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Barney and the Backyard Gang

Barney and the Backyard Gang is a direct-to-video series produced by The Lyons Group and was released in periodic installments from August 29, 1988, to October 20, 1991. This series launched the PBS television show, Barney & Friends.[2]

Barney and the Backyard Gang
The Backyard Gang Logo.jpg
Created bySheryl Stamps-Leach
Kathy O'Rourke-Parker
Developed bySheryl Stamps-Leach
Kathy O'Rourke-Parker
Dennis DeShazer
Written byFrank H. Olsen (1988–1990)
Pat Reeder (1988–1989)
Kathy O'Rourke Parker (1991)
Sheryl Stamps Leach (1991)
Dennis DeShazer (1991)
Directed byJohn Grable (1988–1989)
Dwin Towell (1990)
Garry Potts (1990)
Jim Rowley (1991)
StarringDavid Voss (1988–1990)
David Joyner (1991)
Dao Knight (1991)
Sandy Duncan (1988–1989)
Brian Eppes
Becky Swonke
Jessica Zucha
Leah Montes
Salim Grant (1988–1989)
Rickey Carter (1990–1991)
Alexander Jhin
Jeffrey Lowe (1990)
Bob Reed (1988–1989)
Voices ofBob West
Julie Johnson
Composer(s)Stephen Bates Baltes
Lory Lazarus
Philip A. Parker
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes8
Executive producer(s)Richard C. Leach (1988–1989)
Sheryl Stamps-Leach (1990–1991)
Kathy O'Rourke-Parker (1990–1991)
Producer(s)John Grable (1988–1989)
Dennis DeShazer (1990)
Production location(s)Allen, Texas (six videos)
Dallas, Texas (two videos)
Editor(s)Doug Wilson (1988–1989)
McKee Smith (1990–1991)
Running time30 min.
Production company(s)The Lyons Group
DistributorKids Edutainment Video/The Lyons Group
Original releaseAugust 29, 1988[1] –
October 20, 1991[1]
Followed byBarney & Friends

The first three episodes from 1988 and 1989 include Sandy Duncan as Michael and Amy's mother. (At the time, Duncan was starring on the NBC sitcom The Hogan Family.) Music for the Barney & the Backyard Gang videos was created by Stephen Bates Baltes and Phillip Parker (as with the television series), and Lory Lazarus wrote the first original song produced for Barney, "Friends Are Forever", sung by Duncan. In the first five videos, "I Love You" was sung at the beginning. Although "I Love You" was sung at the end of Barney Goes to School and Barney in Concert, and later frequently sung at the end of all episodes of Barney & Friends, it was not featured at the end of Rock with Barney.

The series was a regional success, but only a moderate success throughout the rest of the country.[citation needed] Then one day, in 1991, Larry Rifkin, then head of Connecticut Public Television, rented a Barney video for his daughter Leora.[3] He liked the concept and talked to Leach about possibly putting Barney on television through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Rock with Barney was the final video in the series before the television show debuted. Also, only four of the kids from the videos (Michael, Derek, Tina, and Luci) were carried over to the television show.

Video list

In order of release date:[1]


Guest appearances

  • Sandy Duncan (played Molly the Mermaid in A Day at the Beach)
  • Jeanne Cairns (played Mrs. Claus in Waiting for Santa)
  • Henry Hammack (played Santa Claus in Waiting for Santa)
  • Sonya Resendez (played Tina's Mom in Campfire Sing-Along)
  • Philip Parker (performed as the Bear in Campfire Sing-Along)
  • Lauren King (played Kathy in Rock with Barney)
  • Alexis Harris (played Jennifer in Rock with Barney)
  • Ajay Reddy (played AJ in Rock with Barney)
  • Chris Rodriguez (played Joseph in Rock with Barney)
  • Lourdes Regala (played Adam's mother in Rock with Barney)


The first six videos of this series aired on Disney Channel in November 1990 as a part of its "Lunch Box" program.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Classic Barney Videos". Classic Barney. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  2. ^ Lawson, Carol (December 3, 1992). "Why Young Children Scream". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  3. ^ Walters, John. The Same River Twice. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-9716999-0-8.
  4. ^ "On the set of "Barney"". Entertainment Weekly. October 5, 1990. Retrieved August 1, 2018.