In 1969, ABC began a
cartoon series that would spawn a real-life rock band, new HB comics, and
much more. Although the cartoons are comparable to other animation
of the period, and Chet's voice is like eternal hell, I have a special
little niche in my Hardy-heart for these animated atrocities.
Hardy Boys Cartoon
Think late '60s and characters 'talking'
by moving their mouths up and down... Interestingly, the Hardys and their
friends formed their own band (sort of like The Archies, really) in the
show called The Hardy Boys Plus Three, and there was also a real
Hardy Boys band -- the real band
members remarkably resembled their respective cartoon character! The band
released two albums which produced three singles, an 8-Track, a cassette
tape (!), and a reel-to-reel...thingy.
The Hardy Boys cartoon
was the first to feature a black character, Pete Jones, in its adventures.
It was also the first to have a thirty-second public service announcement
at the end of the show.
All of the adventures were based (loosely)
on a Hardy Boys book. Unnamed and unnumbered, it's hard to pinpoint the
exact number of episodes, but Hardy Boys researchers have successfully
compiled a thought-to-be-complete list. Each episode (thirty minutes) contained
two different adventures, and a song from the HB band was featured in-between.
I have been able to map all the performed songs to the released records
except one (see below). A few of these episodes are available on VHS from
toontracker.com and private collectors.
- Cast - The Band
- Episode List - Collectibles
1969-71 - Characters
Byron Kane - Frank Hardy,
Pete Jones, Fenton Hardy
Dal McKennon - Joe
Hardy, Chubby Morton
Jane Webb - Wanda
Kay Breckenridge, Aunt Gertrude
L-R: Reed Kailing, Bob Crowder, Deven English, Jeff Taylor, Norbert
L-R Character Names: Frank Hardy, Pete Jones, Wanda Kay, Joe Hardy,
Information sent out
from the Hardy Boys fan club included information on the five band members
and a 45 record with the members introducing themselves. Several members
went on to more popular groups (Reed Kailing was a member of Grass Roots
and The Destinations).
Each half-hour episode
contained two 15-minute stories. Between stories (sometimes a little bit
into the second one) the "Hardy Boys Plus Three" entertained viewers with
a new song from one of their records.
These episodes aren't
in any kind of order. I've included the song in each episode, when known.
Although the episodes don't include a title (making it very tough to figure
out anything about them), titles have been assigned.
1. Footprints Under the Window/Hidden
Gold -- Love & Let Love
2. Desert Giant/Viking Symbol
-- Feels So Good
3. Old Mill/Missing Chums
-- That's That
4. Cabin Island/Hidden Harbor
-- My Little Sweetpea
5. Secret of the Caves/Figure
in Hiding -- unknown
6. Secret Warning/Aztec
Warrior -- unknown
7. Skeleton Rock/Chinese
Junk -- unknown
8. What Happened at Midnight/Clue
in the Embers -- unknown
9. Screeching Owl/Yellow
Feather -- unknown
Paw/Haunted Fort -- Carnival Time
11. Sinister Signpost/Melted
Coins -- unknown
12. Hooded Hawk/Short Wave
-- Hello Girl***
13. Shore Road/Crooked Arrow
- One Time in a Million
14. Phantom Freighter/Pirate's
Hill -- unknown
These are episodes
produced, but I
don't know how they
pair up (all 1970):
House on the Cliff
Mark on the Door
*** This song was first
released by Reed Kailing (aka Frank Hardy) and The Destinations, his former
personal band. Although the Hardy Boys recorded a version for this cartoon,
it doesn't appear on any of their recordings.
Collectibles From These
1969/70: Hardy Boys
albums - RCA
Here Come the Hardy
Boys and Wheels
1969: Here Come the
Hardy Boys reel to reel tape.
1969: Here Come the
Hardy Boys 8-track
1970: Two of the three
HB singles. (Sink or Swim/Love and Let Love is one single)
1969: Single with sleeve
1970 - Wheels and
Love & Let Love sheet music.
1970 & 1971 - Gold
Three (confirmed) and
probably four of the comics were published in the Spanish language and
distributed in Spain and Mexico. Unfortunately, it is muy difícil
to find these Spanish-language editions in anything remotely resembling
good condition, not to mention finding them at all!
Three Hardy Boys comics in Spanish.
1969 - Milton Bradley
1969 - Collegeville
Costumes; Wanda Kay, Frank, and Joe.
1969 Viewmaster Reels
- "The Mystery of the Caves"
Two envelope styles
(both seen above).
1969 - Rolls Royce -
(This is the car the
band uses in the cartoons.)
Quite a rare item and
generally brings $100-$275 or more!