Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show

CBS - Premiered 9-7-74

Yes, it was exactly as ridiculous as the title suggests.

Hudson brothers The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show started out as simply The Hudson Brothers Show, a Saturday-evening summertime replacement series that must have gone over fairly well, because the next autumn it was resurrected as a Saturday morning children's variety show. And a variety show it was - music, comedy, puppets, etc. The 1970's was after all the Golden Era of variety TV programs, and this show certainly fit the bill - with enough silliness and goofy gags to wow (more or less) the cereal-eating crowd.

The Hudson brothers had started out in the mid-60's as a typical teen singing group. Brothers Bill, Mark, and Brett (in descending order of age) were good-looking enough and talented enough to get small gigs around their Portland, Oregon, community. With each brother taking an instrument, the youngsters played local clubs and began thinking about a recording career. After a couple of setbacks (including being cheated out of several thousands of dollars by a business manager) the boys were able to secure some record label interest; the album Hudson was released by Playboy Records in '72.

The Brothers didn't just sing and play songs; they also incorporated comedy into their act. Meeting up with a television producer who was impressed with the young men, the Hudsons managed to secure a primetime summer television show, which took the place of Sonny And Cher during the month of August 1974 when other networks were showing reruns. It only lasted one month, but it got them another gig. The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show followed the format of their summertime show closely, with even cornier humor for kids. Seventeen episodes were recorded, which aired from September '74 to the following August.

The show would begin every episode with the regular cast (including Ted Zeigler, Billy Van, Peter Cullen, Murray Langston, and Freeman King) sliding down a ramp into a psychedelically-painted van, which would deposit them all at the studio. The Brothers would reappear one by one and finish singing the show's theme song (emphasizing the "Razzle Dazzle" aspect). Comedy sketches were frequent, accompanied by the boys' musical stylings. Rod Hull and his emu puppet, as well as the Cookie Bear (from The Andy Williams Show, for Pete's sake) were regulars.

All in all, pretty much a nostalgia piece, of interest to young people today mainly so that they can make fun of it. But it's a nice relic of a time when children's entertainment wasn't quite so mean-spirited and smart-assed.

Hudson Trivia:
Actress Kate Hudson is the daughter of brother Bill and Goldie Hawn.

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