One Sunday afternoon in 1983, watching one of my local UHF channels, they had a pilot for a TV show. The show had a group of kids, my age, singing and dancing to pop hits of the day. From Michael Jackson, to the Police, I think even the Beatles. They were all there.
I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Since ZOOM was off the air, it was the same sort of show, only without all the lessons, and crafts, and PBS stuff. Just music, all the time.
The music was the most important thing about it. In the pilot, they had characters named Mickey and Gloria, just because those were two of the most popular songs of the day, and you knew they were going to have to work those songs in to the program.
The early seasons of the show starred Martika (who would go on to have a hit song in the 90’s with “Toy Soldier”) as Gloria. Renee Sands played Renee.
And then there was someone else.
Can you recognize who that is singing “Gloria” from the pilot?
Hint, her character's name was Stacy.
That is none other than Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.
The show went on to become a series in 1984. It aired on and off for the years that followed. I didn't watch it all that often after that pilot.
It moved over to the Disney Channel for a while. I once tuned into an episode and saw it had a new cast, featuring one actress with the name of “Love”.
Turns out, it was Jennifer Love Hewitt. She started here, as well as others like Mario Lopez.
As I mentioned, the show’s history is a bit of a mess. Dates the show aired are different wherever you look. It aired on and off, took years off between seasons, and finally ended its run in 1993.
There was once a rumor, started by Fergie herself, that the show was going to be released on DVD. That was only a rumor. The music rights would make it almost impossible.
The pilot movie was released on VHS, and is a common bootleg on Ebay and other sites.