Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This week, we’re celebrating Independence Day with the 1980 Showtime telecast of Goodspeed’s revival of Little Johnny Jones (1904) — a 115-year-old musical comedy written by Broadway’s patriotic king, George M. Cohan, whose classic score includes gems like “The Yankee Doodle Boy” and “Give My Regards To Broadway.”
For those who’ve seen Jimmy Cagney in the wonderful 1942 Cohan biopic (Yankee Doodle Dandy), where Little Johnny Jones is briefly recreated, this is a particular treat, as this production (later used as the basis for an ill-fated Broadway mounting in 1982) gives you the chance to see a more-faithful-than-you’d-expect take on Cohan’s most famous show!
This has been released on VHS (now out-of-print) — and is currently available elsewhere online. But for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their non-commercial scholarly interest, I will send you downloadable access to the entire, professionally shot telecast, along with an EXCLUSIVE: an audio recording of the telecast that I have tracked myself, offering easy access to this hodgepodge of Cohan greats (some of which come from his other scores). Above is a sample of the video (“The Yankee Doodle Boy”), and below is an excerpt of the tracked audio, “Give My Regards To Broadway” — both led by Eric Weitz. Enjoy!
Come back next week for another Wildcard post! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Raymond!