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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Web Page 904

First Picture: Mickey Dolenz as Circus Boy Corky

Second Picture: Mickey with the Monkees.

Firstly lets welcome two new school friends, a big hello to Christine Budd and Carol Page.
Secondly look for the new Section School Report

Mickey Dolnez

Many of us will remember Micky Dolenz as the drum playing lead singer from the late sixties American answer to the Beatles, the Monkees. During the peak years of the Monkees his voice was featured on such hits as “Last Train to Clarksville”, “I’m a Believer”, “Stepping Stone” “Words” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. But what may be a lesser known or even totally forgotten is that Mickey Dolnez first gained fame some ten years before the Monkees project ever got off the ground, as a child actor on the television show, Circus Boy.

Born to actor George Dolenz and his wife Janelle in 1945, Micky Dolenz made a very early decision to follow in his father’s footsteps. George Dolenz had made it as an actor with RKO Studios and during the 1950's played the Count of Monte Cristo for the ITV television series. To avoid the stereotype of being another actor’s son, it was decided, early on, that young Micky would not use his father’s last name; instead, Micky Dolenz began his acting career as Micky Braddock but by the time of Circus Boy this plan appears to have been dropped. In early 1955, the production company, Norbert Productions, were looking for a way to generate some form of income from a bankrupt South Carolina circus that, for some reason, they had bought. The idea of developing a television show that would make good use of props, animals and infrastructure of the circus occurred to the Director Herbert B. Leonard. As a Director had had a previous success when he had developed another childrens favourite, Rin Tin Tin and was now looking for another prospective television success. By the end of the year, he had a script for the pilot prepared and began to hold casting sessions for the various roles of what was now being called the Circus Boy project.

Micky Dolnez auditioned for, and won, the role of Corky, the central character in the pilot. The plot that was developed had the twelve-year-old orphan being adopted by the boss Big Bill Champion and performers of the near bankrupt Burke and Walsh circus. Corky had become an orphan after his trapeze artist parents were killed during a high wire act that went wrong. In the story Corky was now looked after by the clown Uncle Joey and his friend Pete. There had to be animals in the programme of course and Corky's pet chimpanzee was called Bobo, other featured animals were Sultan, the tiger and Nuba the Lion. Each episode Corky was seen riding the baby elephant Bimbo, and each storyline had him dealing with his adolescent problems, whilst the financial problems of the circus were always in the background and as the story developed it was clear that the Circus Boy actually helped the adults keep the circus in the black as the show moved from town to town each week.

NBC picked up the series for the September 1956 line-up and ordered a season of episodes. “Circus Boy” made its debut in the US on Sunday, September 23, 1956. While the show did not establish itself as a runaway success, there was enough interest from young people to establish some Circus Boy merchandise and that soon became a mini-boom. Goodies such as Circus Boy puzzles, board games and colouring sets, a lunch box, Halloween costumes, and action figures and puppets. That year Circus Boy promotional toys were found under quite a few American Christmas trees.

Still, the ratings were not quite what NBC had hoped. In the spring of 1957, it was announced that the show would be cancelled, although all the 36 episodes that had been filmed would be run. However, the show was not over yet. ABC announced it would be picking up “Circus Boy” for a second season. While ABC did a fair amount of promotion for the series, it appeared that the show was not going to perform any better for ABC than it had done for NBC the previous year. ABC had made a second season commitment of thirteen episodes and aired all of them by the end of the year.

While the production of “Circus Boy” had ceased, re-runs of the 48 filmed episodes found a home on Saturday morning television much to the delight of the small but loyal fan base and even developing a rather strong fan base in Australia in the late 1960’s, actually during the heyday of the Monkees’.

The series was picked up in 1956 by the BBC who screened it on and off for the next two years. “Circus Boy” might well have been lost to posterity if not for the success that Micky Dolenz had with the Monkees a decade later, and his continuing success as a director and performer in the United States, here in Great Britain and Australia.

At the very least, the show occasional appears on Cable TV helps a few of us to recapture some of the innocence we knew as kids.

Stay in touch


You Write:

Anida Writes:-

The name of the grocers on the corner of Roseberry Ave and Lonsdale Ave was Kinch's, Mr Kinch had two daughters and they ran it together. When Mr Kinch died it was taken over and became Chusan Stores because the man who bought it had worked on the liner 'SS Chusan'!!!!

Martin Writes:-

Miss Burdens christian name was Barbara.............She was gorgeous...........Bob Coulthard and she would met for lunch and smooches in her classroom (one of the old hut room beside scholars walk...........Molly Butler..........the photo does not do her justice........remember her blue hair.............the 58 trip to London was a great trip.......we all had a great time.............Where was Cosham House located....???? on Havant Road close to Drayton..........????............I think it was Andy.....not Danny Williams who recorded and hit number one with Moon River............Cheers for now

School Report.

Web Page from 9 years ago.

There was a strange period during my 4th year when most homework for some subjects actually ceased and we returned to school for two hours between 17.00 and 19.00 for extra lessons. These lessons had to be at these times so those kids with paper rounds could get their evening deliveries done. This was a very strange system although it was helpful, it was also very frustrating especially when it was a glorious summer evening outside and we were still stuck in school. The reason being that the school had changed examination boards from Oxford to Southern Counties and there were things in the Southern curriculum that we had not covered. So to catch up we had to return in the evenings. We were not told the reason why we just went. In fact it was not until about 6 years ago that Norman Folland told me the reason and that the teachers and the cleaning staff were paid overtime to take the classes. As a concession those of us who attended were allowed to wear non uniform clothes and to eat during these evening classes. I remember diving into the shop on Central Road to buy a cold Steak and Kidney Pie and a cake so I could munch them during those lessons. I don’t really remember having evening classes in all lessons, I remember David Gee taking Religious Education and Bob Coulthard Geography but I don’t remember English or French and Keith Conlon reminded me recently that the was also General Science lessons with Bert Ray. Maybe you remember other lessons in the evenings. Did these classes help? Who knows? But maybe it assisted me passing my 0 levels but it certainly was a very strange system. Although I do know that most of us could not wait for 19.00 so that we could descend on the Chip Shop in Drayton. Peter

News and Views:

Announced on TV recently by Gerry Anderson himself is the news that he is going to make a further ‘Thunderbirds’ film!

On this day 16th January 1960-1965

On 16/01/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was US screenwriters plan pay strike.

On 16/01/1961 the number one single was Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions

On 16/01/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 16/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 16/01/1964 the number one single was Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 16/01/1965 the number one single was Yeh Yeh - Georgie Fame and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

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