Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Hugh Brannum (January 5, 1910 – April 19, 1987) was an American vocalist, arranger, composer and actor best known for his role as "Mr. Green Jeans" on the children's television show Captain Kangaroo. During his days with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians, he used his childhood nickname "Lumpy".

Mr. Green Jeans earned his moniker from his distinctive apparel, a pair of farmer's overalls (later, jeans and a denim jacket) in his signature green (although, since the show was broadcast in black-and-white for much of its run, this was lost on viewers). He was a talented and inquisitive handyman who provided assistance at the Treasure House. He frequently visited the Captain with the latest addition to his menagerie of zoo animals.

Aside from Mr. Green Jeans, Brannum played a number of characters on Captain Kangaroo from 1955 to 1984, including The Professor, Greeno The Clown, The New Old Folk Singer, and Mr. Bainter the Painter. His role as Mr. Green Jeans was partly based on stories about a farm kid named "Little Orley" that he told with the Fred Waring orchestra, on the radio and on 78-rpm records under the pseudonym "Uncle Lumpy". According to Bob Keeshan, Mr. Green Jeans was an extension of Brannum's real personality. The shows were performed before a live audience. During one episode of Captain Kangaroo, a lion cub bit Brannum's finger and drew blood. Brannum stuck his bleeding hand into his pocket and never broke character for the remainder of the episode.

A long-running but incorrect rumor claims Brannum was the father of musician Frank Zappa, apparently because of a Zappa composition titled "Son of Mr. Green Genes" on his 1969 album, Hot Rats.

01 mr green genes - frank zappa & the mothers of invention
02 mr farmer - seeds
03 call any vegetable - frank zappa & the mothers of invention
04 jolly green giant - kingsmen
05 a little bit of cucumber - harry champion
06 vegetable man - pink floyd
07 jenny artichoke - kaleidoscope (uk)
08 why is a carrot oranger than an orange - amboy dukes
09 horseradish - horses
10 vega-tables - beach boys
11 cabbages and kings - charlie applewhite
12 lonely in potatoland - spirit
13 sweet potato - mind garage
14 pass the peas - jb's
15 mr farmer - strawberry alarm clock
16 butterbean - b52's
17 green plant - majic ship
18 green peppers - herb alpert & the tijuana brass
19 carrots on a string - mystery trend
20 hot potatoes - kinks
21 beans in my ears - pete seeger
22 green onions - booker t & the mg's
23 the eggplant that ate chicago - dr west's medicine show & junk band
24 glass onion - beatles


Unknown said...

Thanks for all your music, & special thanks for the Mr. Green Jeans bio. He was one of my heroes growing up!

Mouldysauerkraut said...

And Lumpy could be related to the Zappa album "Lumpy Gravy".

24HOURDEJAVU said...

So happy that someone caught my play on words in the title Thanks Mouldy!!

john said...

I think your compilations are excellent and your history lessons very worth reading. History is great.

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