Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Josie and the Pussycats (album)
|Josie And The Pussycats: From The Hanna-Barbera TV Show|
|Album by Josie and the Pussycats|
|Released||December 5, 1970|
|Recorded||Spring 1970 - Fall 1970|
|Length||23 mins 43 secs|
|Record label||Capitol Records|
|Allmusic.com||3 stars out of 5||link|
|(clockwise from top of album cover image) Patrice Holloway, Cherie Moor, and Cathy Dougher|
This article is about the Josie and the Pussycats musical group and album. For other versions of the property, see Josie and the Pussycats.
Josie and the Pussycats, besides being both a Archie comic book and a Saturday morning cartoon series, is also the name of a bubblegum pop singing group from the early 1970s, which was designed to be the real-life incarnation of the musical girl group featured in both the comic and the cartoon. The group was made up of Cathy Dougher, Patrice Holloway, and Cherie Moor (formerly known as Cheryl Ann Stepplemoor and later better known as Cheryl Ladd), who cut an album and six singles for Capitol Records in 1970 with Danny Janssen's La La Productions.
In preparation for their upcoming cartoon series, Hanna-Barbera Productions began working on putting together a real-life "Josie and the Pussycats" girl group, who would provide the singing voices of the girls in the cartoons and also cut an album as well.
The "Josie and the Pussycats" recording were produced by La La Productions which included producer/songwriter Danny Janssen (who had written for Bobby Sherman and The Partridge Family), his business partner Bobby Young, and songwriters Austin Roberts, Sue Steward and Bobby Hart (formerly one of the producers/songwriters for The Monkees). They held a talent search to find three girls who would match the three girls in the comic book in both looks and singing ability, and, after interviewing over 500 finalists, settled upon casting Cathy Dougher as Josie, Cherie Moor as Melody, and Patrice Holloway as Valerie.
Janssen presented the newly formed band to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to finalize the production deal, but was in for a major surprise. Hanna-Barbera wanted Janssen to recast Patrice Holloway, because they had decided to portray "Josie and the Pussycats" as an all-White trio and had altered African-American Valerie's character to make her Caucasian. Janssen refused to recast Holloway, whose voice he felt he needed for the soul-inspired bubblegum pop songs he had written, and threatened to walk away from the project. After a three-week-long stand-off between Janssen and Hanna-Barbera, Hanna-Barbera finally relented, allowed Janssen to keep Holloway, and changed Valerie back to being an African-American.
Word quickly spread around Los Angeles about the stand Janssen had taken. To show their gratitude, a number of the most notable soul session players in the city offered their services to La La Productions and the Josie album at a fraction of their regular fees. Among them were Elvis Presley's drummer Ronnie Tutt, Elvis' bassist Jerry Scheff, keyboardist Clarence MacDonald, flutist Wilton Felder and guitarist Mike Stewart.
The Josie and the Pussycats sound is very much based upon that of Motown acts such as The Supremes and the Jackson 5. A cover of The Jackson 5's classic "I'll Be There" is present on the album, and a number of Patrice Holloway's leads find her imitating young Michael Jackson's lead vocals . Ironically, Holloway, who almost didn't even end up in the group, sings most of the album's lead vocals. Holloway also sings lead on the famous "Josie and the Pussycats" theme song, which was wrtten by Hanna-Barbera musical director Hoyt Curtin (and based on a recurring score cue from The Jetsons), William Hanna, and Joseph Barbera. The majority of the rest of the lead parts are done by Cherie Moor. Although she was cast as the singing voice of Josie, Cathy Dougher only sings lead vocals on four of the Pussycats' songs, "If That Isn't Love," "A Letter to Mama," and the covers of "I'll Be There" and "It Don't Matter to Me."
Although Janssen used strings, horns, keyboards, and oscillators (electronic synthesizers) to create the band's sound, the on-screen cartoon band featured Josie on guitar, Valerie with tambourines, and Melody on drums. No other musicians appeared on-screen with them, creaating a disconcerting contrast between audio and visual for many viewers. At least one, but usually two, of the band's songs were heard during the course of an episode of the TV show, especially during a high-action chase sequence.
Josie And The Pussycats: From The Hanna-Barbera TV Show was released on December 15 1970 by Capitol Records, Six 45 RPM singles were released, 4 of which contained non-album songs and were only available as part of a Kellog's mail-order promotion. None of the singles charted, and many people didn't even know the album was even available. As a result, sales were far below expectations, and plans for a national tour were shelved. Hanna-Barbera contracted producer Jimmie Haskell and a group of anonymous session singers to do the music for Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, and La La Productions' Josie and the Pussycats group was officially disbanded. Danny Janssen and Patrice Holloway worked together on a few songs after the demise of the band, and Sue Stewart wrote a few songs for Cheryl Ladd's self-titled 1978 debut album, also relased on Capitol Records.
The album, the singles, some alternate takes, and a few songs that only appeared in the animated series were all collected in a limited edition digitally remastered set entitled Josie and the Pussycats: Stop Look and Listen: The Captiol Recordings, released by Rhino Handmade on October 5 2001. Rhino only pressed 5000 copies of the album. Earlier that same year, Babyface produced a new Josie and the Pussycats album as the soundtrack for the motion picture released by Universal Pictures that same year. This new reincarnation of the Pussycats had a harder, punk-rock sound, as opposed to their Motown-ish 1970 counterparts. Letters to Cleo vocalist Kay Hanley sung lead on all of the Pussycats' new songs.
The Group's Songs
Tracklist for Josie And The Pussycats: From The Hanna-Barbera TV Show
- 1. "Every Beat Of My Heart"
- 2. "La, La, La (If I Had You)" (originally performed by Bobby Sherman)
- 3. "Stop, Look And Listen"
- 4. "Hand Clapping Song"
- 5. "I'll Be There" (originally performed by The Jackson 5)
- 6. "You've Come a Long Way Baby"
- 7. "(They Long To Be) Close To You" (originally performed by The Carpenters)
- 8. "Roadrunner"
- 9. "Lie, Lie, Lie"
- 10. "It Don't Matter to Me" (originally performed by Bread)
- "Every Beat of My Heart" b/w "It's All Right With Me" (non-album song)
- "Stop, Look And Listen" b/w "You've Come a Long Way Baby"
Kellog's Mail Order Singles
- "Voodoo" b/w "If That Isn't Love"
- "Josie" (alternate extended version of the theme song) b/w "With Every Beat of My Heart" (alternate mix of "Every Beat of My Heart" without strings and horns)
- "Inside, Outside, Upside Down" b/w "A Letter to Mama"
- "It's Gotta Be Him" b/w "I Wanna Make You Happy"
These songs only appeared in the cartoon show; they were never released for consumer purchase. "Clock on the Wall" was the only song not included on the Rhino reissue.
- "Clock on the Wall"
- "The Time to Love"
- Josie and the Pussycats (the Archie comic)
- Josie and the Pussycats (the Hanna-Barbera cartoon show)
- Josie and the Pussycats (the live action movie)
- Charles, Don (March 2003). Long Tails and Ears for Hats: The Story of Josie and The Pussy Cats. Cool & Strange Music #28. Text available at http://lpintop.tripod.com/oldiesconnection/id17.html.
- Josie and the Pussycats: Stop Look and Listen: The Captiol Recordings [CD Set]. Burbank: Rhino Handmade. Text available at http://www.geocities.com/antlion7/josie.htm.
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