An all-but-forgotten children's show from the Dumont Network, starring guitarist/singer Billy Johnson and a group of puppets, including one Teddy Bear. The major purpose of these programs, other than to run advertisements, was as a wraparound for inexpensive programming like the black-and-white Looney Tunes from Guild Films, Betty Boop and Koko the Klown cartoons. Alas, there's no Koko or Betty here, but there are a set of uncensored Looney Tunes featuring Bosco and his dog Bruno ("Bosco and Bruno"), odd Porky Pig shorts ("Porky's Tire Trouble"), Buddy the dog ("Buddy the Woodsman," 1934),
Lots of plugs for Cocoa Marsh ("Name the Lion" contest), among other products. Johnson sings in a pleasing baritone, in a solid country-and-western mode ("Close Your Sleepy Eyes, Little Buckaroo," "Over the Rainbow" on guitar), and the reproduction quality is amazingly good considering the age of the material (Dumont went out of existence in 1955-56), but what really makes this tape interesting is the interruptions--several of the Looney Tunes are broken up by in-house promos for other Dumont shows, including Grandpa's Place (see above), with host Lee Reynolds stepping out of character, and Jean Ramsay explaining her Weather Wheel spot.
Apparently the BILLY JOHNSON SHOW was sent out as a live feed, and this was intercut with promo spots to sponsors, with the hosts making pitches to potential advertisers, who were supposed to see this version of the show privately. Commercials include M&M's candies, Nabisco cereal (with moon men watching a baseball game), One-A-Day Vitamins, Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, the Glen Echo Pool. Two of the puppets sing "Bibbity Bibbity Boo."THE WEATHER WHEEL was an early marketing gimmick to "sell" the weather, ages before such ideas as The Weather Channel, with a national forecast broken down into regions.
|This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 01 March, 2011.