The singing careers of The Brady Bunch officially started in an episode called “Amateur Nite.” And Barry Williams remembers it well.
When we say singing careers, we’re following a very loose definition. The six kids on the Brady Bunch sang and danced to win a prize of $100. The thought still tickles Williams, who recalled the episode during an interview earlier this month. Although Williams is 66, his teenaged antics still are very real, mainly because they were filmed and are shown every day, on a loop, on cable reruns.
The episode ran Jan. 27, 1973. That was episode 16 of the fourth season of the Brady Bunch. Here’s the scene set up. The kids want to give a silver platter to their parents as an anniversary present. Jan thinks it’s a great idea to have the platter engraved. She thinks it’s going to cost 85 cents. Any kid, even with a paltry allowance, should be able to afford that, right? However, Jan misunderstood. It was 85 cents per letter. She’s on the hook for $56. For some historical money context, $56 then would be $336 now.
How can the Brady Bunch come up with that kind of cash? Well, they enter a singing contest, that’s how. But they can’t tell their parents.
According to Williams, all six members of the Brady Bunch sang. But you might not have heard them all, by design.
“I like to say you can’t get professional singers to sound like that,” Williams said. “But yes, we all sang, (and) some of the microphones were turned on when we recorded, others were off.”
The Brady Bunch Kids Loved To Sing, Except For Peter Who Hated It.
The one Brady Bunch kid who didn’t enjoy the singing? That would be Christopher Knight, who played middle son Peter.
“He would be the first to tell you singing is not his, uh, his greatest skill,” Williams said of his Brady Bunch brother. “He hated that. There were backup singers that did a lot of back up vocals for groups like the Monkees, like the Mamas and Papas. … We created our sort of sound.”
And Williams described the Brady Bunch sound as like the Beach Boys.
Williams Told Other Young Stars To Add Singing To Their Shows
Williams has made a living, post Brady Bunch, by appearances for fan shows. And he’s earned a paycheck through singing. Williams put together a Las Vegas show called “Barry Williams: The Real Greg Brady, Live in Concert, With Special Guest Pop Icon Johnny Bravo.” Johnny Bravo is A reference to another Brady Bunch episode, when Greg was going to be known as singer Johnny Bravo. Back in the 1970s, Williams also told other young actors on other sitcoms to think about performing on the show. It was well worth it.
Anson Williams, who played Potsie on Happy Days, said he heard from Williams back in the 1970s. As a result, there was more singing on Happy Days. It also supplemented his income.
“Barry Williams (Greg Brady) is telling me how much money he’s making,” Anson Williams recalled. “I had this idea, I got to (Happy Days creator) Garry Marshall and said, ‘we got girls in the show, we’ve got cars in the show, we need a band in Arnold’s.
“I got a record deal and started singing,” Williams said of his Happy Days tenure. He added that he was making $900 to $1200 a week on the show. “I’d get $17,000 a night doing a concert.”
So the Brady Bunch amateur night wasn’t quite so amateur for at least one cast member.