Monday, November 26, 2007

once again, here are the Rhodes Kids!

Santa loves Rock-n-Rhodes music!

Starting out the Christmas sharitys for this season is an old chestnut that yours truly, Mr. Miller, simply adores. It's easily one of my top twenty favorite Christmas LPs, and one that sits in the stack of records on the ol' console stereo spindle -- Rock-n-Rhodes Christmas by The Rhodes Kids. It's an album that I've shared before, but hey, when it's this good, then you just gotta make sure it gets out there!

From the size of those collars one could easily determine that these cats were happening straight out of the 70s, all polyester clad and uncoifed. The Rhodes Kids had their brush with fame and fortune, but unfortunately never rose to the bubblegum level of teen idol fame of similar family acts, like the Cowsills or the Partridge Family. It's not that they didn't have their opportunities. They were plastered on the pages of Tiger Beat and Sixteen, they played in the same Las Vegas venue where Elvis was playing, they took a spin on the stages of the Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffen Show and American Bandstand, and they played Disneyland (with Pat Boone) and Disney World.

Their biggest break was being the featured gig on a 1975 episode of The Wonderful World of Disney which promoted the hotly anticipated opening of Disney Worlds's Tomorrow Land. The program was hosted by Lucie Arnaz, and also featured Lyle Waggoner and Tommy Tune. The Kids were introduced to the PopCereal world in the same TV program as Space Mountain is given it's big promotion -- what a dream gig, eh!

As far as bubblegum pop goes, Won't You Be My Friend is about as light as cotton candy, and twice as sweet. It's no Sugar, Sugar, but it ain't without it's catchiness. Mr. Miller here has yet to dig up any more Rhodes Kids LPs, other than the Xmas one, so it's hard to get the real feel on these kids. But, if Mr. Miller only had this Xmas LP to go by, then I gotta wonder why the Kids didn't have teen girls swarming them everywhere they went.

Rock-n-Rhodes Chritsmas is sprinkled with catchy original bubblegum pop tunes, like Santa Loves Rock-n-Roll Music, as well as some tasty takes on old standards, like Jingle Bells. And what's really great about these kids is that they have some real talent. They didn't wear the rock-n-roll family guise as a come on, these kids were real hard working musicians with an obvious trunk full of musical skill -- if you have a chance, check out the linear notes and you'll see that the older Rhodes kids, Gary and Ron, split the vocal arrangement duties on the album. The result is not just a cool holiday album, but a sack full of some real catchy kernals of popcorn that ping around inside your head long after your egg nog buzz has melted away.

For a more intimate account of the brief pop life of the Rhodes Kids check out the interview with Ron Rhodes (the accomplished author), and an email response from the Donny Osmond of the group, Mark Rhodes, sent to the King of Jingaling over at the fabulous Christmas website FaLaLaLaLa (if you're liking the Christmas music this time of the year, trust me -- you don't wanna miss this website!). By the by, the sharity of this tremendous Xmas LP is straight from The King himself, since Mr. Miller's digatized version of the LP is vastly insuperior.



Anonymous said...

Some more music for you...

Great article!

Apple Glenn Blair said...

Do you still have the LP? If so, can you burn it for me? I can't find any Rhodes Kids CDs. :(

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