memories of the ’70s – Josie and the Pussycats

From the colourful pages of a comic book, the characters Josie and the Pussycats jumped into the world of television animation in the early 1970s.

Created by Dan DeCarlo, the characters were transformed for the small screen by Hanna Barbera in 1970, after the success of The Archie Show.

Featuring an all girl band, the series, which aired on CBS,  focused on their escapades solving mysteries and meetings spies as they travelled the world on tour with their entourage, always finding adventure.

Led by lead singer Josie, bubble headed drummer Melody and level-headed Valerie, the girls were on the road with their manager Alexander, his sister (and the band’s nemesis) Alexandra and their roadie Alan. Each episode featured a song by the band, usually to the backdrop of some chase, and the girls wore matching leopard outfits on stage.

Valerie became the first African-American female character portrayed in a Saturday morning cartoon series. Sixteen episodes were made for television.

Re-run in 1971, the series was reimagined for 1972, putting the girls in a different arena: Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. Sent into space by Alexandra, the girls were now focused on surviving space and avoid being kidnapped by aliens.

Sixteen episodes were made, and re-run in 1973, after which CBS cancelled the series. But the re-runs lived on, shown on NBC Saturday Morning cartoon line-up in 1976.

These girls played music, had fun and solved a mystery – as well as broke ground in the world of television and animation.

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About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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