First Picture: The Beverly Hillbillies
Second Picture: The type of TV we watched it on!!
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Beverly Hillbillies was one of my favourite television shows. The show made its debut in 1962 and lasted almost the whole of the 60’s. and was one of the most popular and successful American television sitcoms in history. One of the reasons for this was its catchy, singable theme tune (“Come and let me tell you a story about a man called Jed ………..”The song was written by Paul Henning, the creator / producer of The Beverly Hillbillies and performed by bluegrass artists Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. It went to No 44 on the music charts in 1962, the first year of the original running of the series.
The Beverly Hillbillies depicted every person’s dream that one day they will hit it rich by a stroke of good fortune or luck. It was a story about a poor, struggling country family that hit it rich when the father, while hunting and found oil. The critics got it wrong. They expected the show to be a flop but the show quickly became a success soon after it started. The sitcom won a number of Emmys and was constantly in the Top Ten each week during most of the seasons it was shown. The show starred JD Clampett, played by Buddy Ebsen, who was the patriarch of the family.
Jed was an unassuming and mild-mannered man, who was not at all interested in living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. His family members, with the possibly exception of Jethro Clampett’s activities, preferred the hillbilly lifestyle and fought to keep it that way. Jed basically tried to manage the family’s sudden fortune and keep the family together by giving advice on a number of situations each member found themselves in. He had the most trouble controlling Granny and Jethro’s “wild” ways. Next was his mother-in-law, Granny, played by Irene Ryan. She was funniest character in the show. Granny, was a tough, scrappy grandmother that didn’t take any mess from the more “civilized” characters in the show. She fought long and hard to keep the family from becoming too civilized. She cooked up tasty country meals for the family and others who would often balk at the ingredients.
Every young mans delight was Elly Mae Clampett, played by Donna Douglas; she was Jed’s animal loving daughter, she was a pretty, pert blond with the most amazing short shorts. But this hid a character that was as tough as the beef Granny cooked. Elly Mae looked sweet and innocent but she could fight and often would win fights with several guys she came across, including her cousin, Jethro Clampett.
Jethro Clampett was played by Max Baer, Jr. Jethro was often getting into some sort of minor trouble with either girls or get-richer schemes. Unlike his cousin, Elly Mae, Jethro’s IQ was far from high.
The family had little in the way of modern inventions, although they did own a television, they had very little concern about materialistic values and would scoff at certain items and what they saw as excess. Although the family lived in a nice mansion, they kept most of their old possessions and grew their own food.
There were a couple of other main characters in the show. One was Mr. Milburn Drysdale, played by Raymond Bailey. Mr. Drysdale was a greedy banker who constantly tried to get Mr. Clampett to invest his money so he can make more money, not so much for himself, but for Mr. Drysdale. Granny would sometimes suggest to Mr. Clampett to remove their money from Drysdale’s bank, which was a threatening and devastating thought for Mr. Drysdale. The series also featured Mr Drysdales wife Margaret. The other character was Mrs. Jane Hathaway, played by Nancy Kulp, she was Mr. Drysdale’s level headed secretary who had the daunting task of calming down and reassuring Mr. Drysdale. She would often have to calm and reason with Granny as well and she definitely had an eye for Jethro. I always thought the show very funny and the very down to earth characters are what made it a success. In 1971 the show was cancelled because of resulted CBS' desire to erase its image as a "rural network and to become a major player within the American TV Networks.
With the show ending 40 years ago it is therefore unsurprisingly that there are only two of the original actors still alive, these are naturally, the youngest two Max Baer Jr (Jethro) who is planning to build a Beverly Hillbillies mansion and Casino in Douglas County complete with fake oil rig and a restaurant featuring Granny style cooking. The other is Donna Douglas (Elly May) who later went on to star with Elvis Presley in “Frankie and Johnny”.
A film version of the Beverley Hillbillies was made in 1993 with none of the original cast but could not pick up on the success of the original TV series.
Stay in touch
It's great to see the old picture of Hilsea Lido and more especially the rare photo of the Blue Lagoon on your Manor Court blog page.
Hilsea Lido Pool for the People are the community trust that has taken over Hilsea Lido and the Blue Lagoon from Portsmouth City Council on a 99 year lease.
One of the things that we are very keen to do is to create an historical archive of the site and photos are very useful. In addition we currently have a small exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum and have organised a couple of exhibitions on site, we are keen to continue doing this and would love to be able to use your photos in the future. Please let me know whether this would be possible. Any more photos you may have of Hilsea Lido, the Blue Lagoon or the immediate area would be of great interest to us.
In addition, I met Colin Woods yesterday, you may be aware that he is a member of The Renegades (big in Pompey in the 60s I believe). Colin is very keen to organise a fundraising event for HLPP featuring The Renegades and hopefully the Cadillacs at the Blue Lagoon. I will let you know should this develop !!
News and Views:
Did you know that the first woman to get a Commercial Pilots licence worked for Channel Airways when they flew out of Portsmouth. However they would only let her fly on the Isle of Wight route!
On this day 6th February 1960-1965
On 06/02/1960 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 Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 06/02/1961 the number one single was Are you Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) 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 06/02/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. 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 06/02/1963 the number one single was Diamonds - Jet Harris & Tony Meehan and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. 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.The big news story of the day was Liz Taylor films Cleopatra.
On 06/02/1964 the number one single was Needles & Pins - Searchers 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. The big news story of the day was Plans agreed for Channel Tunnel.
On 06/02/1965 the number one single was You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Righteous Brothers and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. 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.