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…

Archive for Category 'Blog'

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.

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26 May
Eric Greenberg

Memorial Day Web Surfing

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 1 comment

Summer at last! Here’s your Memorial Day edition of the Brady links… 

CBS is jumping on the online classic TV bandwagon. ”Star Trek,” “Family Ties,” and “The Love Boat” are among the old favorites now available for viewing at CBS.com.   

Vanessa Williams will serve as host for the June 15th TV Land Awards. Online voting for the viewer’s choice categories is now underway.

In addition to the troops, TV fans are remembering “Laugh-In’s” Dick Martin this Memorial Day. The comic passed away Saturday just months after the show’s 40th anniversary. You can watch portions of Martin’s recent interview with the American Archive of Television here.

Breaking out the grill for the first time this season? The people over at Hormel surveyed adults to find out which fictional characters they’d call upon to get them out of a barbecue emergency. Alice from “The Brady Bunch” came in third behind Superman and MacGyver. If they’re not available, you can just pick up some BBQ recipes over at the Hormel website.

Mixing some drinks to go with all that food? “Greg Brady’s Wipeout” is one of the most popular at Tiki’s Grill and Bar on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. It’s made with Vodka, coconut flavored rum, banana liquer with a splass of passion fruit juice and lemon-lime soda. Of course you’ll have to jump on a plane if you want to take home the free souvenir mug. (The Greg Brady Project encourages you to drink responsibly!)

Are you hitting the beach this weekend? Send your personal surfing photos to eric.greenberg@thegregbradyproject.com and we may just use them right here.

Have a great holiday! 

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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22 May
Guest Author

When I first heard about “A Very Brady Musical,” I couldn’t wait to audition. Now admittedly, my father, Lloyd J. Schwartz, did co-write and is directing the show. And my grandfather, Sherwood Schwartz, did create the original series. But just like millions of people across the world, I happen to love the show. And trust me, I did not get the normal treatment of nepotism. In fact, seeing some of my own family among the faces of the audition panel was incredibly nerve-wracking. In my five-minute audition I had to convince a room full of people that I was the best one for the part, regardless of my association. Within days the cast was set. I could not have been more excited to land the role of Peter Brady.

In theatre, abnormalities and the unexpected are normal and expected. The actor cast as Greg had to drop out, and I was chosen as the replacement. I took off my Peter wig and put on my identical Greg wig. I was ready. I realized some very important aspects of the character. Greg is old and wise through the eyes of Bobby, Cindy, and the rest of the gang. Yet, he is still naïve and confused when it comes down to surviving in the real world. He has a lot to learn but is completely willing to learn it.

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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.

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18 May
Eric Greenberg

World Wide Web Surfing

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | No comments

After a week off for Mother’s Day, it’s the big return of the Sunday evening links: 

The Angels couldn’t pull out a W over the White Sox in Anaheim Thursday, but everybody was a winner because it was 70s Flashback Night!  Our very own Barry Williams sang the national anthem and also did a little “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” which some fan managed to grab a few seconds of off the scoreboard. 

The Orange County Register caught up with Eve Plumb a few days ago to talk about her artwork. Don’t worry, they got a “Brady Bunch” question in there too.  

Australian classic television network TV1 has some free Brady e-cards on its website.

I was saving the week’s biggest gossip news for the links, but Brady reader Renee beat me to the punch in the comments. Yup, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are expecting twins. Jolie’s “Kung Fu Panda” co-star Jack Black actually confirmed it using a “Brady Bunch” reference on the ”Today Show.” See it for yourself

And finally, heading into the new week: Oprah is reuniting the cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” tomorrow (Monday, May 19). Here’s a preview

Send your Brady/Pop Culture links to eric.greenberg@thegregbradyproject.com

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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16 May
Eric Greenberg

It might just be the greatest sitcom in TV history, but I’m not quite ready to call “Seinfeld” classic TV. Not yet. Classic TV is talking horses and a bunch of people stuck on an island. “Seinfeld” just doesn’t seem old enough. That said, everyone’s favorite show about nothing ended it’s nine season run ten years ago this week. Kind of strange, huh?

As much as I don’t want to admit that a show which ended a few weeks after I graduated from college is starting to age, there are at least a few minor signs that a fair amount of time has passed. Paul O’Neill retired from baseball. George Steinbrenner pretty much has too. JFK Jr. passed away, as has Johnnie Cochran (though Jackie Chiles may well still be practicing law). Somebody finally beat the Wiz, which closed shop about five years ago and there’s not even a Kenny Rogers Roasters in New York anymore. Oh yeah, and that computer that sits by Jerry’s window just looks silly.

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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?).

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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.

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07 May
Barry Williams

What I Learned From Robert Reed

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments


‘Family #2′

Often times I am asked what it was like to basically have two families, my natural family with Mom and Dad and my two older brothers and my Brady family. First, please understand there was never any confusion about which was real. I didn’t go to Maureen McCormick for sisterly advice for goodness sake, I had the hots for her. Nor for instance did I ever confuse Robert Reed as being my father, I already had a Dad.

As an actor, one of the really nice things about being on a successful TV series is that you don’t have to spend all of your time looking for a new job. You have your call times, your studio, a schedule, the crew and cast that becomes familial. In our case the cast was also playing a family and to some extent we all assumed those roles in life. When the Brady kids were on tour or making appearances, I was protective and fended for my Brady brothers and sisters just like the reliable big brother I played. Florence Henderson could see the road ahead and gently pointed out to me the smooth and the rough spots that were to come. Robert Reed did not assume the role of my father but I do consider him a mentor.

This is really cool. I had a man who was in our show acting as my father who took on some of those qualities and was interested in the same thing I was — ACTING. My own father didn’t know or really care very much about the craft, he was more interested in raising his three boys.

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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.

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