Congratulations To Eddie Hodges, Actor…Singer…And Humanitarian!

May 4, 2007

frank-hole.jpg

I’ve been a member of Spectropop, the 60’s music forum for about four years, and have reunited on line with many of my old friends in the music business. Ron Dante, producer and former lead singer of the Archies, Al Kooper writer and producer, and Artie Butler, Arranger. I’ve also become friendly online with dozens of other songwriters, producers musicians, and disc jockeys I didn’t know before.

For almost a year I’ve been corresponding with Eddie Hodges, former child actor (“The Music Man”, “Come Blow Your Horn”) and recording artist (“I’m Gonna’ Knock On Your Door”, “Girls, Girls, Girls, Were Made To Love”. He sent me an E-mail last week about an honor he received, which I’d like to share with you.

Artissimo,

It was a great evening. I was honored as the first Mississippian to ever receive a Grammy, but the actual Grammy went to the orig. cast album of The Music Man. I just happened to sing a couple of songs on the album, but according to John Hornyak of the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy, that qualified me for a Grammy commendation.
The performances were fantastic. Jerry Lee Lewis looked a bit frail backstage, but told me he was fine – he did three songs and played and sang well. Marty Stuart was the emcee and performed alone and with the North Mississippi Allstars. It was fun reminiscing backstage with Marty about mutual friends – his performances were absolutely electric – what a talent! The North Mississippi Allstars were incredible, and I got to see them jam at a club later in the evening when they sat in with a local blues group. The legendary James Burton also performed and was great. When the Williams Brothers got up and did an accapella version of”Amazing Grace” with impeccable harmony, there was not a dry eye in the house. The Governor called me up onto the stage to recognize me individually and I was moved to tears. He also recognized the son of the legendary blues man Robert Johnson, who also was there. What a thrill it was to meet him. If they have a DVD of the show, I’ll get a copy for you.

There were people from NARAS, BMI, Malaco Records, AT&T, etc. Hartley Peavey, of Peavey Electronics who co-sponsored the event, gave away two of their guitars to members of the audience. NARAS put together a video of highlights form past Grammy Awards shows in which Mississippians won Grammys. I was glad I decided to go.

Attached are a couple of pics. One is from the The Clarion Ledger newspaper in Jackson and shows the North MS Allstars and me in pics with the Governor. The other is just one I wanted to share with you that is a favorite from my personal collection and shows me sitting on W.C. Handy’s lap when I was a little kid.

I wish you could have been there. It was a humbling experience for me and my shyness was kickin’ my butt the entire time. But it was an honor and a privilege I will never forget.

God bless,
Eddie

msgrammy.jpgwchandy.jpg

Considering all of the talented people who are from from Mississippi, including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Faith Hill, and dozens of other artists, for you to have been the first mississippian to receive a Grammy is quite an honor! First I want to congratulate you as an artist, then as a humanitarian for earning your B.A. in psychology and becoming a mental health counselor!

You could have taken the dark road, as many former child stars have, but you chose a path of light. May you continue to inspire everyone you meet.

Thanks for sharing your joy with me and that picture of you and the father of the blues, W.C.Handy ( “St.Louis Blues”). I was about the same age as you were in that picture when I met Mr. Handy. His son was my music teacher.

Regards, Artissimo

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

Pictured at top Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges in “A Hole In The Head “, featuring the song that won the academy award, “High Hopes”

For more about Eddie Hodges http://www.meekermuseum.com/ehodges.html

For Spectropop http://spectropop.com


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51 Responses to “Congratulations To Eddie Hodges, Actor…Singer…And Humanitarian!”

  1. jay herron Says:

    kindest regards-thank you!

  2. Steveo Says:

    Artie,
    Thanks for the cool article on Eddie Hodges…
    Eddie, I’m still pissed off(can I say that word?)
    at you ! …heheheh… my first puppy love was with a
    girl I was head over heels with in 4th grade,
    named Becky Deree in the small town of Bowerstown, Ohio(Becky, are ya out there?)…she was head over heels in love with ya, Eddie, and I had to vie with you in competetion for her love…hehehehe
    Anyway, I’m joking about being mad at ya Eddie, but you were the tops to her…
    😉
    Best to both of ya….
    Steveo

  3. Eddie Hodges Says:

    Thanks so much, Artissimo. You are such a kind and thoughtful man. Oddly enough, a year after the Grammy was awarded the orig. cast album of The Music Man, the song I sang in the movie with Frank Sinatra, “High Hopes,” won the Academy Award for the best song in a motion picture. It wasn’t my Oscar, but I was so proud to have been part of that. I have been blessed far beyond my wildest dreams. I feel equally blessed to call you my friend.
    God Bless,
    Eddie

    P.S. Sorry about Becky, Steveo!

  4. MJB Says:

    Congratulations to Eddie on his wonderful, well deserved Grammy. I just saw the movie Summer Magic on TV and concluded that Eddie was the best singer in the movie. I wonder how he liked working with Burl Ives. Thanks Artissimo, for this web site.
    Marilyn B.

  5. Portia A. Says:

    Congratulations Eddie on winning a Grammy. What a compliment.

    I would love to hear from you as I grew up in Ellisville, MS. You lived in my neighborhood for a while on Monroe Street. I lived on Adams Street. I remember the episode of Family Affair that you were on. Also, I believe your grandfather was Mr. Red McCaffery. Am I correct?

    I admire you for the work you have done in your life – both careers.

    Artie, thank you for the website.

    Portia A.

  6. steveo Says:

    For Eddie Hoddges…

    Eddie,

    Lol, regarding Becky,…that’s ok…she gave me someone
    to build towards..to aspire to…
    I must say, I very much enjoyed all of your performances in all of those movies!(did I mention
    that I dig the Cadence 45 of “Girls Were Made To Love”?

    Best,

    Steveo

  7. Ellenor Says:

    I first met Eddie when he was living on 168th St in New York across the street from my cousin. He signed my autograph book (on a page between one with a poem from my godfather and another page with ‘advice’ from my best friend). I have always been impressed with his genuineness. Congratulations, Eddie.

  8. Fan Says:

    Best wishes!

  9. Jenifer Taylor Says:

    Browsing through the web I was delighted to read about former child actor, Eddie Hodges. As a young girl in England I clearly remember seeing him in Huckleberry Finn one summer with my friend and I followed his singing career for a while after that. Those memories evoke a halcyon time in my life when summers were long and my family intact. Somehow I will always associate that charming boy actor with that happy, safe time in my life.

    I have been living in the States now for quite a while and yet even though well into middle age reading about Eddie Hodges brought back both joy and nostalgia. Moreover, learning about his humanitarian life path was very uplifting, proving that some good memories will always remain intact.

    I should like to thank Mr. Hodges for all the pleasure he contributed to our generation of youngsters with his magical movies – those were very good years, albeit brief, yet such a positive anchor along our journey of life.

    Sincerely,
    Jenifer

  10. Cheryl Welch Says:

    In 2008 we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Eddie Hodges Scholarship Trust Foundation – a part of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Eddie donated 25% of his fee for singing at a Pops concert with the MSO. We also had the world premiere of Huckleberry Finn in Jackson and received the proceeds from that to start this scholarship fund. I am desprately looking for Eddie to tell him about this fund and to invite him to a concert to honor the Fund. I’m having a hard time finding a phone number for him on the coast. I need him to contact the MSO – 601-960-1565 so that we can get this worked out!! He is going to be quite surprised at the Scholarship Fund and what it is worth today!

    Thank you,
    Cheryl Welch
    Chairman of the Scholarship Fund


  11. Partially inspired by your column here, I’ve written an article concerning Mr. Hodges on my website. Here is the URL for the exact page if anyone would be interested:

    http://wwwdnschneidercom.xbuild.com/#/miscellaneous21/4527393357

    The website deals with various topics, including a couple of mental health conditions; an area Mr. Hodges has devoted his life to.

    This was a great column, Mr. Wayne. Thank you for sharing it with us all!

    Donald Schneider


  12. I just had a final question regarding Mr. Hodges’s child/teen career in case anyone would read here and know.

    Does anyone know how Mr. Hodges entered the professional entertainment field? Ron Howard’s parents, for example, had been actors. Was that the case with Mr. Hodges’s family as well?

    Is the photo exhibited here of Mr. Hodges sitting on the immortal W.C. Handy’s lap related to Mr. Hodges having already entered the field at such a young age or is it coincidental? That is, had Mr. Hodges’s family gone to see a performance by Mr. Handy and there were several photos taken of kids sitting upon Mr. Handy’s lap afterwards? (I wonder if Mr. Hodges later found it auspicious that Mr. Handy had been mentioned by Mr. Willson within “Sixty-six Trombones.”)

    The reason why I wrote my article concerning Mr. Hodges was due to my astonishment at learning that he had served in the Army during the Vietnam War. I found such from someone in his privileged position to have been so totally admirable that I felt I had to mention it on my website. Instead of having simply entered college for a deferment (as had been the case with certain very prominent, highly-placed politicians of recent years), or having used his influence to get into the NG or reserves–much less “booking” for Canada–, Mr. Hodges had accepted being drafted, the same as any poor kid from the farm or inner city neighborhood.

    Bravo, sir! As I indicated within my article, Mr. Hodges had been a class act in more ways than one.

    –Don Schneider


  13. Er, I’m sorry for the typo! That obviously should have been “Seventy-six Trombones.” Well, it seems that nothing is as good as it used to be, so today there would be less of the instruments! (G)

    –Don Schneider


  14. Dear Artie,
    I was a former teen actor, and have been a Screen Actors Franchised Agent for over thirty seven years. Also an aruthor of two published books. I was Eeddi’s agent many years ago, and have lost touch. Could you pass this on to him, just wanted to say “hi”.

    Thanking you in advance.
    Peace,
    Steve Stevens

  15. Paul Graham Says:

    Artie… I have been trying to track down Eddie Hodges and have been put onto you for some help. My name is Paul Graham and I host a 60’s show on CHNL in Kamloops, British Columbia. I contact the stars of the time to spend a few minutes with me on the show to let our listeners hear what these stars are up to these days. If it is possible to contact Eddie, it would be great to have hime on the air. Thank you in advance for cooperation. Paul

  16. John Says:

    Hello Eddie… I saw a clip on YouTube where you were singing a favorite song of mine (lyrics include “down the river … New Orleans… Mississippi Queen…”), but now that video has been removed.
    Could you please tell me the title of that song and what CD it’s on? Thanks so much.
    John

  17. Randy Breland Says:

    Hi Eddie –
    I don’t know if you remember me, but we were briefly at Fort Polk together. You and I were next to each other in line when they were passing out service numbers. We also bunked next to each other. I think I remember you were supposed to have a date with some officer’s daughter on the base (unless of course you fabricted that story). You managed to keep us laughing. I left for basic at Fort Jackson and I believe you were going into Special Services. I work as a refuge manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in South Carolina but will retire in a few months and return to Mississippi. Went to Nam, got wounded, obviously survived. Good to see you are still above ground and doing well.
    Randy Breland, Hilton Head, S.C.

  18. Paul Minton Says:

    Hi Eddie,
    I am in Australia,congratulations on your award mate.I am 60 now and remember your hit song so well,I’m Gonna Knock on your Door.

    My wife who at the time was around 14,sang your song on a talent show.Thank you for all the great times you have given us,

    Paul Minton Melbourne Australia

  19. Mary B. Green Says:

    Dear Eddie,
    Just wanted to say hello. I am a distant cousin of yours. My dad was Randolph Green whose Mother was Mary (Molly McCaffery) Green and married to John Thomas Green. I met you a couple of times when I was really young and you were a STAR. I know you don’t remember, but I sure do.

    I also remember once while we were at my Aunt Annie’s (Clark)house we were watching The Red McCaffery show and you were singing that night. You even dedicated a song to Aunt Annie- man was she TRHILLED. I don’t think I ever saw anything make that woman happier than that did.
    Anyway- just wanted to say “hi” and thanks for making the family proud
    M. Bailey Green
    Dallas, TX

  20. Frank A. Shepatd Says:

    Dear Eddie,

    We became friends in 1968-69. I would love to catch up with you. It has been a long time.

    Frank

  21. Frank A. Shepard Says:

    Eddie,

    sorry the name is Frank A. Shepard. there was a typo above


  22. I couldn’t reply to you on the classmates web site but it is nice you remember me from Holy Cross. I wish there is a direct way to keep in touch. I tried several towns in Missippi but can’t find you. Hopefully you can get my email address from this site & get back to me.

  23. Terry Swindol Says:

    Hey Eddie do you remember me? I have been wondering how you are.I happened on this site and just wanted to say hello. Let me hear from you sometime! Miss talking from you.

    Terry Swindol

  24. Diane Says:

    Hello Eddie,
    I went to Midland Park NJ High School in 1962, I believe that that was the year you put on a concert in Midland Park. It was the only time I saw you but I remember it like it was yesterday. I can remember being one of the silly girls screaming (although why I don’t know because you sang so well. Anyway, I just thought that I would say hi and thank you for being a part of my Freshman year.
    Fondly,Diane

  25. Pam Seitz-McGinnia Says:

    Hello Eddie, This is a blast from the past!!
    Back in the early 60’s we used to be pen pals.
    I lived in Marysville, Pennsylvania. Could I
    be lucky enough to have you remember me? Probably
    not, but I do wish you a big congrats on all you
    have accomplished in your life. Many blessings.
    pam

  26. Aleta Wolfe Says:

    Hello Artie,

    Thank you for the effort you put into posting your musings and
    compiling the thoroughly researched info of the 60’s. This bit on Eddie is wonderful.
    That you included your correspondence and his own message input is very cool.
    What a talented and standup man on all accounts ! I especially dig that he was not a draft dodger and his choice of later study and profession.
    The web is a funny thing…My friend posted ‘High Hopes’ on his fb page.
    That was a favorite of mine as a small child so I listened a few times. I then realized that I didn’t really know who Eddie was ,which piqued my interest to research. Turns out I had watched him more times than I had recalled !! That research then brought me to your page, and here I am ,uncharacteristically posting on someones blog … 🙂 I will checking in to enjoy your future topics..Regards, Aleta

    • Bruce Davis Says:

      I served my Basic Training in the 4th Platoon at Fort Polk with Eddie starting in February 1969. Eddie probably could have had a medical deferment but chose to serve. I was recuperating from a broken foot. We both pulled a lot of KP together because we couldn’t run to the rifle range. We got to be good friends, making pies together every night. Our base was shut down due to being in Phase III of spinal meninigitis and upper respiratory diseases. They had us form a rock and roll band to entertain the other basic training companies. Eddie played guitar and sang, another guy in the group had played with Lee Dorsey. I played the drums. With little rehearsal, we turned out to be pretty decent. Eddie thought he would be entertaining the troops in Special Services, but a seargent thought he did him a favor by allowing him to skip AIT and immediately become a gym NCO. I was in the reserves so I went onto Fort Sam Houston to be trained as a medical corpsman, and then I went home. Eddie was always fun to be around. We were in the southern platoon, so as a Mississippian, he gave the other guys from his home state a hard time. He told me he got the Name That Tune gig by answering, “Where’d you get that red hair?’ with, “It came with the head.” While we were at Fort Polk they let him watch his appearance on Family Affair. While I was at For Sam I saw his movie with Elvis Presley. I’ve never talked to Eddie since our army days, but I consider him a class guy and good friend.

  27. Frank Shepard Says:

    I remember your song. Mile High Tree house


  28. Eddie congratulations on your award Eddie I’m in Arizona and just want to tell you that your song I gonna knock on your door was a big hit and we still play the 45 and order a CD of the song . Eddie even my 4 yr. old grandaughter sings your song , Eddie I’m 63 old and trying to get a ringtone of your song for my phone best of luck Eddie FR Robert Calvillo

  29. BART Says:

    Eddie & I have been friends since Holy Cross High School in Bayside NY. We spoke by email several years ago to catch up on old times but I’ve lost touch with him.

    He was ( and still is) a really nice guy. IF your reading this Eddie my email is still the same…drop me a line..

    I hope all is well with you and your family.

    Bart/Ray

  30. S. Sharp Says:

    I remember Eddie from Name That Tune. I also think I saw him at the World’s Fair in New Orleans and almost stopped to talk to him,
    but thought he may not want to be bothered. He was a good little fella-smart, funny,cute. I wish I could talk to him and see what he is doing now. Very good memories of him when he was a kid. I didn’t know either that he was from Hattiesburg. I worked at Forrest General for 2 years-until I got homesick and went back home to Louisiana.

  31. robert Says:

    It’s 50 years ago today (August 5, 2011) that Eddie Hodges’ I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door was the top song on the music charts in Adelaide, South Australia.

  32. Karen Says:

    I watched a re-run of The Dick Van Dyke show this week and saw Eddie Hodges guest starring as a teenager who had a crush on Laura, Rob’s wife. I remember loving the song, “I’m Gonna’ Knock On Your Door”. Thanks for the great memories and best wishes from one grandparent to another.

  33. thomas meehan Says:

    I went to see Huck Finn at a sneak premier in New Rochelle, New York with my Aunt and at the end of the movie, I was shocked to see Eddie Hodges walking up the aisle.. we were both the same age and it was quite a thrill to see a hollywood star, my age.. thanks eddie, you have lived a good life……. sincerly, tom meehan

  34. Rich Says:

    I came across this web page quite by accident. I am retired now and was just putting in names from my past to see what came up.
    I had lived across the street from Eddie in New York for a few years. I remember him being just a real happy kid looking to make friends. Looking back I realized we might have become true friends but because of my own inadequacy it never happened.
    All the best of luck to a really good person. You deserve more than a Grammy.

  35. John W. Clidas Says:

    Just like the writer above, I’ve come upon your blog quite by accident. I’ve been searching for a copy of the October 4, 1957 episode of Name That Tune that Eddie appeared on along with John Glenn, Leslie Uggams and my father, John Clidas (since deceased). On and off, for years, I’ve tried to locate a copy of this episode for my now, 83 year old mom. Actually, my dad, was given a 2 week stay at the Mount Airey Lodge as a parting gift, for him to celebrate his upcoming wedding and honeymoon. A clip from this episode appears in the movie, The Right Stuff. I’ve checked with the studio that produced this movie and have even checked with former senator John Glenn’s office several years ago. I never thought to check with Eddie Hodges to see if he, by any chance, had a copy of this episode. I would be extremely grateful, if you are still in touch with Eddie, if you could ask him if he does have a copy of this episode in his library/files/archives. Thank you very much for any assistance that you might be able to provide. I can be reached at johnwC9130@aol.com. Thanks again.

    John W. Clidas


  36. Eddie,

    Seeing this article make me smile. I don’t know if you remember me, but I know you remember my mama and daddy, Evelyn and Tom Baxter.

    I don’t know if.you realize the difference you made in my life–many others can say the same thing. Many of us having similar stories.

    Knowing your story to the degree I do, then reading this article just makes me so proud-the rewards are not surprising and I can think of no one I would want this recognition for.

    I would love to talk with you, and simply.catch up. You have a really special place in my heart and always have.

    Email me, Eddie and I will fill in all the gaps time has left gaping wide open.

    Always,
    Kimmi

  37. Tim Leary Says:

    Eddie Hodges! I recall his stint on Name That Tune with Leslie Uggams because just afterward (1957-58, spanning the Christmas season), my mother and her thirteeen children at the time (me included) were on the show for seven weeks with Mario the Butcher and the preacher’s wife from California. They won the grand prize of $25K. A year after the show my mother had her 14th and final child, who still lives in the N.Y. region.

  38. Nola Ross Says:

    I am your age an saw you on an old Dick Van Dyke show yesterday and thought I remember him, thats Eddie Hodges…it looks like you have lots of fans’ and Ive always been one of them. would enjoy hearing from you. Nola Ross on fb

  39. linda mcleish Says:

    i dont know if this stuff gets to you..my cousin jack married your sister diane.they took us to the azusa drive-in where we drove jack nuts singing greasey grimy gopher guts.i hope this finds you o.k. i have lost so much family.that to know your o.k. would be great. linda

  40. becky Says:

    You to see Eddie Hodges in many different shows and movies. I thought I would just look him up to see how he was doing or if he was still around. Glad to hear he is doing well and went back to school. Eddie is 6 years older than me, but I remember him well. He acted with one of my favorite actresses, Haley Mills!!! It must have been fun to rub elbows with some great celebrities!!!


  41. Hello Eddie I wrote on your reply on July 31 , 2010 about your song I”m gonna knock on your door . That my grandaughter at 4 years old was sing your song at that time I was 63 years old now I’ m 66 years old & now my grandson at 3 years old loves your song when we go some where he wants to here your song I’m gonna knock on yout door over & over he don’t gets tire of hearing the song . Thanks Eddie for your song Robert Calvillo in Arizona

    • Joey Says:

      Hello Eddie, I just want to say “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” was one of my favorite songs of 1961. I’ve been in rock groups all my life and still doing it at almost 65. I’m now in a trio and pretty soon will be doing that song. I’m currently sequencing it with a sythisizer because I can’t even buy the track on ITUNES. They don’t have it available for sale. Once it’s finished I will enjoy doing it so much as part of my childhood. Thanks for the memory Eddie!
      http://www.generationgapband.net/Demos.html

  42. Christin Says:

    Hello. I found your blog utilizing msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and also return to read more of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.

  43. Dan Smith Says:

    i remember your grandfather Red Mcaffery used to bring you out to the CQ barn where Jimmy Swan was playing in Hattiesburg. You would get on the stage and sing with the band. i ran the place at that time which was in 1954 or 1955 i believe. i have heard you were on the Coast for years doing good work.

  44. Patrick Marshall Says:

    Eddie.were both pices. 3/16/46. Glad hour doing ok. I was in the mentle health field also. Always loved knock

  45. Otis Says:

    You might be great! Thanks!Great blog here! Also your web
    site loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I obtain your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  46. Lashay Says:

    My brother recommended I may like this site. He was entirely right.
    This post really made my day. You can’t consider just how so much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  47. Ronald Brinkley Says:

    Hello Eddie, Happy to know you made it. We were station at Fort Bliss in 1969. I meet Howard & Nancy but didn’t reinlist desided to not push my luck. God blessed us


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