Let me preface this post with saying that I was NOT a fan of New Kids on the Block back in the day. Being born in 1987 when NKOTB’s fame was just escalating made me a bit too young to be fully bitten by the bug. However, I have an older sister and cousin who were obsessed with the group and look back on those days with fond teeny bopper memories. When I was old enough to get into music on my own the boy bands of the mid/late 90’s were a myriad of super manufactured pretty boys who could dance, but not sing (Backstreet Boys, NYSNC, 98°, etc.).
Growing up I assumed the New Kids were to be lumped into the same world as them. But recently I found out I was wrong. Very, very wrong. In fact NKOTB were in a completely different league than the Lou Pearlman-era boy bands I grew up with. First of all, the early New Kids albums had the magic of New Edition producer Maurice Starr behind them. So even though it was in a sense very bubblegum R&B influenced pop music, at least it was listenable bubblegum R&B influenced pop music. The other thing that separated Pearlman’s army from Maurice Starr’s ragtag group of Boston boys was that each member of NKOTB actually had what it took to hold their own on AND off the stage.
In my research (and by research, I mean reading wikipedia articles and watching YouTube videos) I managed to find a fine moment in not only New Kids history, but also Boston Public Television History. In 1989 at the height of New Kids fame, WBZ invited the band (and their moms) to come on the talk show People Are Talking which was hosted by Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars, America’s Funniest Home Videos). According to the YouTube uploader who so kindly ripped the program from an old VHS tape:
It was a special time living in Boston when NKOTB were at their peak. One of my favorite NKOTB interviews from back in the day. NKOTB were guests on a show called “People Are Talking” from Boston TV station WBZ TV4. This aired in Nov. 1989 the Friday after Thanksgiving. The group (minus Jon Knight) talks about how they got their start and the best part is when Their Mothers come on stage with them. Joe’s mother is hysterically funny and it’s great to get to know Danny Woods mother who has since passed away from breast cancer.
So watch the interview and find out why no teen idol of the 90’s had more charisma than Donnie Wahlberg’s pinky: