The 8 kookiest records ever made by child stars of the 1970s
Rippy. McNichols. Rist. None of them quite became Michael Jackson, to say the least.
The 1970s were a golden era for both child stars and novelty songs. So it's no wonder that the two crossed over from time to time to create the ultimate in retro cheese — pop albums by precocious TV stars.
We begin our journey into the world of Seventies child star albums with the Bradys. But popular young actors from Family, Good Times and fast food commercials got in on the action, too.
1. CHRIS KNIGHT & MAUREEN MCCORMICK - 'CHRIS KNIGHT & MAUREEN MCCORMICK'
The Brady Bunch cut a ton of record, both as a "family" and solo. We'll start with this platter from 1973, on which Marcia and Peter teamed up under their legal names for a batch of funky folk-rock. McCormick outshines her fake brother, frankly, and the producers seemed quite aware of this, as Knight is mixed down. It could almost be mistaken for a McCormick solo record. She would eventually get around to that in 1995. Here she is singing "Ben," the greatest song ever written for a horror movie about a pet rat. As far as we know.
2. Eve Plumb - "(Nicchi Sgnacchi Muscchi Mucchi) The Fortune Cookie Song"
Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Why did she get to go first on this list? Eve Plumb, Jan Brady herself, dropped this solo single two years earlier, in 1971. It was produced by her father, record executive Neely Plumb. We'll assume this bizarre tune was his idea.
3. Robbie Rist And The Tower Of Light Beer Rhythm Section - 'Here'
Yep, that is Cousin Oliver in the shades, second from the right. Years after he popped up on the final season of The Brady Bunch, he explored a music career. He grew up, spiked his hair, and got into hard riffs. This 1988 pop-metal album was a collaboration with pal Paul Pope. Take a listen to the original Rist composition "Had It Up To Here."
SEE ALSO: TAKE A SPIN THROUGH THE BRADY BUNCH ALBUMS
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4. Rodney Allen Rippy - 'Take Life a Little Easier'
At the age of five, Rodney Allen Rippy became the youngest person ever to crack a Billboard music chart. It's amazing what Jack in the Box commercials can do for fame. His catchphrase "It's too big to eat!" was not turned into song, but "Take Life a Little Easier" was used in ads for the fast food chain. Take a listen, especially if you're a fan of spontaneous giggling.
Image: Vinyl Cafe
5. Alison Arngrim - 'Heeere's Amy'
Everyone's favorite prairie brat, Arngrim became a cult favorite as Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. In 1977, at the age of 15, the actress recorded a comedy album poking fun at the daughter of President Jimmy Carter. Poking fun at the First Family was in her blood — her mother, Norma MacMillan, had previously provided voices on Vaughn Meader's The First Family, a hit 1962 comedy platter that joked about the Kennedys.
6. Kristy & Jimmy McNichol - 'Kristy & Jimmy McNichol'
The hit family TV drama Family turned McNichol into a teen idol. She popped up on The Carpenters at Christmas special, singing alongside Karen, and teamed with her brother to cut some pop records. Their cover of the 1963 Chiffons hit "He's So Fine" climbed to No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo's self titled album also featured a disco-pop track called "Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay," which was probably used by detractors to prove just the opposite.
7. Danny Bonaduce - 'Danny Bonaduce'
In 1973, Bonaduce was 14 years old. Someone had the creepy idea to have the teenager coo lines like, "Touch you softly with my magic wand," and, "Honey, I'll make love to you." See if you can make it to the slide-whistle solo. The music was arranged by Norman Bergen, who has previously worked on Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Knock Three Times," and this next record…
8. Ralph Carter - 'Young and In Love'
Carter is best known as Michael Evans, the youngest child on the sitcom Good Times. However, he had musical credibilty, having starred in the Broadway production Raisin, the musical adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun. Here, however, the 14-year-old went straight to the disco — it was 1975 after all. Yep, Norman Bergen was again the man behind the curtain.
SEE MORE: 7 CHILD STARS OF THE 1970S: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
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