Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Story Fantastic

I first got the idea to launch something like OPC last Christmastide, when I discovered that "Hardrock, Coco and Joe" was available online, and I wished I had an outlet to share it with the entire world. Now I do.

Since then, I have found out that "Hardrock" was created back in 1956, specifically for the Chicagoland kiddie-TV market, which I came to inhabit about a decade later. The animator was a gentleman named Wah Ming Chang; the song was written by Stuart Hamblen, who mostly wrote Christian music and once had a radio show called "The Cowboy Church of the Air."

"Hardrock" aired throughout the Christmas season on the morning kids' programs on WGN-TV, such as "Garfield Goose" and "The Ray Rayner Show," and although those shows have disappeared, the Three Little Dwarfs will never die. Ladies and gentlemen, "Hardrock, Coco and Joe":

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I read every word you post here.

T. Nawrocki said...

Why, did they have "Hardrock, Coco and Joe" in Milwaukee, too?

Anonymous said...

I saw it somewhere many decades ago. (Not in Milwaukee.) That said, nowhere on the Interwebs would one find this quality of information, and I love it.

Besides, I'm anonymous. How on Earth would you know I grew up in Milwaukee? That's scary.

MJN said...

Check out the copyright date at the beginning of the clip – it’s 1951! That earlier date helps explain why the work of Wah Ming Chang looks so primitive. It wasn’t until December 1956 that Frazier Thomas introduced the film to his “Garfield Goose” audience. The vocalists are the Les Tucker Singers, who are so obscure that allmusic.com has never heard of them. Amazing that such a bizarre little video is still so beloved after all this time.

T. Nawrocki said...

Milwaukee is the American epicenter of anonymity. Ask anyone what they think of when they hear Milwaukee, and they'll say anonymity and the Friday night fish fry.

Both Mark Evanier and another site gave 1956 as the date for this, although Wikipedia said only "the 1950s." I should have known to trust Wikipedia. You are also correct that it's Wah Ming Chang, not Ching, as I said.