Welcome Back, Kotter

Season 4 Episode 12

A Little Fright Music

Aired Unknown Dec 02, 1978 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Gabe thanks all the parents who came out to the monthly Parent's Night. But before he can end the evening, Woodman insists on singing the school song, 'Oh Buchanan, My Buchanan, Fair Buchanan, Oh Buchanan, My Fair.' Gabe tries to get everyone to leave, but Woodman insists it is a tradition. He sings it, and as he closes his eyes, everyone leaves. Gabe says he finds an excuse to sing it anytime; Woodman says he wrote it. He insists that there will be people singing it fifty years after he is dead. Gabe says he hopes so, that he hopes they sing it anywhere he doesn't have to listen to it.

Part One: Gabe tells the class he was impressed at the turnout for Parents' Night. Freddie isn't listening, he is working on lyrics to a new version of the school song. He says he, Juan and Beau have been working on it. It is a faster version with new lyrics. The three perform it for Gabe and they really get into it; Juan collapsing on the floor playing air guitar. Woodman comes in and pans it. Freddie tells him he wasn't trying to be disrespectful, that he was trying to do something for the school. Woodman tells him, 'Try graduating.' Gabe says he should give Freddie's lyrics a chance, but he refuses. Later, Freddie comes over to the Kotters' at dinner and tells them that J. Bubba Hampton, a hot artist, wants to record Freddie's version of the school song under a new title: 'There Ain't No Other Like Your Groovy Alma Mother.' He even has a contract and asks Gabe for a lawyer. Gabe reminds him that he just took Woodman's song, made it into a faster tempo and wrote new lyrics, so he has to get Woodman's permission to record it. Julie tells him he should talk to Woodman, so he agrees.
Part Two: Woodman refuses to give Freddie permission to use his music. The Sweathogs come in, Freddie dressed in a flashy outfit and waving lots of money around, giving some to Juan and Gabe. Beau says he got an advance from J. Bubba Hampton for the song. Woodman says he still can't use the music, but Freddie says it was the lyrics that got him the money. Woodman still insists he won't change his mind until Freddie waves the money in his face, then he relents. After he leaves, Gabe and the boys celebrate their tricking him into the deal, with Gabe's Christmas Club money as the bait. Later, everyone meets J. Bubba at the Kotters'. Woodman comes in dressed in his own flashy outfit, complete with a unbuttoned shirt. J. Bubba gives him the contract, plus another form insisting that he copied another song unintentionally. J. Bubba says another writer wrote the same song 10 years before and used the word 'beloved' instead of 'Buchanan. He says he could get away with it, but Woodman says he can't do it. Freddie agrees, and after J. Bubba leaves, everyone thinks that there should be two school songs. Woodman refuses, until Freddie threatens to reveal how he wrote his, so he goes along with it.
Epilogue: At the next Parents' Night, Woodman wants to do the school song, but everyone else wants to do Freddie's. Gabe steps in and says everyone wants to hear one of his jokes. He talks about his Uncle Seymour, who wanted to be a composer. He went to the grave of Schubert to find the Unfinished Symphony. As he tells the joke, everyone leaves, and he's left alone to finish the joke: Schubert telling Seymour he was 'decomposing.'