After a Summer vacation of travels, the members of the Harris family are glad to get home and relax. Phil brags to Alice and her brother Willie about how he was a hit with the farmers and the rural crowd. As they all approach the house, Phil is confident that leaving Elliot in charge is the trustworthy thing to do. Alice drives Willie home, and Phil goes inside to discover how Elliot converted the house into a hotel. While he tries to get the place set right, Phil sings, A Happy Man.
Phil continues to learn of the happenings in Elliot’s flop house, gin in the bath tub, and other of his cheesy ways. The real problem is whether Phil can clear the house out, and set it straight before Alice comes back. Alice returns, but her reaction to her disheveled house takes a back seat when she learns that during the Summer break, Frankie changed his name to Elliot Lewis. Alice sings, Somebody Loves Me.
Julius is back, and has a grocery delivery. Wow that kid works fast. Phil tells a little about the towns he toured in, and sets himself up for the punch lines from Julius. With the impact of Elliot’s name change wearing off, Alice becomes more aware of the unwanted residents in the house. How will she react? Will there be a big blow up, or will she just roll with the punches?
PS: There’s a landmark moment in the show as well. It’s the first show where Elliot Lewis uses his real name, rather than going by Frankie Remley. The claim is that it’s actually his real name, and Frankie was just a stage name. He has gotten tired of it, and wants to go back to the name his mother gave him.
Truth time. Of course Elliot Lewis is his real name. There was also a real life Frankie Remley who was in Phil’s band. After the years of being teased on the air by Jack Benny, and with the characterization of him on Phil’s show, he put his foot down and if he didn’t take legal action, I’m sure he threatened it. Both Jack and Phil suddenly stopped putting jokes about Frank Remley on their shows. Jack began to tease Bob Crosby about other band members, and as we see, Elliot Lewis went to using his real name.
Note: Phil sure sings a lot of songs about eating. A Happy Man is all about eating good old Southern cooking. His signature song, That’s What I Like About the South is about eating, and I know there’s at least a few other of his songs along the same vane.
Howling Wolf 1952, Tiger Man.