Episode 22 - The Song

(20 February 1975)
Teleplay: Richard Carr & Armand Lanzano.
Story: Richard Carr.
Director: Richard Thomas.
Music: Alexander Courage


"We were a close family growing up on that mountain, but as we grew older and were faced with the problems of finding maturity, conflict sometimes developed between us. I remember a time when my brother Jason's pursuit of fame as a musician, and my brother Ben's pursuit of a young lady brought them into a bitter misunderstanding".


John and John-Boy cut timbers while trying to bring Ben out of his daydream. John-Boy thinks he’s dreaming about a girl. Ben tells them he’s going off to ask Jason something. John and John-Boy comment on how difficult it is being in love. Ben tells Jason that he thinks he needs a manager for his music career with Bobby Bigelow. His first idea is to have a girl sing with Jason on his new song. Ben thinks Sally Ann Harper would be a good choice, the girl who sings in the church choir. They decide to talk tomorrow with Bobby Bigelow.


Betsy is serving ice-cold sodas to all the band members, one being her cousin Hassie Longstreet, the banjo player. Jason walks in with Ben, telling Bobbie that his brother is his new manager. Jason shows Bobby his new song, suggesting that he sing it as a duet with a girl. Not wanting to hire a girl for the single job, Jason tells Bobby that Sally Ann Harper would sing it for free. Betsy asks Jason if he would come over after supper to listen to records on her Victrola, but Jason is more interested in his song. Betsy tells Ben that the idea of using Sally Ann is a rotten idea, saying she would be a better choice. Ben tells her that she can’t sing.


Over supper the family talks about Jason’s song and his new singing partner. Mary Ellen thinks Sally Ann is silly, and is obviously jealous that Jason didn’t ask her to sing. Ben tells Mary Ellen that she sings like “a mockingbird with the crup”. Zeb says he really sings better than anyone, but John thinks he’s the best singer. Grandma thinks there is too much fuss over a song that isn’t a hymn. Zeb announces that he and John are going to Ike’s store for the annual WMEBT (Walton’s Mountain Eight-Ball Tournament). The women don’t like it, and wonder why Corabeth is allowing it. Zeb says that Corabeth is in Doe Hill picking up the last of her mother’s antiques. Zeb and John say that no money has changed hands since 1928, with many upstanding members of the community in attendance including Zack Roswell and Horace Brimley. John tells Olivia that, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.


At school the next day, Ben asks Sally Ann if she will have supper with the family tonight to celebrate Jason’s new song being played on the radio this Friday. Sally Ann, who is talking with her best friend Phyllis, says no to Ben’s invitation. Soon Betsy tells Sally Ann that she must be the most popular girl in the school, being hand-picked by Jason to sing his new song with him on the radio. Sally Ann jumps up, tells Ben she accepts his invitation after all, and then runs inside the school to talk with Jason.


Mary Ellen and Erin serve dessert to the other children and Sally Ann. Elizabeth and Ben argue about the words to Little Orphan Annie. Ben thinks the words are “Who's that little chatterbox?/The one with pretty auburn locks?/Cute little she/It's Little Orphan Annie.” Jason tells Sally Ann that it’s time to practice on the porch. Olivia tells the other children that after finishing their ice cream they should finish their homework. Elizabeth tells her mother and father she told Rev. Fordwick that her Daddy is going to win the pool contest. Olivia and Grandma show their disapproval of pool playing, and John and Zeb say it’s time for them to leave for the tournament. Jason and Sally Ann sing, “I never felt before the way I feel right now. Once more….


At Ike’s store, Ike dislikes the way he has been playing. Just then a knock is heard at the locked front door. It’s Zack’s wife (Elvira) who wants her husband back home with her. They hide the man from his wife. Elvira wonders why Corabeth allows the pool playing, but Ike says she is away. Elvira says, “Lucky you are her problem, not mine.”


Bobby Bigalow hears Jason and Sally Ann sing. Afterwards, she apologizes after being scared at singing in front of Bobby. Ben asks to walk Sally Ann home, but she asks Jason to walk with them. In front of her house, Sally Ann is obviously more interested in Jason, than in Ben.


Ben and Sally Ann sit in the front yard waiting for Jason to arrive. When Jason walks out Sally Ann asks Ben to get her a glass of lemonade. Jason and Sally Ann go to the barn to practice, since John-Boy is in the house studying. Ben begins to feel rejected as he goes for the drinks. In the barn Jason tunes his guitar as Sally Ann talk about singing professionally in Nashville. Sally Ann wonders if Jason has ever looked at her, and then thanks him for giving her a singing chance. Sally Ann says she likes him, holds his hand, and kisses him. As they kiss Ben sees them as he carries them the lemonade, and then leaves. Grandma yells out to Jason and Sally Ann to come to supper. Ben sits silent at the supper table while Jim Bob says grace with some help from Grandpa. John-Boy states that he hears on the radio that the NRA may be abolished. Jason and Sally Ann are whispering to each other and don’t hear when John speaks to them. Mary Ellen and Erin make snide remarks to Sally Ann. Ben has heard enough and asks to leave the table. John makes him stay. The family continues to talk about Jason’s song, and it is too much for Ben. He jumps up and runs to his room. John-Boy offers to talk with him.


Upstairs, John-Boy learns that Ben loves Sally Ann, but hasn’t told either Jason or Sally Ann. John-Boy tells Ben that he needs to tell them. Ben backs down and John-Boy leaves, unable to help. Later, John-Boy asks his father to help with his French lesson. Jason arrives and John-Boy tells him about Ben’s feelings for Sally Ann. Although Jason says that Sally Ann is cute, they have fun together, she kisses good, but only likes her, doesn’t love her. Jason goes upstairs to confront Ben. Between Miss Hunter watching the children during the day, and Olivia and Grandma watching them at night, John wonders when Jason had the chance to kiss Sally Ann. Jason returns with a note from Ben saying he is sleeping in the barn. John suggests he wait until the morning to talk with Ben.


The next day, Ben avoids Jason all day at school. Jason finally corners Ben and tells him he doesn’t love Sally Ann. Ben wonders why he saw them kissing. At Sally Ann’s house, Jason waits for her while her younger brother and sister (Buber and Louann) stand outside. Jason tells Sally Ann that Ben saw them kissing yesterday, and that Ben is in love with her. Sally Ann wonders about their relationship, and Jason says that seniors kiss all the time. He says they still can sing together and travel around the country. Sally Ann asks Jason to apologize to Ben for her, tell him that he’s the cutest boy in school, that she’s save the last dance for him, and will let him walk her home.


Jason explains everything to Ben, and says he is sorry, too. Ben says he is too embarrassed to go to the dance. At the pool tournament John loses, and the only two left are Grandpa and Zack. Zeb realizes that it is almost time for the dance, and Jason’s song. At the dance Jim Bob sets up chairs as Bobby Bigelow starts the dance with a “Hey, Hey, Everybody!” Ben listens to the radio as the band sings. Grandpa concedes the game, saying he has to be elsewhere. He rides Old Blue and sings, “Go along mule….


Bobby introduces Jason and Sally Ann, saying Jason wrote the song they are about to sing: Sally says over the radio that she wishes Ben was at the dance, and dedicates the song to him.


Will You Be Mine?


When I saw you on the corner,

I just had to say,

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?


I’ve never had nobody,

that could make me feel this way,

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?


I never felt before the way I feel right now,

What’s more I have to make my feelings clear,

And tell you that I love you dear.

I never knew somebody who could make me feel like you do

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?


I never felt before the way I feel right now,

What’s more I have to make my feelings clear,

And tell you that I love you dear.

You know I’ve loved you from the start,

the shiny arrow went through my heart

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?

Ohhh, Ohhh, will you be mine?


Grandpa claps at the song, but Grandma thinks he missed the performance. Elizabeth says that he didn’t miss it, but was standing in the back. Zeb asks Esther for a dance. She asks who won the tournament. Zeb doesn’t know, leaving before it was over. Betsy compliments Sally Ann about her performance. Later Ben arrives and asks Bobby to play an instrumental of Jason’s song. He asks Sally to dance, and Jason watches them as they dance. Afterwards Betsy gives Jason a soda and tells him the song was “real good”. She says her cousin is making eyes at Mary Lou Simpson and will probably not walk her home. Jason volunteers to walk her home.


"Ben walked home with Sally Ann, and Jason walked home with Betsy. They both got back to the house around midnight, singing".


Jason: Ben?
Ben: Uh huh?
Jason: Did you kiss her?
Ben: I'll never tell.
Elizabeth: Did you kiss Betsy, Jason?
Jason: I'm asleep, Elizabeth.
Jim Bob: I'd rather kiss Reckless than a girl!
Ben: Jim Bob, you got a lot of growing up to do. Goodnight. Goodnight, Jase.
Jason: Goodnight, Ben.



More information on Little Orphan Annie can be found at these two web sites: http://thenostalgialeague.com/archive/annie.htm and http://www.comicspage.com/annie/aboutcomic.html.

The song Will You Be Mine was written and performed by Jon Walmsley (‘Jason’).

Erin Moran, who plays Sally Ann Harper, played ‘Joanie’ in the TV show Happy Days.

Oscar Widdington (fiddle player) is one member of Billy Bigelow’s band.

Hassie Longstreet, Betsy’s cousin, is another member of the band.

Jon Walmsley wrote and composed the song Will You Be Mine?


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Sally Ann Harper (Erin Moran); Bobby Bigelow (Mayf Nutter); Hassie Longstreet (Red Sawyers); a fiddle player (Oscar Widdington); Betsy (Doney Oatman); Zack Roswell (James Gammon); Elvira Roswell (May Jo Catlett); Horace Brimley(Wilford Brimley); Easy Jackson (Britt Leach).