Show 41: A Confederacy of Uncles

The latest edition of Treasure Ivan features men who, under the guise of “Uncle,” shared songs and stories for children on records, radio and TV. All the interim songs used in today’s program are from the early 1950’s BBC radio show for children, “Children’s Favourites” hosted by Derek McCulloch, aka “Uncle Mac.”

Uncle Mac of the BBC

Uncle Mac of the BBC

Uncle Dave Macon was looked upon as the “Uncle” of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He played banjo and recorded hundreds of songs, including this one when he was 80 years old.

Peek-a-Boo
Uncle Dave Macon

Uncle Dave Macon

Uncle Dave Macon

Puffin’ Billy
Melodi Light Orchestra

Uncle Don Carney was one of the first children’s radio hosts and certainly one of the most popular. He also made a number of story records for the Sonoma label. Thousands of children turned out to see him at events in New York sponsored by radio station WOR.

Willabus-Wallabus
Uncle Don Carney

Uncle Don Carney

Uncle Don Carney

Bluebell Polka
Jimmy Shand & His Band

Little Orley & the Happy Bird
Hugh “Uncle Lumpy” Brannum

Hugh "Uncle Lumpy" Brannum

Hugh “Uncle Lumpy” Brannum

Mister Cuckoo
Edmundo Ros

Not much is known about Uncle Henry other than that his real name was Henry Walden and his day job was as a newscaster on WNEW in New York. His style is a bit derivative of Uncle Don, and perhaps he was inspired by Don’s success with children’s story records. Needless to say, Uncle Henry did not become a household word among the younger set, though he certainly deserves credit for this very unusual telling of a popular fairy tale.

The Three Little Pigs
Uncle Henry

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Henry Hull Orchestra

Uncle Johnny Coons hosted a very popular television show during the early 1950s in Chicago. His humor was zany and his material was original to say the least. His character was fond of inventing mechanical wonders, as well as using old silent movies as a background for sight gags and studio pranks.

Uncle Johnny Coons

Uncle Johnny Coons

The Automatic Mouse Trap
Uncle Johnny Coons

Uncle Wiggily (Longears) began as a series of stories by Howard R. Garis, published from 1910 in the Newark News. The RCA Victor record we are playing today was released in 1950 and was narrated by storytelling regular Paul Wing. You may also remember the Uncle Wiggily board game, which is still available to this day!

Uncle Wiggily & Nurse Jane

Uncle Wiggily & Nurse Jane

Uncle Wiggily & His Flying Rug
Paul Wing

“Song of the South” was a motion picture released by Walt Disney Studios in 1946. It was based on the African-American folktales collected in Uncle Remus, by Joel Chandler Harris in the late 19th century. The Capitol Records adaptation of the film came out in 1947 and featured James Baskett as Uncle Remus. You will also hear Johnny Mercer singing the Academy Award winning song which he wrote for the film, “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” If this record seems a bit unusual, or even offensive, by modern standards, that’s because it is! Like many Treasure Ivan selections containing material of questionable taste, we present it as a sample of American culture in another time — evidence of how far we’ve come.

Tales of Uncle Remus

Tales of Uncle Remus

Tales of Uncle Remus
James Baskett with Johnny Mercer

All Things Bright & Beautiful
Greenbank Children’s Choir (introduction by Uncle Mac)

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