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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

THE Eaton Magoon Jr.

So I'm watching a rerun of the old "To Tell The Truth" series, because there is just so much Paris news that I can stomach.
It's from about 1961.
Don Ameche is one of the panelists.
Bud Collyer is promoting and plugging Ameche's new Broadway musical, "Thirteen Daughters".
Now, I have prided myself in knowing everything there is to know about every Broadway musical, and who appeared in them.
I had never heard of "Thirteen Daughters".
I knew about "Silk Stockings" the Cole Porter show he starred in, and "Goldilocks" which had Elaine Strich and a wonderful Leroy Anderson score. And "Henry, Sweet Henry" which was an adaptation of "The World Of Henry Orient", with a nice score by Bob Merrill.
They all had Ameche.
But "Thirteen Daughters"? I was drawing a blank.
But the Internet didn't let me down.
I did a search. I learned that it took place in Hawaii in the late 1800's, and had book, music, and lyrics by one Eaton Magoon, Jr.
It also contains a song called "Puka,Puka Pants". Apparently not a highlight, at least according to Walter Kerr, who reviewed it.
This all begs the question "How do you raise the money for a piece of drivel like this?" How do you get Don Ameche to star in it?"
But somehow the money was raised and Don Ameche was roped into it, and spent the evenings speaking in pidgin English, with his eyebrows taped down.
It ran 28 performances before they had to fumigate the theatre.
This led me to check out Eaton Magoon Jr.'s other credits if he in fact had any.
One other credit: In the early 1970's, Magoon resurfaced by providing the book, music, and lyrics for another musical about Hawaii in the 1800s.
It was called "Heathen!"
This one didn't have no Don Ameche.
It didn't have anybody that I had heard of.
This begs the question "Did he have the nerve to go back to any of the original investors of "Thirteen Daughters" for another
"Heathen" folded after opening night, unanimously slammed by the critics.
How the hell did he raise the money for this one?
This one baffled me.
So, in desperation, I called the only expert on Hawaii that I know. my sister Leslie.
She has spent half her life living in Hawaii.
I held out very little hope that she could help me, but I took a shot.
She never heard of Eaton Magoon Jr.
But after a minute or two she recalled the name Magoon as someone who was a member of her health club.
She did a search, and learned that the Magoons were one of the wealthiest families in the Hawaiian islands.
Old man Magoon could have easily sprung for whatever it cost to mount a Broadway musical in 1961, or 1972.
So there you have it.
They were both total vanity productions.
And I consider my knowledge broadened.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. It doesn't have that ring to it like, say, Jerome Kern.

  2. Article about obscure song from Eaton "Bob" Magoon Jr.:

  3. Off-topic:

    This morning, I took delivery of Bob Leszczak's new book about THE ODD COUPLE in all its various forms, courtesy of Amazon and McFarland & Co.

    Good stuff (the foreword wasn't bad either ...).

    (If this is anticipating a future post of your own, apologies for jumping the gun.)

  4. I'm not planning to write about it, but it is very thorough and very accurate. I hand a large hand in its editing, and weeded out most of the mistakes.
    As a result, I have nothing but praise for it.

  5. I've been living in Hawaii for over 25 years and one of the handful of pure people i've met was Eaton (Bob) Magoon Jr, he's the biggest gentelmen you could ever meet, to this day we are still very close friends.
    He became my mentor, and i dont believe he relizes the inpack he had on my life. I love him dearly and learned so much from him.
    As for his musicals, someone from the mainland or anywhere else in the world would probley not like the shows, one would have to know the locale way of thinking to understand the creativelybrilliance of the man behind them shows.
    He opened up the arms of the islands to the rest of the world, unfortatly thier were not enough takers. He did lose a large chunk of his wealth on them shows, but when your doing something for thr love of it, the money really doesnt matter. Love you Bob, your Huckaberry Tim.

    1. Thanks for putting in a positive word. I was musical director for both Australasian productions of his 'Aloha : a musical of the islands', a very much matured evolution from the disastrous flop 'Heathen'. Both were based on Bob's seething anger at religion based prejudice against and mistreatment of gay people and people of colour. Bob felt this deeply, not only with his mixed ancestry of Chinese, Hawaiian and Irish blood, but with his being proudly gay himself. He is still alive, now in his nineties and living in Middletown, near where the old Magoon ranch still is, mostly now devoted to Guenoc wineries. Aloha bankrupted Bob after the Gulf War destroyed its tourist patronage, and so he was forced to sell his Honolulu mansion. As for you, Bob Magoon was a huge role model for me, particularly as to how a gay man could and perhaps should live within broad society, behaving with integrity. LGBT minorities had always been outsiders, and illegal, and I'll always treasure the impact he had on my life.

  6. There's a chance you are eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  7. You might be eligible to receive a Apple iPhone 7.

  8. I met him in thre 80s on my way to New York What a cool and interesting Man indeed .I was sharng my travels stories with my family and his name came up .
    Wonder if he can remember me ? 'Marius' Asst Stage Manager (Civic Theatre Johannesburg) at the time



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Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."