The Sweathog from Ipanema: The Six Degrees of Mrs. Kotter

A while back I did a couple posts that were sort of take-offs of the whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing. I did a Six Degrees of Arnold Horshack and another on Juan Epstein. They aren't particularly popular posts, but I had a lot of fun doing them. I'm not sure why, but I find it fascinating to link people and events together - consider me a sort of dumbed down James Burke ("Connections" and "The Day the Universe Changed").

In this installment, I find that Mrs. Kotter is linked to The Girl from Ipanema.

6. Marcia Strassman (Julie Kotter on "Welcome Back, Kotter") actually had a recording career in the late sixties. Her song "The Groovy World of Jack & Jill" was released in 1967. I would pay good money to hear it, but can't seem to find it anywhere.

Her other recordings were typical hippie fare like "The Flower Children" (at left: ad from Cash Box magazine), a song written by Jerry Goldstein, the producer behind the group War ("Lowrider" and "Why Can't We Be Friends?"), writer of "My Boyfriend's Back" and a member of the Strangeloves who originally wrote the song "I Want Candy" covered by Bow Wow Wow.

5. Another Strassman recording was "Star Gazer" which was produced by the legendary Kim Fowley. Fowley is well known in California as the original "Mayor of Sunset Strip" (see previous post for more on that title) and produced and wrote literally hundreds of songs during the sixties including the novelty records "Alley Oop" and "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!".

Fowley has obviously long since lost his mind on drugs and his bad behavior would make Iggy Pop and Ted Nugent wince. Here's his drug induced song "The Trip". Not a good song at all, but obviously sung by someone tripping big time.

4. Fowley is perhaps best known as the producer/manager for the Runaways. He was sued by the lead singer, Cherie Curie, for sexual abuse.

3. Cherie Curie was married to Robert Hays - the actor well known for his role as Ted Stryker in Airplane! and Airplane II: The Sequel.

2. In Airplane II: The Sequel, the character Elaine has long-since left Ted Striker (Hays) and is now engaged to one of the flight crew played by Chad Everett.

1. Chad Everett starred in Get Yourself a College Girl (1964). The film is notable in that it features an appearance by Astrid Gilberto, the singer of "The Girl from Ipanema"!

This YouTube clip from the movie is absolutely hilarious. Watch as a bunch of girls in leotards dance in the most ridiculous and spastic fashion. Nancy Sinatra is the one in red.

Note: I am told I should be doing these "Six Degrees" posts in reverse order. In other words, I should have started with The Girl from Ipanema and ended with Mrs. Kotter. From the previous posts: I should have started with Al Gore and ended with Horshack rather than vice versa. I should have started with the epoxy spacecraft coating and ended up on Juan Epstein. Oh, well... live and learn. It's more fun this way.


  1. I think it's fine just the way you did it. I think these Six Degrees posts are quite interesting. I'm learning stuff I never knew about.

  2. Keith- Why thank you. Always happy to impart worthless facts to my colleagues.

  3. Fascinating post...I love Marcia and did not know this. Man, I woudl love to get that 45.

  4. I agree with Keith - I don't think it matters whether you go backwards or forwards in time (backwards is definitely my preferred mode of locomotion). Fascinating 'Degrees of Separation' stuff. And the vid of Nancy & the gals is mighty groove-a-licious (I was sorely tempted to add a 'Baby' there, but I friggin HATE Austin Powers. Bah!). I'd also kill to hear that 45 - must do a hunt on Soulseek for it...

  5. Jeremy and Lorenzo - Thanks for the feedback... and if any of you find that Marcia 45 out there, let me know!

  6. Who knew that Mrs. Kotter had lived another life?

  7. "The Groovy World of Jack & Jill" is on the album Lost Juke Box Vol.59. I got an MP3 from SoulSeek. If you want a copy of it and copies of "Out of the Picture" & "The Flower Children" let me know.
    I checked "e-mail Follow-Up Comments"