Harry Hickox both co-wrote and performed many of the characters in Jump Jump and The Ice Queen. Who was Harry Hickox? Think 'anvil salesman' Ring any 'Music Man' bells?
Billboard announcement of Consolidated Television Productions signing a deal for a contemplated 260 short features around Sampson-Diamond's Jump Jump characters from February 24, 1951
Jump Jump, the 3-inch tall Elf was first conceived by the creative writing team of Mary McConnell and hubby Harry Hickox as an anchor character to introduce an initial series of some 65 vignettes of delightfully animated creature-based children's stories for year-round, syndicated distribution through the Harry S. Goodman organization to radio stations across America.
That initial syndication caught both the attention and entrepreneurial interest of Sampson R. Diamond, who sought to put a physical image and visual personality to the delightful 3-inch tall Elf. He contracted with the Hickox' syndicator, Harry S. Goodman to contract out the Hickox's for a 25-episode children's adventure anchored around the Christmas Holiday season. Thus was born the first image of Jump Jump and a fully fleshed out package of Jump Jump characters, dolls, merchandise displays and marketing materials to promote the new 25-episode serial as a Christmas adventure. This is similar to the highly successful Cinnamon Bear and Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon adventure serials distributed almost ten years earlier. These Christmas adventure serials were rapidly becoming a recurring holiday tradition over radio stations across the U.S. and Canada. So it was that Jump Jump's serial length adventure, Jump-Jump and The Ice Queen, was born.
Jump Jump the Elf spawns a Christmas feature over Radio
The premise is both touching and compelling. Young orphan Tim and his friend Billy become obsessed with the notion that Santa Claus might tend to favor children from whole families to children living in orphanages throughout the world. Young Tim resolves to determine the answer once and for all and sets off to find Santa himself; the North Star guiding him to Santa's home.
After hours of tracking the path of the North Star, he tires and lies down to rest, falling asleep. To his amazement and surprise, young Tim finds himself awakened by a tiny boy Elf only three inches tall. The Elf ultimately announces himself as Jump-Jump, an intimate of Santa's personal secretary, Mary Holiday. He tells Tim that he lives with Mary Holiday and Santa himself at 'Holiday House', where every day is a holiday.
And so begins Tim's fascinating adventure in search of Santa Claus himself and the answer to his quest. Needless to say, his 25-episode odyssey takes him to faraway places with both strange sounding--and rhyming--names, and a cast of equally fascinating characters along the way. Each character and situation leading one step closer to finding Santa Claus.
The voice characterizations are both rich and imaginative, but even more surprisingly, consist of only three principal, multi-talented actors. The wonderful musical acompanyment to Tim's quest is provided by no less than Bob Mitchell and his Hammond Organ, as well as Mitchell's Boy Choir near the end of the quest. Clearly the production values of this relatively humbly produced series are blessed from the outset with a small, yet highly accomplished, team with which to guarantee the success of this compelling juvenile adventure.
All of the resulting episodes were mastered onto vinyl by the Allied Record Manufacturing Company early in 1948, in plenty of time for their designated distribution in October 1948. The complete broadcast package comprised both marketing materials and completely timed cue sheets for local engineers and annoucing staff to cue in their local promotional advertising behind the almost 2-minute organ fills at the beginning and end of each 15-minute episode.
The series soon became a traditional staple for broadcast between Thanksgiving and Christmas each season, much after the model of The Cinnamon Bear and Jonathan Thomas and His Christmas On The Moon, but in this case, accompanied by an even more agressive and successful merchandising franchise.
This series is an absolutely delightful serial adventure for the young listener. Even without all of the acompanying merchandise, Jump-Jump and the Ice Queen serves as a wonderfully captivating and complete adventure experience for children young and old, alike. This series is both highly recommended and highly collectable.
Preceded by 33-Episode Jump-Jump of Holiday House, an Anthology of Juvenile Adventures by Samson R. Diamond
Golden Age Radio Juvenile Christmas Adventure Serial
Harry S. Goodman syndication (G. N. MacKenzie and All-Canada Ltd. in Canada)
Audition Date(s) and Title(s):
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s):
48-11-22 01 Tim Meets Jump-Jump
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s):
48-11-22 through 48-12-24, to be aired five days a week, Monday through Friday, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, culminating in the final episode to be aired on Christmas Day.
Harry S. Goodman syndication
Harry S. Goodman syndication (Local commercial inserts provided)
Producer: Harry S. Goodman
Mary McConnell, Harry Hickox and Johnny McGovern
Johnny McGovern as Tim the Orphan Johnny McGovern as Jump-Jump The Elf
Tim's Friend, Billy Mary McConnell as Mary Holiday, Santa Claus' Secretary Harry Hickox as Santa Claus Harry Hickox as Achi Paggli, the Blue-Haired Clown Harry Hickox as Sleepy Slim, The Lion Mary McConnell as The Ice Queen, Ruler of The Frozen Country Harry Hickox as The Poet
The Polar Bear
Miss Jennifer Jump, The Doll Harry Hickox as The Spirit of Christmas Fairy
The Spirit of All of The Christmas Trees That Ever Were
The 25-foot-tall Ice Maidens
The Ice Dwarves Harry Hickox as Pete, The Pelican
The Ice Queen's Magic Mirror Mary McConnell as The Snow Queen, Ruler of The Frozen Country
Mrs. Burns, The Matron of The Orphanage
Tim the Orphan and Jump-Jump The Elf
Mary McConnell and Harry Hickox
Mary McConnell, Harry Hickox, Martin Weldon
KFI Organist, Bob Mitchell
The Jump-Jump Theme, with KFI Organist, Bob Mitchell at the Hammond Organ
Local stations' Staff Announcers
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation:
Total Episodes in Collection:
Jump-Jump The 3-inch-tall Elf
Jump-Jump's signature Holiday Jingle
RadioGOLDINdex (J. David Goldin), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Radio Archive website, The Larchmont Chronicle, 2004, Newcomb Weisenberger .
Notes on Provenances:
All above cited provenances differ in one form or another. The most accurate provenances were the logs of the radioGOLDINdex and The Radio Archives website.
The Hickox's, Mary McConnell and Harry Hickox, c. 1948
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Bob Mitchell (Music Director, Organist, Choir Director)
Radio, Television, Film and Stage performer
Birthplace: Sierra Madre, CA
Thirty Minutes In Hollywood
The Betty Jane Rhodes Show
Words With Music
A Child's Wish
The Wizard Of Odds
The Play's The Thing
Stairway To The Stars
The Mary Worth Show [Audition]
The Play's The Thing
Stairway To The Stars
Jump-Jump of Holiday House
Jump-Jump and The Ice Queen
One Night Stand
The Children's Hour, But Not For Children
The Hour Of St. Francis
Trouble Is My Business
A Joy Forever
Robert Mitchell at his Hammond Organ, directing one of his early Boy Choirs, c. 1938
[photo credited to the famous Southern California photographer, Joe Hinojos]
Bob Mitchell at the Wurlitzer, c. 1941
Bob Mitchell and St. Brendan's Choir at The Hollywood Bowl, c. 1945
Bob Mitchell with Bing Crosby, c. 1954
Mr. Mitchell at the Orpheum, c. 2001
Click image once to load 'Forty Boys and a Song' from 1941 (Takes 1:15 to 3:00 minutes to load on most DSL or Cable connections)
Robert Mitchell's mother sat him down at the piano at the age of 4. By age 10, Mitchell’s mother decided it was time for him to learn the organ so as to study traditional Episcopal Church music. As it was, the only organ in his home town, Sierra Madre, CA was at the local Episcopal parish. He and his mother met the pastor to inquire if young Master Mitchell could practice on the church’s organ.
“No, no, no. No one may play the organ in the church, but our own organist,” Mitchell is reported to have mimicked in the English Pastor's condescending accent. He goes on to relate that his mother’s reply was sharp and quick“Well, any man of the cloth that would not allow a child to learn an instrument needs to praise almighty God!” The pastor abruptly reversed his position. "Well I suppose we must make an exception in this case,” Mitchell mimicked the pastor again, “but without setting any precedents”
Quickly mastering the organ, he soon discovered the movies--and to his further delight, the integral part that the organ played in the fascinating new medium. Mitchell relates, “I told my mother, there’s a pipe organ and I really want to play it!.” And despite her natural aversion to the vulgarity of movies, his mother transported now 12-year-old Robert down to The Strand Theatre on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, CA where he was soon employed.
After talkies arrived en masse, Mitchell nimbly transitioned to the other exploding medium of the era--Radio. During the 1930s he was staff organist at variously, KMTR, KEME, KHJ and ultimately, from 1940 to 1965, famous Earl Anthony's KFI radio. Robert Mitchell's 25 years at KFI were a match made in Radio heaven. Working out of its famous Studio 'A', Mr. Mitchell set a Music standard for affiliate radio rarely equalled at the largest Network flagship stations.
But it was his early passion for choral music that propelled him into his signature contribution to Radio, Television and Film. He formed The Mitchell Boys Choir, which quickly gained the well-deserved reputation that catapulted The Choir into a string of appearances in dozens of high profile films including Angels with Dirty Faces with James Cagney, the Christmas classic, The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant and Loretta Young, and the other Christmas staple, White Christmas with Bing Crosby. The Mitchell Boys Choir became a tradional holiday treasure over every medium--Radio, Television and Film.
Bob Mitchell returned to work in the 1990s as part-time organist at "Silent Movie," a Fairfax area Los Angeles theatre which shows only silent films. He was still performing there in 2004--at the age of 92. Mr. Mitchell is considered to be the last remaining silent movie organist.