Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Don Mueller The Ballad of Black Jack Audio House 1970
This LP is very 'Waiting for Guffman.' The Ballad of Black Jack was a musical written by former Baker University professor, Don Mueller, for Baldwin's centennial Maple Leaf celebration in 1970. Through musical theater, it attempts to tell the story of Baldwin, KS in the era of Bleeding Kansas. So, it's not as hokey as the musical from 'Waiting for Guffman,' the subject matter is serious, but the musical theater aspect is an acquired taste.
As evidenced by the many online obituaries for Mr. Mueller, who passed in 2013, the Ballad of Black Jack was obviously well-remembered and apparently performed multiple times after it's debut in 1970. Coincidentally, is a recording of the musical's debut as evidenced by the label.
My favorite part about this LP is that I found it in a plain white outer jacket with the title, 'The Ballad of Black Jack' written across the top in permanent marker. I'm not sure if there was ever a cover printed for it. Seemed pretty local when I found it, so I looked inside and found Don Mueller's 2013 Lawrence Journal World obituary placed inside. Figured, whoever took the time to do so, wanted to keep it for posterity...just assuming I'm carrying that on even though it ended up in a Goodwill 3 years later.