“You can run with us,
We’ve got everything you need”
C’mon children of the 1970’s and 80’s, you MUST remember The Raccoons?! Those lovable cartoon friends that lived in Evergreen Forest, Bert, Ralph, Melissa and their dog, Schaeffer were a Saturday morning must between 1985 and 1992 as they constantly battled with wealthy business-aardvark, Cyril Sneer and his henchpigs. They even befriended his son, Cedric and his girlfriend, Sophia, often enlisting them to put a stop to his evil father’s escapades.
One of the most important aspects of the show was the music, with its uplifting 80’s new wave, pop-rock themes and more often than not, a song to accompany a montage halfway into each episode. The score was written by the show’s creator, Kevin Gillis along with composer John Stroll. From series one, apart from the opening instrumental piece, they wrote any number of songs, most of them recorded by Canadian singer Luba (born Lubomyra Kowalchyk in 1958) together with the song which would become most synonymous with the show, “Run With Us”, with singer Steve Lunt, who also contributed to the lyrics.
Other songs on the soundtrack were recorded by Leo Sayer and even 70’s Country singer Rita Coolidge, who had more recently recorded the theme song from the 1983 Bond film, ‘Octopussy’, “All Time High”. For reasons best known only to Gillis, Steve Lunt was dropped after the first series and the song was re-recorded by 16 year old American dancer, Lisa Lougheed, who the song is best associated with. Lisa eventually re-recorded all of Lunt’s earlier tracks, and the album, “Evergreen Nights”, was issued in 1987. “Run With Us” was released as a single independently, but neither, surprisingly, did anything on the charts.
A video was made for “Run With Us”, which saw Lisa dancing in the streets and alleyways with her gang of friends, in the hope that the song would be welcomed by wider audiences away from the cartoon. From series four in 1988, Lisa joined the cast of the show as a new character, Lisa Raccoon(!), was created, enabling yet more songs to be featured and even sung by the character herself! After “Evergreen Nights” and The Raccoons came to an end, Lougheed recorded two further albums in the 1990’s, neither of which were at all successful. She generally slipped into obscurity soon after, her last known appearance was providing backing vocals for Celine Dion and R Kelly’s 1998 number one, “I’m Your Angel”.
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