During the five years of the Brady Bunch, one of Greg's traits was that he was very musical, and sang many times, either without or with his siblings. This time, the Brady kids all together as one group were trying to make some "Dough-Re-Mi".
During the early 1970s, family singing groups were very popular. Take The Partridge Family, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, The Bee Gees (pre-disco) and the Carpenters for example. Of course, The Partridge Family, at then airing on ABC, was only fictional, but was based on a real life group - The Cowsills. But it was more popular than The Brady Bunch, which also ran on the ABC - peaking at #26 at Nielsen ratings during the first season and #19 during second season, while Brady Bunch's best was just #34. The Partridge family was a singing family, while the Bradys, with the exception of Carol singing "O Come, All Ye Faithful" in the church choir, Greg writing and performing his first song, "Till I Met You" and Peter, Jan and Cindy singing "Loch Lomond", were not in the music business yet. Due to the popularity of the family groups, the writers decided to make the Brady kids into one as well.
Of all the six child stars of the Brady Bunch, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Mike Lookinland (especially the latter one) were very musical, both good vocalists and instrumentalists. On the other hand, Susan Olsen and Eve Plumb were somewhat okay, but Chris Knight was really the worst when it came to singing.
But enough of the comparisons and preliminaries ... we've got a story to tell about how this group of Brady kids came to be a singing group.
And it all begins when Greg locks himself inside the boys' room, which annoys Peter and Bobby, because it's just as much their room as it is his, and they want to get in. Except that Greg wouldn't budge. Then, he is seen writing something down, until finally, he comes out of the room, exclaiming "I got it!" and runs off.
Meanwhile, the phone rings, and Peter answers it. It's Sam, who thought that it was Marcia who answered, and then Jan. Just then, Greg comes home. So what was that he had got? Well, Greg's in a gloomy mood, having just "lost a million bucks". Apparently, the reason he has locked himself into the boys room, was that he was writing a song, and the reason for locking the door was that "creative artists don't like to be disturbed". Apparently, he had written a "guaranteed Gold record", titled "We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter", but the problem is that the recording studio's owner, Mr. Dimsdale, charges $150 to use the studio, while he only has $43.12. Peter then remembers that Mr. Dimsdale is the father of his friend, Johnny Dimsdale, and goes to talk to him himself. Where just then, five kids are just about to begin a recording session. Mr. Dimsdale explains that he can't give him a discount, and tells him to watch "The Five Monroes", who are just recording.
This gave Peter an idea, which he explains to Greg - Mr. Dimsdale had told him about the family groups' popularity - and so, they could make a family group of their own - after all, "there were only five of the Monroes, but there's six of the Brady kids", and they'll all chip in their money. Well, Peter will, and also Bobby, who's currently fixated to a cartoon, prompting Greg to suggest that "We better get his money before the cartoon ends". However, Marcia and Jan say a flat-out no, annoying Greg at first, but having heard that his sisters had said it very musically, he asks them to sing it. And then, they're ready to join in too, and also get Cindy to join in.
However, even between the six of them, they have only managed to get an additional $10 - a grand total of $53.12, so Greg turns to Mike. Greg tries to get Mike to fund them, promising to pay it back, and give him 10% of all the money they'll make as the singing group. Mike disagrees, also when Greg offers 20%. But Mike is willing to advance them the money, but it would mean that the kids' allowances would have a 50-cent deduction until it's paid off.note With no other option, Greg agrees.
The kids are then seen singing Greg's new song together, and then, after Mike has written him the check, Greg is able to rent the recording studio for Friday.
Too soon. In the next scene, they are practising the song again, but then Peter's voice suddenly changes. After messing up three times, Carol suddenly remembers that Peter may be hitting puberty, for Greg's voice, too, had broken at 13. Alice then remembers that when she had talked to Sam, he had told her about Peter sounding like a girl, the reason why Sam earlier thought that Marcia or Jan was on the phone. Now comes the problem - the $150 Greg paid to Mr. Dimsdale was non-refundable, and they either use the studio on Friday or lose it.
So now, Greg and Peter try to get Peter's voice back to normal, with steam and honey, to no avail. So, Greg, Bobby and the girls now decide to vote on whether to record the song with or without Peter. Only that it ends on a 3-3 tie, for Cindy wasn't able to make up her mind and so voted to both keep and dump Peter. Greg then decides to take another vote, to which the others protest. Just then, Carol comes in, and Greg and Marcia ask for her advice.
As it turns out: Greg and Jan wanted to "dump Peter", while Marcia and Bobby wanted to keep him. Jan proposes that they record without Peter, but give him his full share of the profits, to which Marcia says that it was Peter's idea in the first place to include the other Brady kids too as a family group, so it wouldn't be fair to leave him out, and for Bobby sees Peter as his best friend, he thinks they should let Peter record even if he ruins everything, but Greg counters that then nobody would buy the record. Carol refuses to make the decision for the kids, for it wouldn't be right, but gives them a piece of advice: "Money and fame are very important things, but sometimes there are other things that are more important, like, people." Moved by it, the kids decide to call off the recording and are about to tell Peter, but just then Peter comes in, having just decided himself that it wouldn't be fair of him to spoil Greg's good song, and tells the kids to go on and record without him. What to do now?
Bobby proposes that they could still record, with Peter, but Greg says that they can't have Peter's voice changing all the way through the song... or can they? Because just then, Greg again yells "I've got it!" and runs off.
Sure enough, now it's just like in the beginning - Greg has locked himself in the boys' room again and is busy writing the new song, although this time, he has also substantially filled the wastebasket. Then come Friday, he has completed the new song, the famous "Time to Change".note . And sure enough, Mr. Dimsdale is very impressed.
In the tag scene, Greg has decided, that while every family group has its special gimmick, then for them, it would be Peter's cracking voice.
And so it's Part One of the Brady Kids musical group in the books. They would sing again later one year later, this time the famous "Sunshine Day", which probably is the best known of the Brady kids' songs. And then they would tour the country as their singing act, and in the show, they would sing one last time in the Season 5 opener. After which, and when the show was cancelled in early 1974, they all went their separate ways. Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick started their own solo careers; Chris Knight was determined to stay out of music business (although he did record an album with Maureen); Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen were going to form their own musical trio called "The Brady Bunch Three" in 1974-1975, backed by the Paramount Records Division, but before they could go on tour, Paramount pulled the plug on it.note But the Bradys did sing once again (without Eve Plumb though) in 1976-1977, as part of The Brady Bunch Hour. This time, Robert Reed, Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis were also in the music business.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Here We Go Again!: In the beginning, Greg has locked himself in the boys' room, for he's writing a song to record. When Peter's voice starts to change, he locks himself into the room again, to write another song to accommodate Peter's changing voice.
- Hilarity Ensues: As pointed out in Pop Up Brady, voting twice in an election is illegal.
- Take a Third Option: Cindy couldn't decide whether to keep or dump Peter so she voted for each.