Li'l Abner radio scripts
Li'l Abner was a satirical comic strip that lampooned a fictional clan of hillbillies in the village of Dogpatch, USA. The series was created and drawn by Al Capp. It was an enormous success and became an entertainment franchise of comic strips, comic books, Broadway, and movies.
The radio version was the least successful expression of the franchise. The weekday serial originated in Chicago on NBC from November 20, 1939, to December 6, 1940. The star of the program was John Hodiak who went on to have a successful movie career. The show was written by Charles Gussman in consultation with Capp. The program could not find a sponsor after its first year and was not heard on radio again.
The scripts in the Hehn collection are from the end of the series. There is some confusion as to episode numbers as some of the scripts have different numbers on their cover and different announced numbers in the scripts. The episode numbers were announced at the beginning of the show and the next show was teased, with its number, at the end of the script. The shows had titles, and two of the scripts have them while the other scripts are blank. Those show names were added before airtime.
Also in the collection is a 7-page summary of the series' first year. This discusses the success of the franchise to that point. The document is likely a script that was read for playing to potential advertisers. The handwritten time indication at the top of the first page is a clue to this purpose.
Music from the Broadway production is at https://archive.org/details/lilabnersoundrec00depa/
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Joe Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. The Joe Hehn Memorial Collection is comprised of many recordings and documents. The latter include scripts, program documentation, catalogs of fellow collectors, and old time radio fanzines of the period. These documents are being scanned into Adobe Acrobat PDF files. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table.
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