"So you are a star, they say
Nobody knows you like I do
And you play the part, okay
Nobody knows you like I do
You've got to love only me..."

The Hudson Brothers were a threesome of brothers from Portland, Oregon, with the last name of Hudson. Hence their name. They were, or rather are, Bill Hudson (born William Louis Hudson Junior, October 17th, 1949), Mark Hudson (born August 23rd, 1951) and Brett Hudson (born January 18th, 1953). They were, or rather are, musicians and vocalists and all around entertainers, though in recent years they have rarely if ever performed together. Blood is thicker than water. Whatever that means.

They started as part of a band called The Sirs, which quickly dissolved and they became part of another band called The New Yorkers which featured the talents of their friend Kent Filmore. They recorded several songs in the late 1960s, and after Filmore left they changed the name of the band once again to Everyday Hudson. Now a trio, they sometimes called themselves just Hudson, and this was decades before Hanson, so the Hudson Brothers were in many ways, ahead of their time.

Slowly their success expanded from the state of Oregon to regional levels, achieving national success with "So You Are A Star" which hit the US top 40 pop charts in 1974. Other bubblegum pop hits continued soon after and it appeared as if they were on their way to a career of several albums with consistent success, but then things took an interesting turn. Riding high on a modern cultural icon wave, The Hudson Brothers signed a contract to be the next television sensation, with a variety show made in a model similar to that of the Sonny and Cher show, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Captain and Tennille. Their show was called simply "The Hudson Brothers" at first when it was just a summer fill-in half hour program, and then later "The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Hour." This series was the largest highlight of their career and then simultaneously it was their greatest downfall. The reason was because of the trio's humor gimmick. Taking a page from comedic greats like Martin and Lewis, the Hudson Brothers were constantly playing the role of party animals. They were like kids in a candy store. Some idiot in Television City made the mistake of giving them their own studio and keys to the liquor cabinet and they were slap happy jesters while the king was away. This was funny, but quickly lost its luster when people began questioning whether or not they actually were talented or funny. It's a drawback of self-deprecating humor: the audience starts believing your anti-hype. More recent talents like Janeane Garofalo still suffer from this same malady. There's little to no longevity in self-deprecation.

Those who experienced the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show made the mistake of believing these boys were an overnight sensation that took the world by storm, but they had been working hard for years before they were discovered. They were one of the first true power pop bands, who entertained audiences over a decade before The Backstreet Boys or N'Sync hit the scene. On top of being incredibly talented, the Hudson Brothers were also funny and amiable and were like the boys next door. They seemed to be safe entertainment to conservative parents while simultaneously representing rebellion and liberal disenchantment of the young people in the 1960s. However, their success was short-lived, predominantly because though their rough talent was their own, the publicity which made them nationally famous was fabricated by the capitalistic media, and though the young people bought into it at first, they were quickly revealed to be manufactured pop icons. It soon became more fashionable to look down on The Hudson Brothers than to be entertained by them. The only real victims of this conundrum were the Hudsons themselves, who fell off their pedestals almost as soon as they'd been placed upon them. The three of them worked on other productions either apart or together, mostly behind the scenes.

Timeshredder reminded me that they also had a movie. I'd forgotten to mention this, which may indicate how forgettable it actually is. It was called Hysterical, and was released in the summer of 1983. The film was their attempt to be the Marx Brothers of the 1980s, but was poorly promoted and the public reaction was practically nonexistent. It's presently available on DVD for about ten bucks. Oh, and their second television series, "Bonkers" in 1979 was an attempt to repackage their past glory without the razzle dazzle. This half hour series lasted twenty-four episodes, and you would be hard pressed to find this on DVD or anywhere. The Hudson Brothers experienced the best and worst of what Television City has to offer. The threesome wanted to be taken seriously as artists and entertainers, but unfortunately they were expected by their audience to live up to an unrealistic hype machine spun by network suits. They were not the first to suffer from the corporate machine that creates and destroys flashes in the pan at the expense of people's lives, and they were by no means the last. They reunited briefly as performers in the 1990s to publicize a compilation album, but haven't made many waves in twenty five years.

Mark Hudson was the brother with the moustache, and most recently he's been working to solidify the pop star career of his daughter, Sarah Hudson. Bill Hudson was the oldest. He is the estranged father of Kate Hudson by Goldie Hawn, and rumor has it he is, or rather was, with Cindy Williams of 'Laverne and Shirley' fame.

  • Hudson (Playboy 1972)
  • Totally Out Of Control (Rocket 1974)
  • Hollywood Situation (Casablanca 1974)
  • Ba-Fa (Rocket 1975)
  • The Truth About Us (Arista 1978)
  • Damn Those Kids (Elektra 1980)
  • TV's Hudson Brothers (First American 1978)
  • So You Are A Star: The Best Of The Hudson Brothers (Varèse Sarabande 1995)

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