His intellectual persona gave me hope on the bleakest high school days that there was intelligent life out there, if not in my study hall. Even his experimentation with the more serious themes of Interiors and Stardust Memories intrigued me, and I admired the integrity of a talented director who demanded and received creative control of his films.

By early adulthood, I was an entrenched Woodyphile.

Read More
17 Apr
Bob Hunt

Card Tricks

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 1 comment


“Wonder what I could trade for a groovy Richard Nixon rookie card?”

With baseball season now underway and welcome signs of spring appearing each day, I recently indulged an old compulsion for the first time in nearly thirty years: I bought some baseball cards. I chose Topps, the brand of my youth and the name that adorned countless sports cards left behind by my older brothers. Noting the price of $2 for a pack of 10, I sighed at the fact that baseball cards are about as affordable a luxury for me now as they were when I scrambled for spare change as a child. Nevertheless, with the responsibilities of adulthood comes the freedom of frittering away our finances as we see fit, and so it was that I brought home a whopping 60 cards from the 2008 Series.

Among the stack were a couple coveted Cleveland Indians (Kenny Lofton – oh, he’s gone already – and Victor Martinez) and what I perceived to be a rather repugnant postseason card of Manny Ramirez “being Manny” (my apologies to Eric Greenberg). There were extraneous cards like checklists and promotions, and then…and then…What is this? Ron Paul?!

That’s right, Ron Paul, the U.S. Congressional Representative from Texas and candidate for Commander in Chief, one of a dozen presidential hopefuls to have their mugs grace the Campaign 2008 subset. I’m not kidding!

Read More
Previous Entries Next Entries

Stay Connected!

Get the latest news delivered to your email


Get the latest news delivered to your phone

Subscribe to The Greg Brady Project on your cell phone

Bookmark and favorite this blog

Add to Technorati Favorites Stumble it!  Save to Del.icio.us Digg This! Add to Ma.gnolia!








security code
Send Email