Always Friends + original 1972 ZOOM theme song and mail-in request rap, including lyrics


page originally published on 23 January 2017; latest edit: 29 May 2020


1973 Playgrounds (LP)-original cast of ZOOM, Good Fortune Enterprises GFE 90001973-always-friends-l-dreifus-playgrounds-orig-cast-of-zoom-playground-records-pl-2002


Always Friends (Jeri Dreifuss) — from the 1973 LP Playgrounds, Good Fortune Enterprises ‎GFE 9000; recorded by members of the original ZOOM cast, and produced by Rupert Holmes; ZOOM was an educational TV show produced by WGBH-TV in Boston and aired on PBS

Disagreement as to songwriting credit for “Always Friends”1973-playgrounds-original-cast-of-zoom-insert-2

  • L. Dreifus — (with one “s”) on the 1973 (US) single Playgrounds PL-2002, featuring A-side “This Old Man”
  • Jeri Dreifuss
    • A copyright date of 29 November 1973 (Good Fortune Enterprises, Ltd.) and the songwriter credit “Jeri Dreifuss” are given in an entry on page 2613 of the section of the Catalog of Copyright Entries covering current and renewal registrations of music for the period July-December 1973.
    • on the B-side label of the 1975 single (UK) Mooncrest MOON 43, featuring A-side “This Old Man”
    • on the B-side label of the 1976 single (UK) Miami MIA 407, featuring A-side “This Old Man”

Who is Jeri Dreifuss? Jeri Dreifuss is the writer of the words and music of this song, according to the copyright entry linked to above, and the B-side labels of the 1975 and 1976 UK singles shown and listed above. So why is the songwriter given as “L. Dreifus” on the 1973 US single Playgrounds PL-2002? Jeri Dreifuss may be a pseudonym of Liza Dreifuss, and “L. Dreifus” might reflect a misspelling, or an alternate spelling, of the surname of the latter.

Who is Liza Dreifuss? According to the Wikipedia page on Rupert Holmes, producer of the Playgrounds album, “In 1969, Holmes married childhood friend Elizabeth “Liza” Wood Dreifuss, an attorney.”

Who are the vocalists on the recording? Original ZOOM cast members Nina Lillie (lead) and Kenny Pires (harmony) are the vocalists.*

video published by Morrisman Smith, on 12 June 2012


Always Friends (Jeri Dreifuss) — lyric transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff), 22 Jan 2017

We didn’t want to say goodbye
To each other, so we tried
In our hearts to find a way
That we wouldn’t have to close the door
On each other — We were sure
In our hearts that we should stay

We really do belong a team
And we had the simple dream
That we wouldn’t have to break apart
And so, even as the music ends
We remain just like the start
Always friends

I never want to say goodbye
To a friend — I don’t know why
Other people think it’s fine
To say “Guess we’ll call it all a day”
No, we won’t let that be us
There’s so much of you that’s mine

So, seems like we were meant to be
And I guess the world can see
Nothing can be done to change this heart
And so, even as the music ends
We remain just like the start
Always friends



(below) 1973 LP Playgrounds, Good Fortune Enterprises ‎GFE 9000; recorded by members of the original ZOOM cast, and produced by Rupert Holmes

full album, posted on 9 October 2016, by Phil John



side 1
Playground In My Mind – 0:00
Rock Island Line – 2:07
When The Saints Go Marching In – 4:45
Simon Says – 6:42
This Old Man – 9:15
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – 11:24
So Long At The Fair – 13:45
The Laughing Song – 16:45

side 2
You Can Be A Band – 19:21
Bingo – 22:10
Ig-Pay Atin-Lay – 24:39
Funky Mac Donald [sic] – 27:37
Always Friends – 30:34
I’ve Been Working On The Railroad – 33:17
If We Only Had Love / What The World Needs Now – 35:10


Zoom cast_season 1 (1972)_1

Come On and Zoom (Newton Wayland)

ZOOM intro/theme song, season 1 (1972)


Come On and Zoom (Newton Wayland) lyric, season 1 version —  transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff) on 23 January 2017; minor edit on 6 August 2017

Come on and zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom
You gotta zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom
Everybody’s doin’ it, everybody’s movin’ it
Everybody’s havin’ a ball, yeah!

So won’t you zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom?
Come on and zoom-a zoom-a zoom-a zoom

I’m Joe
I’m Nina
I’m Kenny
My name’s Tracy
I’m Tommy
I’m Nancy
I’m Jon

Who are you?
What do you do?
How are you?
Let’s hear from you!
We need you!

We’re gonna zoom, zoom zoom-a zoom
Come on and zoom-a zoom-a zoom-a zoom
Come on, give it a try
We’re gonna show you just why
We’re gonna teach you to fly high!

Come on and zoom!
Come on and zoom zoom!
(Repeat last two lines)

(below) ZOOM season 1 pilot intro, according to the provider

I came across this video featuring an alternate Season 1 (1972) intro in February 2019. The provider says that it’s the pilot intro. The Wikipedia page on the series, and a page at the Paley Center for Media, each indicate that the series premiere aired on 9 January 1972. The fact that the Paley Center identifies the time and day of the broadcast of the premiere episode as 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night suggests that what they call the premiere might have been the pilot episode. An advertisement for the “premiere,” reproduced here, indicates that it will be broadcast “Tonight 7PM” on channel 2 (WGBH-TV 2, Boston). I’m not sure whether this refers to the pilot or the first episode after the pilot. Once the series got underway episodes were aired around 6pm (Eastern) as I recall. Or was it 7 p.m.?

Parts of this version seem vaguely familiar, so maybe I saw it once before, when the pilot was originally broadcast or perhaps an early rerun. If it really is the pilot episode intro, then it must have been replaced by the one above after the pilot spawned the series. Some pairs of lines are sung in reverse order, compared to the series version, in this one. Also, some of the lines spoken during the part where the original ZOOMers introduce themselves are slightly different here than in the series version.


Original ZOOM mail-in request rap, season 1

The video provider suggests that the rap/number performed in the clip below served as the “ending” of season 1 episodes. When season 2 began, five of the original cast members had been replaced, so they wouldn’t have used this after season 1. My sometimes imperfect memory doesn’t recall that this rap only and always appeared at the end of an episode during the first season, but that may have been the case. In fact, the YouTube channel 70’s Zoomfan 01 has posted a video containing what it calls “Zoom Season 1 Closing 1972,” which I’ve included here further below.

I haven’t yet identified the title or the author of the original ZOOM mail-in request rap. The words to the rap, transcribed by doc (me), can be found below the video. I imagine that some parents musn’t have been thrilled to hear a song that encouraged their children to get out of bed “in the middle of the night” to write a letter to a TV show about an idea they’d just dreamed up. At least they weren’t instructed to drop the envelope into the mailbox down the street at 2 A.M.


ZOOM season 1 mail-in request rap — transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliffe) on 27 July 2017; latest edit: 27 September 2017**

Say you wake up in the middle of the night
You got an idea that’s outta sight

So you jump out of bed, look around your room
You gotta write it down and send it to ZOOM

Or say you’ve just seen something on this show
Or someone cool you just gotta know

Write it all down, don’t make a mess
And don’t forget your name and address

Include a stamp so we can drop you a card
Then dip your note in a bucket of lard

Joe doesn’t know what he’s talking about
You put it in an envelope, without a doubt

Then take your typewriter, pencil, or pen
And if you make a mistake you gotta do it again

Write ZOOM Z-double-O-M
Box 3-5-0
Boston MASS 02134


Zoom Season 1 Closing 1972” — posted to YouTube by 70’s Zoomfan 01 — I don’t really remember the clapping game in the circle at the beginning of this. Did they have multiple closings in season 1?


I don’t recall whether there was patter or song about including a S.A.S.E in your letters to ZOOM in season 1. Maybe the idea of doing S.A.S.E promo bits and songs was introduced in a later season.


See also two versions of “The Cat Came Back” from ZOOM season 1 (1972) episodes in the Songbook page The Cat Came Back, or in our post ZOOM casts, seasons 1-3 (1972-1974), perform The Cat Came Back and various folk songs.


* Nina is certainly singing lead and Kenny’s rich voice is heard at key points on harmony, but I don’t know if any of the others are singing on the track, because I haven’t found any vocalist credits among the images of the album cover (front and back), inserts (posters?), labels, and booklet displayed at this page on the Playgrounds album at

** While relistening in late October 2017 to the mail-in request rap, I found that in the second line sung by Nancy she seems to sing “a envelope” instead of the grammatically correct “an envelope.” However, I eventually decided to leave the spelling as is for two reasons: 1.) I might be mishearing the words, and 2.) It’s difficult to believe that had she sung “a envelope” that WGBH would have let that fly uncorrected in every episode of the first season.


ZOOM links:

original/season 1 cast members:


new 2020 ZOOM stuff:

  • ZOOM into Action, WGBH (YouTube)
    • Introduction by Pablo Velez Jr. (1999), with playlist of videos featuring former ZOOM cast members
    • Instruction, teaching, demonstration videos
    • Play of the Week
      • Riddles by Donna Moore – performed by 70s ZOOM members Joe Shrand, Tommy White, Nina Lillie, Tracy Tannebring and Donna Moore
    • ZOOM Chat
  • The Dr. Joe Show — Dr. Joe Shrand podcast, with assistant Mark Stiles and guests


Seasons 2-6 intros and closings

season 2 (1972-1973), cast 1 of 3: Kenny Pires, Nancy Tates, Tracy Tannebring, Ann Messer, David Alberico, Jay Schertzer, Maura Mullaney



closing, incomplete (featuring the mail-in request rap)

Bernadette Yao

(below) season 2, cast 2 of 3: Ann Messer, David Alberico, Jay Schertzer, Maura Mullaney, Bernadette Yao, Leon Mobley, Luiz Gonzales


closing — featuring the song “Send it to Zoom,” written by ZOOM musical director Newton Wayland

(below) season 2, cast 3 of 3: Bernadette Yao, Leon Mobley, Luiz Gonzales, Danny McGrath, Edith Mooers, Lori Boskin, Neal Johnson



(above, left) season 3, cast 1 of 2, (right) cast 2 of 2

(below) season 3 (1973-1974) cast 2 of 2: Donna Moore, Mike Dean, Timmy Pruce, Hector Dorta, Rose Clarkow, Shawna “Shawn” Miranda, Danny Malloy


(below) season 4 (1974-1975) cast: Andrae Neilsan, Carmen Hernandez, Cate Wadsworth, David Sales, Harvey Reed, Norman Christian, David “Red” O’Brien, Tishy Flaherty, Tommy Schultz, Tracy Dunlap

intro (incomplete)


(above) season 5 (1976) cast: (clockwise, from top left) Jennifer Gold, Nell Cox, Arcadio Gonzales, Karen Wing, Ron Richmond, Levell Gethers, Chris Blackwell


(below) season 6 (1977-1978) cast: Amy Clark, Carolyn Malcolm, Chee Kim, John Lathan, Nicholas Butterworth, Shona de Nile, Susan Wolf


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. musicdoc1
    May 14, 2020 @ 16:18:02



  2. Trackback: ZOOM into Action links and ZOOM reunion on Dr. Joe Show | Songbook

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