Saturday, January 15, 2011

H.R. Pufnstuf Original Soundtrack (1969, EP)

UPDATE: I'm bumping this back to the top in order to announce that this record may now be listened to in full by visiting my YouTube channel.

And here is one of my prized possessions. One day when I was five years old, a large, stiff manila envelope arrived in the mail, and it had my name on it. Without my knowing about it, my mother had taken advantage of an offer on some cereal box to enter me into the H.R. Pufnstuf Fan Club. There were other items in the package. I think there was a certificate, and I remember some kind of pin that I wore on my shirt everywhere until it broke. But this record was the best part of it, and I somehow have managed to preserve it intact for 40 years.

It is a 7-inch, 45 rpm EP including 11 songs that were used on the show. There are a few songs left out, but these are all the best songs.

Having recently watched all 17 episodes plus all available extras and interviews on the DVD set, I can say that the songs on this record are not exactly the same as they were presented on the TV show. For example, in the show the song "Pronouns" had a flute solo played by Freddie, but on the record there's just an instrumental bridge with no flute.

I played this record over and over and over again when I was a kid. When they stopped running the show on Saturday mornings I still had this record to remind me of the best TV show I had ever seen. The sequence of songs has become firmly fixed in my head. If I see that episode where Witchiepoo sings "Ice Cold Lemonade" I immediately hear the beginning of "A Bucket of Sunshine" in my head when she stops singing.

Track list:
Side One
1. H.R. Pufnstuf (theme song)
2. When We Woke Up This Morning
3. Mechanical Boy (another favorite of mine)
4. How Lucky I Am
5. I'm So Happy to Be Here

Side Two
1. Oranges, Smoranges
2. Pronouns
3. Ice Cold Lemonade (if you ever hear a meter reader coming down the street whistling this song, you'll know it's me)
4. A Bucket of Sunshine
5. End of the Road
6. H.R. Pufnstuf reprise

Yes, the jacket is somewhat tattered, but this is understandable when it began as the last thing a small child could hold in his hands and stare at to make sure he didn't forget his favorite escapist fantasy as he slowly grew older and came to realize that childhood was slipping away. But now we have the DVD, and some things are good again.

The record itself is in remarkably good condition, some pops and clicks but no jumps, and the mp3 files I created cleaned up very well. Another notable thing about this record is that it is one of the few I ripped with the old turntable before I gave up on it, and I still have the old files I created a few years ago when I did that. So I was able to compare the old files with the new, and there is a huge difference in sound quality. That old turntable was so horrendously noisy that I shouldn't even have bothered.

Here's one of the first songs I ever memorized as a small child. I still sing it sometimes, when I feel I need some encouragement.


  1. As I've said before, H. R. Pufnstuf started life at Hemisfair 68 as Luther, a cowboy who had been transformed into a dragon (which explains his otherwise inexplicable cowboy hat and boots). Beside the obvious influence of The Wizard of Oz, the creators also said they were influenced by the TV show The Prisoner, with the secret agent trying to escape a crazy island. I've based my life on Dr. Blinkie's teachings; the song Mechanical Boy was always my internal themesong while attending any horrible social function (like Kingdom Hall). I've got the box set of the show, a CD with all the songs and other Kroft show themes on it, a book called Pufnstuf and Other Stuff, and action figures of H. R. Pufnstuf and Kling and Klang. Somewhere in the Secret Archives I've got a video of the movie and the record of the movie (called simply Pufnstuf). In short, I love this show and envy your contemporaneous treasure.

  2. In addition, HR Pufnstuf was a clear testament that Seals and Crofts were way ahead of both the cocaine and acid use explosions. lol!

  3. Well, Seals & Crofts had nothing to do with it. The creators of Pufnstuf were brothers Syd and Marty Kroft, who had been professional puppeteers for many years before they created Pufnstuf. Also, they were mimicking the psychedelic fad in pop culture at the time, but they weren't doing acid themselves.

    Some people refuse to believe that, so you may believe whatever you want.

  4. Absolutely cool. I did not know H.R. Pufnstuf had his beginnings in San Antonio!

  5. All those Sid & Marty Kroft kiddy TV shows kinda freaked me out as a youngster. Nope, give me a WB cartoon any day!

  6. sure would be nice to see those mp3 files uploaded somewhere :)

  7. They don't sound all that great because they sound like an old record that wasn't taken care of, but I'll work on it.

  8. I think I had this same record. I remember most of the songs. Wish I still had mine!

  9. Thanks for sharing! i loved this show when i was a kid. I still love it.