To borrow Opie Gates' opening phrase from his
ABC radio series, "The doggonedest thing
happened ta [us] th' other day..." The 15th
annual NLAS Convention very nearly did not
happen! Before reporting on the delightful
goings-on, we must express the gratitude of the
"ossifers" to the many members of the NLAS
whose financial support made the 1999
convention a reality. We thank you!
If you were unable to be with us, "You shore
missed a good-ern!" Let's retrace our steps:
"Ossifers" Sam and Tim, accompanied by Tim's
mother Kathleen Hollis and Michigan member
Chuck Anders, met guest star Fred Foy in Little
Rock on June 24, transporting him to Pine
Ridge's Jot 'Em Down Store and Lum and Abner
Museum. Following a tour by curators Lon and
Kathy Stucker, the NLAS "team" proceeded to
Fred Foy's most familiar radio role was that of
announcer-narrator on The Lone Ranger from
1948 to 1954. "What does The Lone Ranger
have to do with Lum and Abner?" you might
ask. "More than you might think," we might
answer! Both programs enjoyed long runs on
ABC, both made use of actor Jay Michael in
supporting roles, and The Lone Ranger was
referred to several times on Lum and Abner.
Besides, there was a program entitled Lum and
Abner Meet the Lone Ranger! Of course, it
didn't take place until... 1999!
The Friday evening program commenced at
5:00, with Mr. Foy recounting fascinating
anecdotes from his career in radio and
television, accompanied by audio clips. (See
the feature on Mr. Foy elsewhere in this issue!)
Lum and Abner Meet the Lone Ranger was
performed, complete with the stirring finale to
The William Tell Overture, and numerous
authentic selections of Republic Pictures
musical cues for dramatic bridges. Mr. Foy
performed the dual role of announcer-narrator
and the Lone Ranger, and did so with the
tremendous flair fans have appreciated for
years. Audience members commented on the
"chills" and "thrills" they experienced, and many
closed their eyes to experience "the Theater of
the Mind." Alphabetically, Sam Brown
performed key sound effects and the roles of
Tonto, Dick Huddleston, Snake Hogan, Ulysses
S. Quincy and Mr. Waters, Dick's 1872
counterpart. (The live sound effects included
bathroom plungers pounded in boxes of cat
litter to simulate "the thundering hoofbeats,"
and ring-cap pistols filling in for the sounds of
"silver bullets!") Tim Hollis portrayed Lum,
Mousey Gray, and Ben Withers, while Donnie
Pitchford produced the recorded music and
effects and played Abner and Sidewinder
(Squire) Skimp. "Aunt Laura" Pitchford tackled
the exacting task of cuing the prerecorded
audio, which included original "He's feeling his
Cheerios" jingles for the middle commercial.
(While the script was transcribed from an actual
Cheerios spot, the 1999 author added a few
references to Lum and Abner sponsors as well!)
The script, written by "Uncle Donnie," is
something of a sequel to the Tim Hollis radio
play of 1995 that united L&A with Chester (Parley
Baer) Proudfoot of Gunsmoke. L&A are
transported back "to those thrilling days of
yesteryear" by a strange time machine
discovered in a decaying shack near an
abandoned stretch of railroad. In the
"yesteryear" of 1872,
(continued on the next page!)
|WHEN YOU SEE THIS
IMAGE, CLICK IT TO
"TURN THE PAGE."
|Fred Foy tries to tune in THE LONE RANGER
on the antique radio in the
Lum and Abner Museum in Pine Ridge.
|This article was originally published in the August 1999 issue of The Jot 'Em Down Journal.
It has been reformatted somewhat for this website.
|Performing LUM AND ABNER MEET THE LONE
RANGER (Left to Right): Sam Brown, Fred Foy, Tim
Hollis, and Donnie Pitchford, who also wrote the script.
|Donnie Pitchford presents Fred Foy with one of the
Lum and Abner Memorial Awards for 1999.
|We managed to locate one color photo, and this one
wasn't originally published in the JOURNAL!
Here is Sam Brown, pounding out those "thundering
hoof beats of the great horse Silver!"