Bugaloos

Following the Saturday morning success of H.R. Pufnstuf, Sid and Marty Krofft Productions decided to tackle the pop market by creating The Bugaloos. The band of four British singing bugs lived in Tranquility Forest with their friend Sparky the Firefly. Each week, the wicked Benita Bizarre, played by Martha Raye, and her bungling assistants, Flunky Rat, Woofer, and Tweeter, would come up with some new scheme to steal the talents of the Bugaloos. The lack of plot is the probable cause of why the show lasted only two seasons after debuting in September of 1970 and ended in September 1972. The cast consisted of four obscure actors, Caroline Ellis as Joy, the singing butterfly; Wayne Laryea as Harmony, the keyboard-playing bumblebee; John McIndoe portrayed IQ, the grasshopper guitarist; and John Philpott was Courage, a male ladybug who played drums. Like similar television pop groups of the time (Banana Splits, Monkees, Archies, Lancelot Link & the Evolution Revolution), each episode contained a new song. Their tunes were written by the same team that would go on to write the themes to Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley in the mid-'70s. In 1970, Capitol Records managed to squeeze an album out of the songs from the series called, appropriately, The Bugaloos. Fans of this long out of print treasure were rewarded in 2000 with a CD reproduction of the original album. Released on the Japanese label Vivid, the music doesn't fit the typical bubblegum mold of the day, with more emphasis on glossy production that included strings and close harmonies. The lyrics range from the childlike singalong "Gna, Gna Gna, Gna Gna," and "The Bugaloos Theme" to the more grown-up "The Senses of Our World," "Fly Away With Us," and "Older Woman!" Bizarre stuff for a kids record. ~ Al Campbell

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