Unlike the Archies, a group of musicians were recruited by Bill Traut and Jim Golden of Dunwich Productions, Chicago with the help of the film's producers, Filmation, to record for RCA and go out on the road to perform the songs live. See more »
Saturday morning rockers produced some great tunes
Back in the late sixties,enterprising rock music executives used children's shows as springboards for promoting pop and rock records, broadening the appeal of the music to an ever-younger audience. The Archies were the first and most successful example, but there were other, lesser entries that produced excellent, if not successful, records. Such is the case of the Hardy Boys, one of numerous efforts that coat-tailed in on the Archies'success. Filmation, something of an animation sausage factory in the 70s (and the Archies' production company as well), produced the show. Despite the trivia claim, Don Kirshner had nothing to do with the Hardys, although the powers that be did use live musicians in promotions and to perform live. Bill Traut and Jim Golden of Dunwich Productions acted as musical supervisors and producers of the records. The Hardys produced two albums and three singles, all to negligible notice. This is not to say they were bad; the records are good compared to some of the other offerings from Saturday morning groups, especially the second Lp,"Wheels", which boasts some some of the best country/blues/pop hybrids ever put on wax by cartoon characters. Speaking of cartoon characters, the show itself wasn't that great; it was produced on the cheap and shows its seams 36 years later. Camera zooms and quick cuts create a sense of movement where there is none, a necessity when one is limited by time and money to use limited cell animation. Some of the voice over actors affect grating accents--the actor voicing Chubby Morton is particularly annoying--and it often is hard to differentiate between different character's voices, giving the impression the same guy is doing all the voice-overs. Still, the "videos" for the songs are jewels of late sixties kitsch, with lots of pulsating, psychedelic backgrounds, shifting designs, quick cuts, spinning frames, etc. High art it ain't, but surely a pleasant, although rather dated, diversion.
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