The Groovie Goolies

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1970-72)

- Ed Fournier -- vocals

- Bob Markland -- vocals 

- Dave Mani -- vocals

- Dick Monda -- vocals

- Chris Sciarrotta -- vocals




- Daddy Dewdrop (Dick Monda)

- Dick Monda (solo efforts)





Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Groovie Goolies

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: LSP 4420

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/NM

Comments: sealed; shrink partially torn; cut out notch along top edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1042

Price: $80.00


Best time to play:  After a truly hideous day at work and you need something brainless and uplifting.



I'm guessing that if you were born between say 1958 and 1966,  you  experienced the joys of the original Groovie Goolies.  Luckily I fit right in the middle of that demographic and yes, I recall Saturday mornings with The Groovie Goolies ...  my goodness, Saturday mornings watching cartoons with a PopTart and orange juice.    Does life get much better than that ?   If you were born later, your exposure to the group probably came as a result of the series  reappearing in syndication in the late-'70s as part of a cartoon package entitled The Groovie Goolies & Friends.


So a little background on this concept.  The Groovie Goolies were a cartoon series  that originally appeared on CBS television between 1970 and 1972.   The show was a spin-off of another cartoon series; Sabrina the Teenage Witch Show (the Goolies were Sabrina's cousins), which had in turn been a spin-off of another cartoon - The Archies Show.  The plotline (I'm using the term loosely), followed the zany adventures of a group of surprisingly mod monsters who lived in a haunted boarding house (Horrible Hall) and happened to have a collective affinity for bubblegum pop music.  The main characters were Drac (voiced by Larry Storch); Frankie, and Wolfie (the latter two characters voiced by Howard Morris).   The three main characters were surrounded by a group ensemble of supporting characters and a laugh track that seemingly attempted to give the show a Laugh-In styled aura.   That characteristics was certainly lost on my ten year old sensibilities, as was the out-of-place laugh track.



As was then standard operating procedure for Saturday morning cartoons, each episode included one of two musical numbers which were eventually compiled into the "Groovie Goolies" LP.  Unlike some of their competitors, Filmation Associates (the company behind the Groovie Goolies venture), was smart enough to incorporate the potential for a live, touring Groovie Goolies contingent (pictured on the album cover)..


Released in 1970, the album was produced by the late Richard Delvy (best known for his work as The Bel-Airs drummer), with Norm Prescott credited as executive producer.  The album liner notes indicated Ed Fournier, Bob Markland, Dave Mani, Dick Monda (of Daddy Dewdrop fame), and  Chris Sciarrotta provided the vocals.  Wikipedia credits Tom McKenzie (who had worked on The Archies and The Doodletown Pipers) as handling most of the vocals, but if he did, his name doesn't appear on the album liner notes.  Musically these songs were a mixture of prime bubblegum pop and equally catchy numbers that were written specifically for the cartoon episodes.   With Linda Martin and Sherry Gayden composing all ten tracks, material like 'Save Your Good Lovin' For Me', 'We Go So Good Together' and 'Spend Some Time Together' was every bit as good as the best of commercial bubblegum releases.  Buoyed by insidiously catchy melodies and lightweight, harmless lyrics, it was perfect for young kids who had access to their parent's disposable income.  Not meant as a criticism, but to be honest, much of it sounded interchangeable with material out of The Archies catalog.   


"Groovie Goolies" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Save Your Good Lovin' For Me   (Linda Martin - Sherry Gayden) - 2:05    rating: **** stars

Admittedly it wasn't the most original piece of songwriting you'd ever heard, but 'Save Your Good Lovin' for Me' started the album with a classic slice of bubblegum pop - mindless fun with a hook that was clearly written to penetrate your head and then refuse to leave.  That probably explains why RCA actually tapped it as a single in the US, UK, and even Australia.  



1970's 'Save Your Good Lovin' For Me' b/w First Annual, Semi-Formal, Combination Meet-The Monster Population Party' (RCA catalog number 74-0383)  


Thanks to YouTube you can also see the original animated video clips for most of these songs:   



2.) Bumble Goolie  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:37   rating: *** stars

While it had the same overarching sound as the rest of the collection, technically 'Bumble Goolie' wasn't a Groovie Goolies tune, rather was a track by The Bare Bones Band (you had to watch the video clip to pick up the difference).  A little more mechanical in terms of writing and performance, but still quite catchy.   Always loved the electric sitar sound on the tune. 
3.) We Go So Good Together  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:32  
rating: **** stars

Say what you will about bubblegum being little more than shallow musical "product", but the fact of the matter is some of this stuff was almost addictive.   Yes, it was amazingly simplistic, but 'We Go So Good Together' had one of those melodies and hooks that you simply could not shake, making it one of the album's standout performances.    
4.) Frankie  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 3:03 
rating: **** stars

The ominous organ, harpsichord, fuzz guitar, and '50s backing vocals made this the album's cutest tune.  Hard not to smile given how goofy it was.  
5.) Goolie Get-Together (Theme)  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 3:17
   rating: *** stars

The series "theme" song, this was actually another one that technically wasn't a Groovie Goolies tune, rather was a performance by The Spirits of '76.   Updated folk-rock with Larry Storch repeating the refrain and a nice guitar solo, but not one of the best tunes on the LP.  Always liked the dancing frogs in the video clip.   


(side 2)
) First Annual Semi-Formal Combination Celebration Meet-The Monster Population Party   (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 3:20   rating: **** stars

Overlooking the goofy title, this was one of the album's most commercial and radio-ready tunes. 

2.) Spend Some Time Together   (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:22   rating: **** stars

The fuzz guitar had me from the opening chord.  The song also had a great rollicking bass line and some wonderful harmony vocals.  Simply irresistable bubblegum pop tune that was every bit as good as the best of The Archies catalog.  
3.) Cling, Clang   (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:33
   rating: *** stars

For some reason 'Cling, Clang' has always reminded me of something that Davy Jones might have recorded for The Monkees.  The song had the same fey, slightly English feel to it.  A bit too cutesy and gimmicky for my tastes, but perfect for a Saturday morning cartoon soundtrack. 
4.) Goolie Garden  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:47
   rating: *** stars

Kind of the band's theme song, 'Goolie Garden' was more of a set piece met to introduce the Groovie Goolies concept than anything.   Nice fuzz guitar and the song certainly had a nice hook, but it didn't match up with some of the other tunes.'    

5.) One, Two, Three  (Linda Martin - Sherry Gaden) - 2:10    rating: *** stars

With a polka-like melody, 'One, Two, Three' was another one that was a bit two cute for it's own good, though the accompanying video clip was hysterical. 


By the way, there were plenty of Groovie Goolie tunes that didn't make the album (e.g 'Chick-a-Boom', Frightening Frankie, Dangerous Drac and Weirdo Wolfie', and 'Kings and Queens'), leading to speculation Filmmation and RCA might have had tentative plans for a follow-up set had there been commercial success with the debut.   There was also material from the other resident Horrible Hall support bands like The Bare Boned Band, The Mummies and the Puppies, The Rolling Headstones, and The Spirits of '76 (no, I'm not making this stuff up).