New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsSpecials, Pilots, and Fills

Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters, The

Copyright Date:

Copyright Holder:
WGBH Educational Foundation

Air Date:

Shepherd, Jean (Writer)

1 videoreel of 1 (58:49 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (58:49 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (58:49 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (58:49 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.

Includes a 2" master and multiple 3/4" screening copies.

In "The Great American Fourth of July" writer Jean Shepherd, as an older "Ralph," recalls his memory of a particular Fourth of July from his high-school years in Hollman, Indiana. Ralph plays the sousaphone in the high-school band to the instructions of the baton-twirling drum master Wilbur Duckworth. Ralph is grudgingly set up on a blind date, only to find himself in the company of the gorgeous Miss Junior Corn Blossom, who rejects his advances. On the Fourth of July Duckworth causes a power outage by twirling his baton onto an electrical line during a parade; the town drunk Ludlow Kissel sets off an enormous firework that explodes under his own porch; and Ralph's father entertains the neighbors with his annual dramatic display of fireworks.

"Ballad of Ludlow Kissel" is sung by Leigh Brown.

Costumes are credited to Oleksa.

Bartlett, Dick

Tappan, Olivia
Barzyk, Fred (Executive Producer)
Auker, Lynn (Associate Producer)
Mathieu, Jo Ann (Associate Producer)

New Television Workshop, WGBH
Creative Television Associates, Inc.

Bartlett, Dick
Jordan, Jeanne

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (The Program Fund)
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO)

Shepherd, Jean (Ralph)
Dillon, Matt (Young Ralph)
Broderick, James (Old Man)
Bolton, Barbara (Mom)
Sargent, Babe (Ludlow Kissel)
Ine, Jay (Randy)
Yonis, Jeff (Schwartz)
Moore, Mike (Wilbur Duckworth)
Dolan, Frank (Mr. Dirks)
Wilson, Harriet (Mrs. Kissel)
Sahlein, Will (Zudoc)
Smiar, Brian (Gus)
Blood, John (John)
Lampley, William (Flick)
Cox, Arnie (Ace)
Riker, William R. (Uncle Carl)
Jacobsen, Lisa (Pamela)
McCullough, Andrea (Clara Mae)
Childs, Christopher (Mailman)
McMaster, Paul (Hot Dog Man)
Hardwick, Dana (Ledbetter)
Edinberg, Ruth (Mother at Picnic)
Daphne (Dog)

Fourth of July
Marching bands


Home | Exhibit Space | Finding Aid | Search the Site WGBH

The New Television Workshop Collection Web site
is a production of the WGBH Archives. © 1999 WGBH Educational Foundation.

Please contact the WGBH Archives with comments and questions. Artists involved with the New Television Workshop are encouraged to communicate with us.