Pacific Stars and Stripes, Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, September 26, 1957

On the Town With AL RICKETS

WE WERE MUCH IMPRESSED TUESDAY NIGHT WITH a young man named Jack Larson who is currently appearing at Manuela's night club in Tokyo. Jack, a 19-year-old singer-impressionist billed as "The Man With a Thousand Voices," is one of the most promising young entertainers we've seen in a long time. He has lots of show business savvy, handles himself well on the floor and manages to win over the Japanese audience in a matter of minutes. This isn's easy to do and there are seasoned professionals who have the wounded pride to prove it.

HE DOES SINGING IMPERSONATIONS of Pat Boone, Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, Eddie Fisher, Billy Eckstine, Frankie Lane and Johnnie Ray, ending up on the floor with his coat off, tie loosened and loafers cast to one side. Also, his talking and singing impression of Jerry Lewis - complete with a gassing, Lewis-like face - is a riot. We're told that in military clubs, where he doesn't have to fight the language barrier, Jack does a number of talking impressions (Walter Brennan, Jimmy Stewart, etc.) to round out his show. With better material and more polish Jack should make a big name for himself. If you can't catch him at Manuela's (the last show every night through Sunday - then he returns to Korea) try the ESC NCO Club in Yokohama, Thursday; Tachikawa Civilian Club, Friday; Tachikawa East and West Officers Clubs, Saturday and Tachikawa Airmen's Club, Sunday. 

The Oregonian, Portland, Multnomah Co., OR, July 23, 1958

Understand that an attempt is now being made to bring Jack Larson of Salem, a terrific mimic and singer, who scored a smash hit on a recent Ed Sullivan show, back to his home town as a star of the star-loaded event. He's now in New York and in the Army.

The Billboard, July 13, 1959


Jack Larson, winner of the All-Army Talent Contest two years in a row, after 10 days in Cincinnati, most of which he spent recording for the Fraternity label of King Records studios here, departed last weekend to visit the home folks in Salem, Ore. Larson appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV-er last fall and makes a repeat on that show August 30. He has been in the Army 29 months and still has 90 days to go. Others who waxed for Fraternity here last week were Luther Brandon, of Rockwood, Tenn., and Bobby Bare, who is also in the Army.

The Billboard, August 24, 1959

Fraternity Gets Master, Inks Singer

CINCINNATI - Harry Carlson, president of Fraternity Records, last week acquired from Da-Mor Records, Batavia, Ill., the master to "Double Shuffle" and "Teardrops From My Eyes," as done by Jimmy Jeffers and His Jokers, of Joliet, Ill., with release under the Fraternity label slated for late this week. The Da-Mor firm is owned by Jeffers and C. V. Morrison. Another deal consummated by Carlson last week was the signing of Jack Larson, singer-impersonator of the U. S. Army's "Rollin' Along" show, to a six-year management and recording pact. Larson, who for two years in a row was voted the No. 1 talent in the Army show, had his initial release on the Frat label last week, a novelty tune titled "Roaches." Flip is "Little Miss Starry Eyes." He opens for Lee Zeiger at the Casino Royal, Washington, Monday night (24) on the same bill with the Mills Brothers, and appears on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" August 29. Larson is also set for a spot on Ed Sullivan's all-Army show August 30. He winds up his Army hitch Tuesday (25). Carlson will make the trip to Philly for Larson's appearance on the Clark seg and is due in New York next Monday (31) for a meeting with Art Weems, GAC prexy, to sign Larson to a booking pact with the latter firm.

Air Date: August 30, 1959

Army Talent Show with Steve Lawrence; Henny Youngman Episode Recap


The Annual Army Talent Show

Civilian talent (scheduled guests):
--Henny Youngman (comedian)
--Rickie Layne (ventriloquist with dummy Velvel)
--Modern Jazz Dancers (from Italy) - "Zabandara"

Army talent (scheduled to appear):
--Steve Lawrence (singer, serving in the Army at the time) - "Day In, Day Out"
--Peter Duchin (pianist, son of orchestra leader Eddie Duchin) - "To Love Again" and "Summertime"
--Alan Cohn (singer) - "Nessun Dorma"
--Boyd Dounveor (tenor) - sings "Danny Boy"
--The Fort Sheridan Chamber Quintet including Alan Marlowe of Encino (instrumental group)
--The Jamaicans (vocal group from Ft. Meade, Md) - "Jamaica Farewebll"
--Jack Larson (impressionist) - "Catch a Falling Star," "King Creole" and "Hound Dog"
--Eugene Misirowski (dancer) - "Lover"
--John Park (singer) - "Flamingo"
--Darrell Porter (singer) - "Lonesome Road"
--The Second Army Band and Chorus - "This Is It," "Caught in the Act" and "Army Goes Rolling Along"
--The Troubadours (instrumental group) - "Drunken Soldier"

Full Recap

The Annual Army Talent Show

Civilian talent (scheduled guests):
--Henny Youngman (comedian)
--Rickie Layne (ventriloquist with dummy Velvel)
--Modern Jazz Dancers (from Italy) - "Zabandara"

Army talent (scheduled):
--Steve Lawrence (singer, serving in the Army at the time) - "Day In, Day Out"
--Peter Duchin (pianist, son of orchestra leader Eddie Duchin) - "To Love Again" and "Summertime"
--Alan Cohn (singer) - "Nessun Dorma"
--Boyd Dounveor (tenor from Ft. Meade, Md) - sings "Danny Boy"
--The Fort Sheridan Chamber Quintet including Alan Marlowe of Encino (instrumental group)
--The Jamaicans (vocal group from Ft. Meade, Md) - "Jamaica Farewell" (The Jamaicans were PFC Buddy Pettit, PFC David Hollis, 1st Lt. Charles Carlin, Vernon L. McRae, Stanley A Delescavage)
--SP/I Jack W. Larson (impressionist from Ft. Belvoir, VA) - "Catch a Falling Star," "King Creole" and "Hound Dog"
--Eugene Misirowski (dancer) - "Lover"
--John Park (singer) - "Flamingo"
--Darrell Porter (singer) - "Lonesome Road"
--The Second Army Band and Chorus - "This Is It," "Caught in the Act" and "Army Goes Rolling Along"
--The Troubadours (instrumental, novelty group) - "Drunken Soldier" (The Troubadours were Pvt. Leon Irwin, PFC David Madison, PFC Herbert Johnson)

The Billboard, September 28, 1959

Jack Larson, new on the Fraternity label, opens Monday (28) for a week stand at the Casino Royal, Washington, set by Vic Jarmel, of GAC, New York. He follows with a string of Florida dates for Peter Ward, who handles promotions for the J. M. Fields department stores in that State. Latter trek was arranged by Frank Hanshaw, of the Miami Beach, Fla., GAC office.

The Billboard, December 28, 1959


Jack Larson (Fraternity) spent Christmas with friends in Detroit and then hit out for St. Louis, where he opens Monday (28) at the Tic Toc Club to remain thru February 12. Larson is currently plugging his brand-new release, "Drifting Down The River" b.w. "Autumn Heart."

Jack Larson, Fraternity Label 45, Cincinnati, OH, 1961

Back To School Blues / The Lonely Part Of Town

Jack Larson appeared as himself in the cast of the 1961 movie "Teenage Millionaire."


Rare 1961 USA movie starring Jimmy Clanton, Rocky Graziano, Dion & The Belmonts, Chubby Checker, Jackie Wilson, Bill Black's Combo, Maro Johnson, Jack Larson. A Story about the rise to fame of a young teen r'n'r Singer...
A few unusual performers and actors are among the cast in this otherwise routine teen musical with more rock 'n roll than story. The legendary Zazu Pitts plays the role of Aunt Theodora, the woman who tries to keep her nephew Bobby (Jimmy Clanton) from getting on with his singing career. Bobby's millionaire father owns radio stations, and one day the teen sneaks his song into a station to be played on the air. As in any kid's dream, the tune is an overnight success. The problem is that when Bobby meets the young woman of his dreams, he cannot bring himself to tell her who he really is. Meanwhile, Aunt Theodora has hired a bodyguard -- none other than Rocky Graziano the World Middleweight Boxing Champion, 1947-1948 -- to watch over Bobby. And among the many warblers in the film, two are destined for special fame: Chubby Checker and Dion, who had just left his group Dion and the Belmonts.
Cast: Jimmy Clanton ... Bobby Schultz aka Chalmers Rocky Graziano ... Rocky aka Edward Zasu Pitts ... Aunt Theodora Diane Jergens ... Barbara 'Bambi' Price Joan Tabor ... Adrienne Sid Gould ... Sheldon Vale Maurice Gosfield ... Ernie Eileen O'Neill ... Desidieria Jackie Wilson ... Himself, Performer Chubby Checker ... Himself, Performer Dion DiMucci ... Himself, Performer (as Dion) Bill Black's Combo ... Themselves, Performers Marv Johnson ... Himself, Performer Vicki Spencer ... Herself, Performer Jack Larson Himself, Performer...84 Minutes.

Jack Larson appeared in the cast of the 1963 movie "The Young Swingers."



U.S. film. Rare '60s musical romp with Gene McDaniels and Molly Bee. Teens battle mean adults who want to turn their music hangout into a high-rise office building. Trouble develops when the club mysteriously burns down and the cool chick wrongfully her accuses her aunt of arson. The truth is revealed. Songs include: "Come to the Party," "Mad, Mad, Mad," "Come A-Runnin'," "Watusi Surfer," "Greenback Dollar," "I Can't Get You Out of My Heart," and "You Pass Me By." Rod Lauren, Ray Dannis, Justin Smith, Jack Larson, Elizabeth Thompson. The Young Swingers!

The Billboard, September 19, 1970


Jack Larson, singer and impressionist, formerly on Fraternity, is in the midst of a fortnight's stand on the Chase Hotel, St. Louis, with his own group.

Jack W. Larson also appeared in an acting role as a lawyer in the 1988 movie "Beaches."

Jack W. Larson

Salem, Marion Co., OR

Jack W. Larson, born April 16, 1939, in Onawa, IA, and had lived in Anaheim and in Yorba Linda, CA.

By larrsjackson, Apr 06, 2011

I was an Iowa Farmer's son, and as a young teenager I dreamed of doing the Ed Sullivan Show. Now... how does an Iowa farm boy get to New York and the Ed Sullivan Show? The old joke is "practice." Well, I did that, and at 17 I found a way...I joined the Army.

Message: 18
   Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2004 02:15:01 -0500
   From: Mark Hill
Subject: Jimmy Olson's Blues

Currently, in a Yahoo music group, there is an MP3 of a song, "Do Yourself A Favor" (1961), by Jack Larson. The info line implies that it's actor Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olson in 1950s TV's "Superman." I can't imagine that voice being from Jimmy Olson, it sound more like poor ol' Johnny Ray or Ricky Nelson.

There is a 45 picture sleeve posted there (main page and in photos) for Larson's "Back To School Blues" (Fraternity F-884), from the 1961 movie Teenage Millionaire. He  also has an entry, with photo, in the 1996 book "Hollywood Hi-Fi", which list 2 more songs: "Roaches" (1959) and "The Way She Laughs" (1960), both also on Fraternity. But the way it reads isn't clear enough to convince me they have the right Larson. Even the Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film (1983) mentions Superman's Jack Larson in the cast of Teenage Millionaire. I believe they are WRONG. Superman's Jack Larson would be about a decade older than Jimmy Clanton or the Jack Larson on the 45 sleeve. No way the photo on the "Back To School"/"Teenage Millionaire" picture sleeve is Superman's Larson. Just take a look. There must be a different actor/singer also named Jack Larson and this information confusing the two has been incorrect for years. I think that is the case, as the entries at Internet Movie Database are all jumbled up. Check the entry at IMDB for a 2nd "Jack Larson." And "Teenage Millionaire" is incorrectly credited to the Superman Larson. Can anyone clear this up???

Dr. Mark



Message: 21       
   Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 13:32:41 -0800
   From: Phil X Milstein
Subject: cases of mistaken identity?

In the course of some recent research and collecting activities, a few possible discrepancies of recording artist identity have come to light. I'm wondering if anyone can help me sort out any of the following ID tangles:

1. Is the Willie Mays of a 45 on Duke, "My Sad Heart" / "If You Love Me" (Duke 350 on original release in 1962; Duke 418 upon 1966 re-release), the same as the Hall of Fame centerfielder Willie Mays? (The Treniers' 1954 record of "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)," in which the ballplayer of the title (then playing in what would be his greatest, and only World Series-winning, season) makes a cameo appearance is self-explanatory.)

2. Is the Ronnie Burns of a 45 on Verve, "Double Date" / "Kinda Cute" (Verve 10125, 1958) the same Ronnie Burns as the spawn of George Burns and Gracie Allen?

3. Is the Jack Larson of a series of 45s on Fraternity and Dot in the late 1950s and early 1960s (list below) the same Jack Larson as who played Jimmy Olsen in the Superman series (George Reeves version)? A singer by that name also appears in the recently-aired movie "C'mon Let's Live A Little."

Little Miss Starry Eyes / Roaches (Fraternity 853, 1959)
Autumn Heart / Drifting Down The River (Fraternity 865, 1960)
We're Going Back / Do Yourself A Favor (Dot 16350, 1961)
Hammer Bell Song / The Way She Laughs (Fraternity 875, 1961)
Back To School Blues / Lonely Part Of Town (Fraternity 884, 1961)
The Beauty / ? (Fraternity 894, 1962)

4. And finally, is the Paul Petersen of "Donna Reed Show" and Colpix Records fame the same as the Paul Petersen who recorded two singles for Motown in the late 1960s (list below)?

Chained / Don't Let It Happen To You (Motown 1108, 1967)
A Little Bit For Sandy / Your Love's Got Me Burnin' Alive (Motown
1129, 1968)

Thanks for any info that might help me sort out any or all of these cats.

Dig,--Phil M.
please note new EMA! (replaces previous



For TV fans, there's only one Jack Larson, the personable actor who played Jimmy Olsen on "Superman" in the 50s.

But what about those dusty 45's that say "Jack Larson" on the label? Haven't record stores jacked the price to $20 or $30 because "It's the guy from "Superman?" Didn't the album notes for the CD "Hollywood Hi-Fi" include "Roaches" and state it was sung by the actor from the "Superman" show? Yes! Yes! Which only proves that the average record seller is a dope, and not everyone who writes album notes does research.

Illfolks exposes the truth. There are TWO guys named Jack Larson, a robust young singer and a mildly husky-voiced actor. While people often talk one way and sing another (Jim Nabors comes to mind), anyone hearing "Jack Larson" sing would instantly have to doubt if it was the same guy who played Jimmy Olsen. Here's the facts...

In 1959, Fraternity Records released a single by Jack Larson, a year after "Superman" left the air. Larson the actor was born in 1928 and was 30 when the show ended its run in 1958. So how could Jack Larson be marketed as a teen idol? He couldn't and wasn't. You can bet if actor Larson suddenly began singing, he would've capitalized on his "Jimmy Olsen" fame, and all the books about Superman and George Reeves would've mentioned his foray into music. They don't.

Let's check Billboard, August 24, 1959. There's an article about "the signing of Jack Larson singer-impressionist of the U.S. Army's "Rollin' Along" show, to a six-year management and recording pact." No mention of "Superman." The article continues: "Larson, who for two years in a row was voted the No. 1 talent in the Army show, had his initial release on the Frat label last week, a novelty tune titled "Roaches." Flip is "Little Miss Starry Eyes." He opens for Lee Zeiger at the Casino Royal in Washington, Monday night…Larson is also set for a spot on Ed Sullivan's all-Army show August 30. He winds up his Army hitch Tuesday…"

The singing Larson was given many a chance at Fraternity. Following Roaches/Little Miss Starry Eyes, there was the 1960 release Autumn Hurt/Drifting Down the River, and in 1961, two attempts. First came "Hammer Bell Song" (a variation on "If I Had a Hammer") backed with the novelty "The Way She Laughs," which has the lines: "I don’t know what’s the matter with this heart of mine, I’m in love with a girl that looks like Frankenstein”

Jack's second single for 1961 was "Back to School Blues" (b/w Lonely Part of Town) which was the number he sang in the 1961 movie "Teenage Millionaire." After one more single for Fraternity in 1962 ("The Beauty"), Jack got a brief major label deal with Dot, issuing Do Yourself a Favor/We're Goin' Back. My research leads me to the Billboard issue of April 7th, 1962, when the deal was announced.

Article title: "Dot to Release some Fraternity Album and Singles Record Product." And the details: "Fraternity's president, Harry Carlson, announced his deal with Randy Wood of Dot. The idea was for the indie label to get better distribution…Carlson, whose Fraternity label began operation in 1954, will retain his rights to the Fraternity tag, but two of his top artists, comedian-singer Jack Larson and the Charmaines, femme trio, will also appear on the Dot label. Two singles, one by Larson…and another by the Charmaines….will be released by Dot around mid-April…The lot of the smaller independent record firm is becoming increasingly difficult and the sale of the album catalog to Dot is the only thing that made it possible for the Fraternity label to continue in business….Some Fraternity titles, including a few of Larson's, were released in the UK on the Top Rank label…."

Young Larson's last memorable show biz moment came in November of 1963, when he deliberately sang off key and did hack comic impressions on a "Dick Van Dyke Show" episode called "Big Max Calvada."

Sheldon Leonard played the title character, a gangster who is seeking a nightclub booking for his nephew, talent-challenged entertainer Kenny Dexter (played by Jack Larson, Illfolks screen captures to your right).

So there you have it. You read it here first, at Illfolks. The "Hollywood Hi-Fi" CD issued a few years ago, with liner notes claiming Jack "Jimmy Olsen" Larson sang "Roaches" is wrong. So is the 1994 book "Celebrity Vocals" from Goldmine. Pretty sad that two authors didn't think to question what they were hearing, or wonder if there were two guys named "Jack Larson." Back in the late 90s the actor Jack Larson was very easy to reach (I have a few autographed photos to prove it) and he would've written back if asked a question intended for publication. Sadder that a CD company and Goldmine failed to catch the error and neither had an editor or proofreader good at fact-checking. And most surprising of all, this is one of the few times that information you find on an Internet blog actually has the correct information! Illfolks is RIGHT and the other two are WRONG. Jeepers, do yourself a favor and hear the singing "Jack Larson" sing "Do Yourself a Favor."