The Johnson Family is a one-man show put on by Jimmy Scribner, who plays all African American characters in the southern town of Chickazola. Jimmy does it all, from writing the script, to doing the sound effects, to the voices, to the music on the banjo. In the beginning of the show, he plays eight characters, but before the show ends in 1950, he plays 22 parts. According to Radio Life magazine in 1947, "Scribner guides his characters in and out of rapid conversations in almost unbelievable fashion. Scribner claimed that the arguments between characters are the hardest moments to master.
An eclectic group of characters include the Johnsons - Mama, Papa, Grandpa, and daughter Lucy. There are also Lucy's boyfriend, Peewee, and his friend, Stumpy the stutterer, Lawyer Philpotts and Deacon Crumpet. Most of the characters are based on people that Scribner met throughout his life. From the words and now outdated phrases of Scribner, Mama is based on the "lovable old Negro mammy who lived with us. Peewee is an exact copy of a little colored boy named Shine who lived with my aunt, and Peewee's expressions, such as 'great day in the mornin' are those Shine always used. Scribner offers a truly unique performance on this inimitable old time radio show!
For other similar series, see also Beulah, Black
Crows, Amos and Andy, Pick and Pat, Southland Echoes, and Sam n' Henry. See also: article on the history of Minstrel Shows and Old Time Radio.