|Barney and the Backyard Gang|
Logo of Barney and the Backyard Gang
|Created by||Sheryl Leach|
|Starring||Bob West (Barney's voice), David Voss (Barney costume), Sandy Duncan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Production company(s)||The Lyons Group|
|Original run||October 13, 1988 – October 20, 1991|
|Followed by||Barney & Friends|
Barney and the Backyard Gang is a home video series produced by The Lyons Group and created from October 13, 1988 to October 20, 1991 that launched the stardom of the television show Barney & Friends. The first three videos of the series featured Barney with a slightly deeper voice, larger eyes, a visible red tongue, and a darker color. Some of the earlier videos from 1988 and 1989 also include American actress Sandy Duncan as Michael and Amy's Mother. Music for the Barney and 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 created for Barney, "Friends Are Forever," sung by Sandy Duncan.
In the first video, entitled "The Backyard Show", Michael and Amy want to make a surprise birthday party for their dad. Amy finds the Barney doll in a box in the garage and they use their imaginations to make him come to life. Because the majority of the gang (except for Michael, Amy and Tina) meet Barney for the first time in "A Day at the Beach", it takes place before "The Backyard Show". Three of the videos have the patriotic songs You're a Grand Old Flag, and The Yankee Doodle Boy, which are featured on Barney Goes to School, Barney in Concert, and Rock with Barney respectively. The series was a regional success, but only a moderate success through out the rest of the country. Then one day, in 1991, Larry Rifkin, then head of Connecticut Public Television, rented a Barney video for his daughter Leora. He liked the concept and talked to Leach about possibly putting Barney on television through the Public Broadcasting Service. Rock with Barney was the last 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.
Here is the video list in the order of release date.