‘The Brady Bunch’: Barry Williams Opens Up About the Interesting Back Story of the Theme Song

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

When people hear the name Barry Williams, they also hear “The Brady Bunch” theme song. For the famed actor that once played Greg Brady, it’s no different. In a virtual interview with Mike Deeson, Barry Williams discusses different aspects of the sitcom and how it impacted his life. Deeson, a Tampa bay investigative reporter, inquires about the not-so-well-known story behind the catchy theme song.

Barry Williams Tells the Story

According to Williams, the tune originated from producer Sherwood Schwartz’s difficulty pitching the show to ABC. The network’s concern was that “It would take a whole episode just to explain how everybody got to living under the same roof.” As fans of the Brady family know, the sitcom revolved around the father of three sons, Mike Brady, who married Carol Martin, mother of three daughters. With six collective kids, a housekeeper and a dog within the same house, there was never a dull moment.

After hearing the network staff’s complaints, Barry Williams reported that Schwartz walked out into the hall. When he returned, he had written what would become the first line of “The Brady Bunch theme” song: “Here’s the story. A lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls.”

With Schwartz’s newly hatched idea, the show would explain the backstory of the Brady’s even before the first episode began. The network, of course, loved it.

Barry Williams also shared that Schwartz employed this same technique for another one of his successful shows, “Gilligan’s Island.” Similar to “The Brady Bunch,” the theme song of “Gilligan’s Island” narrates how the cast became stranded on an island. In short, the idea was to bring the audience up to speed before the story even began. Genius!

Williams Tells Other Secrets

After discussing the backstory of the tune that Deeson lovingly calls an “earworm,” the reporter asks the big question: Which episode is Barry William’s favorite? With 117 episodes in total, it’s sure to be a tough pick.

Williams states that of all five seasons, the first episode filmed is his favorite. Called “The Honeymoon,” the episode focuses on Mike and Carol Brady as they combine their families for the first time.

Barry Williams had an interesting story of the animated version of the series, too. In order to cut costs of animation, the bodies of The Brady Bunch characters were used from another animated series.

Mike Deeson also asked about the Brady’s tropical episodes in Hawaii. He soon found out a story about Barry Williams he hadn’t expected.

A surfer at the time, Barry Williams came up with a plan to extend his stay on the island for as long as he could. He convinced the company that he was an expert surfer and didn’t need a stunt double. However, Williams claimed that the waves in Hawaii were different from those in California. Williams told the company, “It would be a good idea to send me to Hawaii a week early to practice… And they did. And so I had three great weeks of surfing over there.”

Williams smiles fondly as a clip of his surfing as Greg Brady rolls.