Monday’s Music Moves Me: Kid Actors

It’s a freebie day here on M4, and while looking through my stack of ideas in Evernote I came across this post from Craig over at PopRockBopTilUDrop that talks about child actors who found their way onto vinyl. I chose a few of them and put them into the playlist below…

  1. Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick, “I Won’t Last A Day Without You”: Barry (Greg) and Maureen (Marcia) from The Brady Bunch do a duet while on The Mike Douglas Show. If it seems that there’s more than brotherly or sisterly love in the way they look at each other, it’s not your imagination: they did have a romance off-camera.
  2. Eve Plumb, “The Fortune Cookie Song”: Not to be outdone by her TV older sister, Eve recorded this while she played Jan on The Brady Bunch. Her father Neely is the producer.
  3. Johnny Whittaker, “Every Boy Can Be President”: Johnny sang this as Jody on an episode of Family Affair, and there was apparently enough interest in it to issue it as a single.
  4. Tuesday Weld, “Are You The Boy?”: Tuesday was already an established actress when tapped to play Thalia Menninger in The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis. Her TV boyfriend, of course, was Warren Beatty.
  5. Kurt Russell, “Hey Baby I Love You”: Kurt was a Disney discovery way back when, before Goldie Hawn and Snake.
  6. Rodney Allan Rippy, “Take Life A Little Easier”: Rodney acted in a very famous series of commercials for Jack in the Box restaurants. I say acted: he was basically put on camera with a hamburger and they asked him questions as he tried to eat it. “Take Life A Little Easier” was written as a jingle for Jack in the Box; the original lyrics to the chorus were “Take life a little easier (x2)/Come as you like, come as you are to Jack in the Box.” Or something like that.
  7. Paul Petersen, “She Can’t Find Her Keys”: Paul’s acting career pretty much started and ended with The Donna Reed Show, although he has had occasional roles in TV series. He’s an advocate for protecting child actors through his organization “A Minor Consideration.”
  8. Melody Patterson, “You’re The One”: Melody auditioned for the part of Wrangler Jane on F Troop when she was 15 years old, and didn’t happen to mention that to the producers until after she got the part. They had to tone down the love scenes (such as they were in the ’60’s) between her and Ken Berry after that.
  9. Butch Patrick, “I.O.I.O.”: Butch played Eddie Munster on the CBS comedy-horror classic The Munsters throughout that series’s run, and when it finished turned his attention to cting in non-starring roles and music. “I.O.I.O.” was written by Barry and Maurice Gibb, who sang together in some band…
  10. Jay North, “Little Boy Blues”: TV’s Dennis The Menace cut an album in 1960 called Look Who’s Singing Now!, and this was one of the tracks on it. I saw him do this on an episode of The Best of The Ed Sullian Show, so if you’re so inclined, keep an eye out for it.
  11. Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills, “Let’s Get Together”: This is a scene from the 1961 movie The Parent Trap, where Hayley played a set of twins trying to get their parents (Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara) back together.
  12. Jerry Mathers, “Wind-Up Toy”: Yep, The Beaver made a record during the heart of Leave It To Beaver‘s run.
  13. Stanley Livingston, “Hairspray”: You might know him as Chip Douglas, Steve’s (Fred MacMurray) son, Bub’s (William Frawley) grandson, and Charlie’s (William Demarest) great-nephew on My Three Sons. Later on, Stanley’s brother Barry joined the cast as Ernie, Steve’s adopted son and Chip’s adopted brother.
  14. Patty Duke, “Don’t Just Stand There”: Another actress who played a double role as twins (in this case cousins), Patty recorded this while she was on The Patty Duke Show and took it to #8.
  15. Johnny Crawford, “Daydreams”: Johnny played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) in The Rifleman from 1958 to 1963, and still found time to record several songs. This was his first single, from 1961; it reached #70 on the Hot 100.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 15, 2020.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

19 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Kid Actors

  1. I am old enough to remember some of these shows in their initial TV runs or their only TV runs (particularly The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Dennis the Menace, The Patty Duke Show) hard to believe that I never, ever watched The Brady Bunch. That’s almost a crime. Have to admit most of these songs were not worth the listen but I do somehow vaguely (I think) remember the Patty Duke song.

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    1. If you have a hankerin’ to watch The Brady Bunch, MeTV carries it on Sundays from noon to 2 PM.

      I purposely avoided songs by actors you might have expected (e.g. Annette Funicello, Ricky Nelson) or ones that charted pretty high (e.g. Shelley Fabares) to highlight the unexpected ones, and you’re right, most of them weren’t very good…

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  2. In Australia, a very common path is child actor in either “Neighbours” or “Home and Away” (our two long running soaps) and then segue into releasing a single. For some it meant then having a musical career, for others, never seen again. Some of the big Aussie names to have done this are Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Delta Goodrem.

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    1. That was kind of the way it happened here, only instead of a soap opera they would be part of a popular series. Shelly Fabares, who acted in The Donna Reed Show, tells the story of them coming to her and saying “what song are you going to do?” Not “do you want to do a song?” Her TV brother, Paul Petersen, had already done several songs. She was a fantastic singer, scoring a Top 10 hit with “Johnny Angel,” but only had the one hit. Just wasn’t her thing…

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  3. These were all new to me….and I have to say I’m surprised that Butch Patrick went on to become a musician. It really seems to me like I should have known that. The fact that his song was written by the Brothers Gibb just adds another layer of really weird to this new-to-me knowledge (and song).

    Kim

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  4. I’ve been on this page all day but got busy at work. I do remember some of these… The one I thought of also was Wesley Eure from Land of the Lost…I also found out that Jerry Mathers released a single or two.

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  5. This is a great take but a bummer for me because the one with Tuesday Weld won’t play and I can’t go further. I did go to youtube to listen to Kurt Russell. I just watched The Hateful Eight and what a difference from when he was a kid. I remember him as Boy from Gilligan’s Island.The Brady Bunch had a few hits and those hormones were on full tilt with those 2 singing side by side.Johnny Whittake was such a big star back then. I had to giggle at the shot of their Uncle, Play by Brian Keith. He looks like he just wants this over with. Brian is one of my favourite actors and so sad when he died.

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    1. Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick have both written memoirs and talked about the raging hormones between them. If you go to the link to Craig’s blog, there’s a picture of them with their arms around each other and holding each other’s hands, and you can tell just how they felt.

      “Family Affair” was kind of a dorky show, but I have an affection for the actors who were in it. Brian Keith was a great actor, and Sebastian Cabot was one of the more distinctive actors around, with the beard and the girth. He fell ill during the show’s run and was replaced by the actor John Williams, who despite his long list of credits in film and TV was best known to American audiences for his work in this commercial:

      The commercial ran for years, even after his death. And, of course, there was Anissa Jones…

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  6. Interesting post down memory lane. When I was a kid, a boy in my class was good friends with Johnny Whitaker. I’ll never forget the day we looked out of the playground fence to see Jodi and then Doug getting into his limo!

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    1. Must have been quite a trip, seeing them together… We see actors so often in character that we tend to think they’re the same people out of character, and a lot of times they aren’t.

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  7. John,

    Great idea for a theme this week. I thought about doing this before and honestly I can remember if I actually pursued doing it but if not it’ll be fun to make some discoveries of my own. Thanks for sharing the 4M dance floor with us today, my friend. Have a boogietastic week!

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