Johnny (Jonah) Angel

Here’s a song I’m re-sharing that has meaning for me on several levels. First, I remember growing up and watching this on the Donna Reed Show. But more importantly it makes me think of my late friend, Jonah Emsig. We used to work together for the Big Apple Circus clowning for kids in hospitals. Now, I DON’T SING AT ALL. But Jonah would insist that we sing this song to the kids making them and the staff crack up. It was a lot of fun. We sang it so much that Jonah even gave me the CD of it one year for my birthday. This month it will be 11 years since loosing Jonah much too young to cancer. However, I know how much he would have loved my sharing “our song.”

Another great thing to watch in this video is Donna Reed’s wonderful acting – being able to show such a range of emotions such as surprise, confusion, and being proud of her on-screen daughter without saying a word.

Now, for the ironic part. Even though I can’t sing, and despite my protestations to Jonah, I sang this song to kids in hospitals. The producer of the Donna Reed show was very much insistent on Shelly Fabares singing this newly written song on the show. Ironically, in an interview Shelley Fabares later confessed that she also COULDN’T SING AT ALL! She said she was not being modest but really couldn’t sing a note. She told the producer and said that she really didn’t want to record the song. The producer calmly asked her if she liked acting on the show? (Yes) And did she want to come back the next season? (Yes) Ahem. Shelley got the message. She recorded the song as best she could and after they “fixed it in the studio” it became a mega hit.

2 thoughts on “Johnny (Jonah) Angel

  1. Luna Lynn Kincaid

    I’ve been thinking of how transformative Clowning Class with Jonah was for me back in 2005, and I’ve been missing him. It was beautiful to hear your story; to see his spritely spirit reaching through the veil to give a little wink and a song… Thank you so much for being you and all you do

  2. bobbyblog Post author

    Thank you for commenting. As it turns out, I was thinking about Jonah and the CCU today quite a lot as I was going through a lot of old photos, etc. So nice to hear from you and wishing you well.


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