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…

27 Jul
Eric Greenberg

World Wide Web Surfing

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | No comments

If you’re gonna get kicked out of the Ivy, do it for a good cause

Barry and Susan aren’t the only old castmates hanging out. Potsie and Ralph Malph are back in action together too.    

Barry was recently caught on camera at the premiere of the new film “Step Brothers.”

TMZ caught a recent glimpse of Dwayne from “What’s Happening!!” 

And the AP has a gloomy report on the state of the family sitcom.

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

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23 Jul
Eric Greenberg

Actor Paul Sorensen, who played the recurring role of oil cartel member Andy Bradley on “Dallas” has passed away at the age of 82. Sorensen made appearances in countless TV series including “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Barnaby Jones.” Around here though, he’ll always be remembered as Buddy Hinton’s dad in the classic Brady episode “A Fistful of Reasons.”

As Barry recalled in “Growing Up Brady:” Rotten little Buddy Hinton makes Cindy cry by mocking her lisp. Peter tries talking with the little bully but only gets a black eye for his trouble. When Mike and Carol try talking to Buddy’s parents, they turn out to be big bullies, leaving Mike with only one option: teach Peter the fine art of beating the crap out of a guy.”

It may have been a brief appearance, but it was a memorable one, and Sorensen played it well. Condolences to his family from “The Greg Brady Project.”

Ceil Cabot, who played Mrs. Hinton, passed away in 2000.  

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22 Jul
Bob Hunt

 ‘All Thumbs Down’
‘All Thumbs Down?’

There’s a lot of hubbub going on right now about the departure of film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper from their long-running syndicated review show, At the Movies. This is understandable, as any television program that has been around in one form or another for the last 33 years qualifies as an institution of its medium. An entire generation has grown up taking for granted the presence of a pair of Chicago critics commenting on the latest releases from opposite sides of the aisle. The thumbs-up, thumbs-down gimmick introduced by Ebert and Gene Siskel on the first incarnation of the show, PBS’s Sneak Previews, grew so popular as a movie poster endorsement that it began to lose its impact, forcing the critics to invent absurd shades of recommendation like two thumbs up – way up. Like any other TV entity that has been with us for decades, it is hard for us to imagine its disappearance. However, although Disney apparently intends to reinvent the show with different hosts, I would argue that At the Movies and other television programs of its ilk have outlived their utility in the digital age.

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16 Jul
Bob Hunt

Resurrecting Anarchy

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 3 comments


Back with more stuff…

If an eight-note bass run segueing into Count Basie’s Jumpin’ at the Woodside still causes you to stop whatever you’re doing in wide-eyed anticipation of a portly stagehand’s shuffling dance moves, then you remember the anarchic joy of The Gong Show. The jazzy motif would interrupt the show at an unexpected moment, causing host Chuck Barris to ecstatically dance along and whipping up the audience into a jubilant frenzy. All this to hail the unremarkable moves of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, who did his thing while a bizarre assortment of incongruous props pelted him from the wings. It made no sense at all, and that was the point. The recurring bit was one of the greatest intentional non-sequiturs in television. Who among those of us who enjoyed it has not since hoped in vain for those infectious bass notes to bring forth a chaotic interruption of a dull business meeting? The numbers for the third quarter were not as high as we–What’s that?–It’s Gene Gene the Dancing Machine!

Playing along with entertainment conventions and then suddenly destroying them with dadaist glee made the novel game show parody special. No doubt Comedy Central will try to capture that riotous spirit with its new version of The Gong Show set to debut tomorrow night. Hosted by Dave Attell, this latest incarnation promises to retain the format of unusual acts judged by a rotating panel of irreverent celebrity judges. But is it possible for anyone today to recreate the strange concoction of surrealism, send-up, and nod-and-a-wink hipness that Barris and company perfected?

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11 Jul
Bob Hunt

So Long, Surprise

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | No comments


I was a compulsive record flipper in the days of vinyl. Whenever I could break away from my parents, whether at the mall or some discount store, I would make my way to the nearest racks of LPs and look for the file tabs with the names of my favorite artists. Then I would start flipping through those albums, hoping that today would be the day I would find something new. Growing up in a small, Midwestern town, it was the best I could do to stay connected with the musicians I admired. Often, I wouldn’t even know that a new album was in the works until I uncovered it right there at the store. And concert itineraries? Maybe a few dates would come to light thanks to the latest issue of Cream or Circus, but without a regular scanning of bigger city newspapers, a favorite act might swing by the nearest metropolis and be gone without a warning, like the errant path of an unexpected comet. Weekends were for staying up late in the hopes of catching that special performer on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert or The Midnight Special. In between these peaks were the longest valleys of endless record listening and wondering what my preferred entertainers were up to.

One of my all-time favorite artists from those days has a new album coming out at the end of this month, and oh, has the period of anticipating a new release changed!

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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.

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02 Jul
Eric Greenberg


What could possibly be more All-American than celebrating Independence Day with our very own Barry Williams and the Original Idols? Barry and the gang will take the Main Stage at A Taste of Minnesota in St. Paul starting at 7pm on July 4th. Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers), The Cowsills and Bo Donaldson will be there to join in as usual. Did I mention it’s a free show?

Fireworks start at 10:20pm! Be there!

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29 Jun
Eric Greenberg

World Wide Web Surfing

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | No comments

In case you missed NBC’s tribute last night, Hulu has posted this and a few other clips of George Carlin hosting the very first “Saturday Night Live” on October 11, 1975. 

TV1 (sort of the TV Land of Australia) has free Brady e-cards!

Here’s an online preview of People Magazine’s special Child Stars: Then & Now issue.

It’s a little hard to think about winter when it’s as hot as it is in the Northeast today, but Paramount has announced the October release of a special DVD compilation called “TV Sets: Holiday Treats,” which will include an episode of “The Brady Bunch.” (Thanks to Bob Hunt)

In other DVD news, “Mannix,” which shot at Paramount at the same time as the Bradys, finally hit stores earlier this month.

And finally, who knew Tiger was such a well respected actor?

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

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22 Jun
Mary Jo and John Tenuto

That 70s Show Meets THE 70s Show

written by Mary Jo and John Tenuto in Blog | 6 comments


American culture is often 20 years nostalgic, and one of the better examples of this is the 1990s and 2000s television sitcom That 70s Show. Many of the themes and characters of That 70s Show are reminiscent mostly of Happy Days (both shows takes place in Wisconsin, both shows were set 20 years prior, both shows were about the experiences of adolescents, and both shows had “bad boy” characters move in with the respectable family (the Happy Days episode was called “Fonzie Moves In” and That 70s Show was called “Hyde Moves In”) to name a few examples). The adventures of Eric Forman were much the same adventures of Ritchie Cunningham.

However, The Brady Bunch, the real 70s show, was given its proper respect with a few episodes. In the episode “Red Sees Red” the character Kitty dreams that her family stars in The Forman Bunch Variety Hour in a fun parody of The Brady Bunch Hour. In the episode “The Keg,” Brady star Eve Plumb starred as Jackie’s mother Pam Burkhart in a role that would eventually go to Brooke Shields the next few years.

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19 Jun
Guest Author

Singer Dobie Gray

written by Guest Author in Blog | No comments

IT’S ALL IN THE SONG
No other industry in recent memory has undergone as many changes as this business of Music. Despite its flaws, though, – its ups and downs – those of us who’ve managed to survive its fickle nature; very few would trade it for any other profession.

For most of my decades-long career I’ve mainly been regarded as a Record Company’s pigeonhole-enigma. That predilection does have its positive side, though, garnering for me, a diverse and international following.

Unlike many others, I’ve had very few world-renown records, but the ones I have had are well remembered: The “In” Crowd, Loving Arms and the unforgettable, Drift Away, which many people think I wrote. But that credit belongs to Mentor Williams – brother of the composer, Paul Williams. Now, thanks to the Internet, much of the music that Mentorand I – and other producers – have recorded: nineteen albums and CDs all told – is being heard and appreciated for the first time.Most people are interested in how “Drift Away” came about – it’s a long story, so I won’t go into it here. I’ll just say that I was a staff-writer, along with Mentor and Paul at A&M’s Publishing Company, Almo/Irving, when the song was created. It has been a career song for me, and it resulted in a spectacular comeback in 2002, when I was asked to record it with the rap artist, Uncle Kracker. Although, hesitant to do so at the time, I’m glad to say that the new version has helped to sustain my career, in that, I’ve gained a younger and totally new audience.

To you, Barry, I offer my very best wishes for the success of your new Blog, and here’s hoping that the Brady Bunch’s popularity from all those years of airing follow you in all your future endeavors.

-Dobie

 

Dobie Gray reached number 5 on the Billboard charts with “Drift Away” in March of 1973. Thirty years later, the song returned to the top ten when Dobie re-recorded it with Uncle Kracker. Barry recorded his own cover of “Drift Away” for the album “The Return of Johnny Bravo”, and also performed the song in his recent off Broadway show “Growing Up 70s.”

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