Make your own free website on Tripod.com

lilabban.gif (8686 bytes)

liab1.gif (77087 bytes)

The John Marshall High School Senior Class presented the musical play Li'l Abner.
With a sold-out house for three consecutive nights,  the play was the first of its kind given at John Marshall.

An original musical comedy by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank,  Li'l Abner may seem foreign to anyone born after 1970, because it is based on a comic strip characters created by cartoonist Al Capp (1909-1979).  The popularity of Capp's colorful characters not only inspired the long-running Broadway musical that began at the St. James Theatre, New York in 1956, this same show was made into a successful Hollywood movie (1959).  Years later, most of the characters in the popular television situation comedy The Beverly Hillbillies were faithfully based on personalities created by Capp.  Capp, of  New Haven, Connecticut, received encouragement by an artistic father to develop his own cartooning skills. At 19, he became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in America, drawing "Colonel Gilfeather."   Capp soon ghosted the popular boxing strip "Joe Palooka." 

In 1934, Capp struck out on his own to develop his hillbilly ideas; and the Li'l Abner creation quickly became a pinnacle of cartoon art and social satire.  Li'l Abner was carried at first by only eight newspapers, but his hapless Dogpatchers hit a nerve during the Depression-era. Within three short years, it climbed to 253 newspapers, and before long he was in hundreds more.  In 1937, he introduced the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race into his strip.  It quickly inspired real life girl-asks-boy dances across America and Sadie Hawkins Day became a national social institution. In 1948, his lovable Shmoo characters became a national sensation, creating a mass merchandising phenomenon.  Li'l Abner finally married Daisy Mae in 1952, an event that shocked the country and made front page news.  Capp retired the strip in 1977.

The Li'l Abner story unfolds in the mythical town of Dogpatch, U.S.A. Almost the entire town is unemployed.  The men spend their days fishing, while the single ladies scheme about how to catch their men come next Sadie Hawkins Day.  Daisy Mae is bent on capturing Li'l Abner for herself; however, things are not quite as simple. Daisy has a rival for Abner's affections--Appassionata. She has engaged a professional aide to help her win the race. It is Evil Eye Fleagle who produces his own distraction--Stupefyin' Jones.  But, a heavy cloud hangs over Dogpatch. Thanks to the "feds", their little town is suddenly deemed  the least unimportant place on the face of the planet and is chosen as the site for atomic bomb testing.  Unless they can somehow prove themselves worthy, they have 48 hours to evacuate their homes.

Mammy Yokum nearly saves the day with her wonder drug, Yokumberry Tonic, but what finally gets them off the hook is the plaque in the town square that is signed by Abraham Lincoln and declaring their monument in honor of their local hero, Jubilation T. Cornpone, a national shrine. Although the Sadie Hawkins race doesn't turn out quite as planned (Earthquake McGoon catches Daisy and Appassionata gets Abner), Abner and Daisy are hitched by the end of the show.

lilab2.gif (63685 bytes)

JMHS 1969 CAST

*INTERNATIONAL THESPIANS
LONESOME POLECAT........ Jim Stanley
HAIRLESS JOE.................... Danny Clay
ROMEO SCRAGGS.............. Tim Hess
CLEM SCRAGGS................. Steve Price
ALF SCRAGGS.................... Eugene Dry*
MOONBEAM McSWINE....... Mary Hopkins
MARRYIN’ SAM.................... Rick Cutter*
EARTHQUAKE McGOON..... Keith Sparks*
DAISY MAE........................... Dana McDougal
PAPPY YOKUM.................... Rodger Garcia*
MAMMY YOKUM.................. Cheryl Boedecker
LI’L ABNER.......................... Steve Andrews
CRONIES.............................. David Bowles
Kim Jenkins
Eugene Dry*
Phil Clark
Jerry Scott
MAYOR DAWGMEAT........... Eddie Riddle
SENATOR PHOGBOUND..... Arthur Fortuna
DR. FINSDALE...................... Steve McKenzie
GOVERNMENT MAN............ Steve McKinley
AVAILABLE JONES............. Clint Myers
STUPEFYIN JONES............. Donna Wimberly
COLONEL............................ Jerry Scott
ANNOUNCER...................... Gregg Alvord
GENERAL BULLMOOSE.... Gregg Alvord
SECRETARIES.................... Sue Mauldin
Karen Sittre
Janie Essary
Patty Schwenke
APPASSIONATA................. Stacey Hassbrook
EVIL EYE FLEEGLE............ Stafford Tucker
DR. SMITHBORN................ Richard Nacewski
WIVES.................................. Gina McDaniel
Beth Cutter
Barbie Mellin
Ceci Gwinn
Bobbi Cook
Ruth Fawcett
SPEEDY MACRABBIT......... A. C. Gonzalez
FATHER (RUFE).................. David Bowles
SCARLETT.......................... Ardie Sims
POLICEMAN........................ Steve Buss
HUSBANDS......................... Darrel Boeselt
Donald Bulla
David Bowles
Kim Bird
Phil Clark
Cran Wilder
CREIGHTON....................... David George
DOGPATCHERS................. Pam Olijar
Robbie Hughey
Ruth Ann De Wolfe
Amy Bounds
Marie Wilcox
Linda Krentz
Willa Bradford
Malloy Williams
Lena Morales
Jim Sutton
Mary Jo Davila*
Linda Boyanowski
REJUVINATED HUSBANDS..... Larry Bradshaw
Jim Hennig
Bruce Bealor
Bryan Jackson
George Fick
Phil Luttrell
Don Perry
SCRAGGS:
Unappetizing............................ Dennis Terrell
Unthinkable.............................. Terry Chandler
Unwashable............................... Melloni McArthur
Unbearable................................ Sharon Fulton
Scarsdale Scraggs...................... Margaret Forman
Wanda Bennett
CHORUS .................................... Debbie Hicks
Wanda Bnnett
Ona Bitzkie
Pat Finley
Sue Sullivan
Crystal Ward
Barbara Wagner
Linda Valdez
Isabel Borrero
Marilyn Groesbeck
Susan Evers
Brenda Hicks
Debbie Robinson
Louise Shultze
Margaret Forman
Mathilde Brelsford
ORCHESTRA:
Reeds & Woodwinds.............. Terri Taylor
Kathy Jenkins
Douglas Toepperwein
Candice Perkins
Larry Munns
Carl Jacobs
Jim Hollstein
Gretchen Kuhn
John Gibbs
Sharra Appleby
Anne Moore
Nancy Coffman
Brass....................................... Eric Carr
Royce Taylor
Ed Feith
Charles Kelsey
David Moore
Sandy Roe
Richard Yeargain
Clifton Taylor
Ed Mergele
Rhythm.................................... Ditsie Weynand
Gary Hill
Mickey Roe
Ronald Conners










Musical Numbers

Act One

1.   A Typical Day

2.   If I Had My Druthers

3.   Jubilation T. Cornpone

4.   Rag Off'n the Bush

5.   Namely You

6.   Unnecessary Town

7.   What's Good for General Bullmoose

8.   There's Room Enough for Us

9.   The Country's in the Very Best of Hands

10. Sadie Hawkins Day Race

Act Two

11. Oh Happy Day

12.  I'm Past My Prime

13.  Love in a Home

14.  Progress is the Root of All Evil

15.  Put 'Em Back the Way They Wuz

16.  The Matrimonial Stomp

17.  Finale

18.  Finale Ultimo





The  lyrics and  music by Johnny Mercer & Gene de Paul for the original Broadway musical and subsequent film include Abner's and Daisy's gentle duet, Namely You, a dream ballad, If I Had by Druthers, the hilarious show-stopper, Jubilation T. Cornpone, General Bullmoose's Progress Is the Root off All Evil and the political satire, The Country's In the Very Best of Hands.

Singer, actor, and composer Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) was born in Savannah, Georgia.  He showed a great talent for music at an early age, producing the lyrics for  Sister Susie, Strut Your Stuff at 15.  In 1930, Mercer wrote his first professional song, Out of Breath and Scared to Death of You.  Mercer's collaboration with Harold Arlen proved to be one of the most fruitful of his career, producing such classics as Hit the Road to Dreamland, That Old Black Magic, and Blues in the Night.

In the early 1930s, Mercer joined the immigration of songwriters and composers westward to Hollywood, where renewed interest in the film music industry was taking place. His film career perhaps was the most successful of his life, as he wrote dozens of memorable songs including several for which he was honored with the Academy Award for Best Song; most notably Moon River (1962) and Days of Wine and Roses (1961), both collaborations with composer Henry Mancini.   He won Oscars On the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe (1946), In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (1951),   Days of Wine and Roses, and Moon River

His songs have been recorded by everyone from Crosby and Sinatra to Billy Holliday, Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Bette Midler, Mel Torme, Harry Connick, Jr., Chicago, Nat King Cole, Michael Feinstein, and Liza Minnelli.   He contributed to many Broadway musicals and Hollywood films, and was the first president of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. .In 1942, he was one of the founders of Capitol Records. As part owner of the company he was instrumental in bringing to the label such stars as: Nat King Cole and Stan Kenton, signing them to long term contracts.  After decades of providing enjoyment of a rare kind, Mercer passed away  in Los Angeles of complications arising from brain surgery.

Gene De Paul or DePaul (1919- 1988) was born in New York, New York, and had several hit songs in the 1940s and 1950s.   Some of his noted songs included I'll Remember April (1942), Cow Cow Boogie (1943), and Teach Me Tonight (1954).   He also teamed with Mercer for the scores and lyrics of the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  DePaul  is mostly remembered today for his 1954 movie score of the film Seven Brothers for Seven Brides. The ballet music and athletic dances were hailed by the critics.  He is also listed as a contributing composer for Alice in Wonderland (1951).  He passed away in Northridge, California.

                  namyou.jpg (21187 bytes)

                -- sung by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme

You deserve a boy who's willin', namely me.
One who'd love to raise my chillun, namely me.
Comin' home when the work is over at the close of day.
I'd be with you all the way, to love, honor, and obey.

           If I Had My Druthers

While you'd druther hustle, accumulatin' muscle,
I'd druther watch daisies grow.
While they're growin' slowin' the summer breeze is blowin'
My heart is overflowin' so;
If I had my druthers,
I'd druther have my druthers than anything else I know.

          Love In a Home

You can tell,
When you open the door!
You can tell,
If there's love in a home!


lilabmov1.jpg (8200 bytes)Li'L Abner (1940 Movie)
Director:  Albert Rogell
Cast:  Martha O'Driscoll, Granville Owen, Buster Keaton, Mona Ray, Johnnie Morris, Edgar Kennedy

 

 

 

 

lilabnermov2.jpg (6700 bytes)Li'l Abner (1959 Movie))
Academy Award Nominations: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture

Director:  Melvin Frank
Cast:  Peter Palmer, Leslie Parrish, Stubby Kaye, Howard St. John, Julie Newmar, Stella Stevens, Billie Hayes, Robert Strauss

 

 

 

lilabnerbo1.gif (10834 bytes)
Warner / Paperback / Warner Brothers Publications / August 1999

 

 

 

lilabnerbo2.gif (11362 bytes)
Arthur Asa Berger / Paperback / University Press of Mississippi / June 1994

 

 

 

mermu.gif (2903 bytes)My Huckleberry Friend
Johnny Mercer Record Album