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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area TELEVISION and RADIO PERSONALITIES Historical Photo Gallery - click on image to view >> 1950's and 60's - Jumpin' Jack O'Brien Photo Gallery - click on image to view > 1960s - Captain Jack with Banjo Billy and Jumpin' Jack O'Brien
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1960s - Captain Jack with Banjo Billy and Jumpin Jack OBrien
1960s Courtesy of Jumpin' Jack O'Brien

1960s - Captain Jack with Banjo Billy and Jumpin' Jack O'Brien

Key West, Florida


Thank you to Jumpin' Jack O'Brien for contributing this image. He says: "Don...this one is a pic of Captain Jack and Banjo Billy and Jumpinjack down in Key West doing a show. We all became Honorary Conchs (that and a dollar got you a cup of coffee at Sloppy Joes) and we had a lot of fun doing the show. I owned the trombone but didn't know how to play it...however, that did not stop me and the kids seemed to enjoy pelting me with seashells! The promotional department at Channel Ten thought it would be a good idea to go down to Key West and put on a show. I was surprised when we drew a huge crowd!"

Jack O'Brien
Jumpinjack@comcast.net

Updates: Jumpin' Jack O'Brien passed away on March 19, 2012 in the Nashville area at the age of 84. Captain Jack passed away on January 5, 2013, in Miami, Florida at the age of 81. Please see the Miami Herald article about Captain Jack's (Jack Metzger) death below in the comments section.


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G.G. Faircloth 20-Oct-2014 17:46
Fans of Banjo Billy can write an email to him on his friend's email Laura Curtin and she will print your email and mail it to Dave Herbert AKA Banjo Billy! Include your home address or p.o. box and Banjo Billy will type you a real letter back through the U.S. Mail with an autographed picture right now in 2014 and onward!

flutelaura@gmail.com
Don Boyd25-Apr-2013 23:08
Below is a story concerning the death of Jack "Captain Jack" Metzger who passed away on January 5, 2013, at the age of 81. Mr. Metzger starred as Captain Jack on Banjo Billy's Fun Boat children's television show from 1961 to 1969. Rest In Peace, Captain Jack!

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Posted on Friday, 01.11.13

Children’s TV host Jack Metzger dies at 81

By Maria Lamagna
mlamagna@miamiherald.com

In a time before Disney and Nickelodeon, Jack Metzger was the star. He was a host of children’s programs on local TV, when every market in the country produced its own.

He was best known as Mr. Jackson on two shows on Miami’s Channel 10: The Learning Ladder and Arthur and Company. Legions of local kids grew up with him, the puppets and the characters.

Metzger, who wrote for and performed on those shows for 20 years, died January 5 at Baptist Hospital in Kendall. He was 81 and had cancer and heart disease.

In addition to his role as Mr. Jackson, Metzger starred as Captain Jack on the children’s show Banjo Billy’s Fun Boat from 1961 to 1969.

Metzger gained numerous accolades during his career, including induction into the South Florida Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle in 1994. The award honors individuals who devoted 25 years or more to the television industry, with a significant portion of their careers spent in South Florida.

After leaving TV, he continued acting on the stage and was director of creative services for the Miami-Dade County Fair until retiring in 1997.

Besides his artistic accomplishments, friends say Metzger was known for his “legendary” dry sense of humor.

Loretta Barone, who remained friends with Metzger for 55 years after he was her professor at the University of Miami, said Metzger frequently entertained friends with stories of classic Hollywood stars and film studios. He loved animals and had many pets during his lifetime, including an opossum, a kinkajou, cats. He even had guinea pigs that he named after celebrities: Tyrone Power, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.

Metzger was born in Pittsburgh and moved to Miami in 1951. He graduated from the University of Miami’s Radio Television and Film Department and was on the faculty for 14 years, when he also performed on the children’s programs.

On the shows, Metzger performed as a puppeteer, and he had a particular talent for using many different voices, said Dave Herbert, who played “Banjo Billy” on Banjo Billy’s Funboat.

“He was easy to work with, that’s for sure … a very talented guy and a good actor,” said Herbert, who now lives in Melbourne on Florida’s Space Coast. “I felt we were a pretty good team. We worked very well together and complemented each other.”

Metzger is survived by his older sister, Ruth Metzger.

No services are planned. Metzger’s cremated remains are being taken to a family plot in Mount Lebanon, Pa., where his mother is buried.

Because of his love for animals, Metzger’s friends request that any donations be made to the Zoological Society of Florida.

Read more here:http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/11/3178509/childrens-tv-host-jack-metzger.html#storylink=cpy

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Don
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Guest 14-May-2011 05:50
GLAD YOUR TICKER IS STILL A TICKIN. I REMEMBER THE RODGER MILLER BITS YOU
DID ON THE SHOW ( FUN STUFF ) I THINK IT`S COOL THAT IN 2011 YOUR STILL IN TOUCH WITH DAVE ( BANJO BILLY ) HERBERT. IS THERE ANY WAY YOU COULD GET A NEW PHOTO OF BANJO, YOURSELF & CAPTAIN JACK. YOU GUY`S WERE LIKE FAMILY TO US KIDS. THANK YOU DON BOYD FOR YOUR TIME MACHINE.
Guest 13-May-2011 19:02
If you want to write to BANJO BILLY SEND AN EMAIL TO ME AND I WILL DELIVER IT TO SOMEONE WHO CAN SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO HIM.
from Miss G.G. Faircloth: fairclothgg@yahoo.com
jumpinjack 08-Oct-2010 19:27
Banjo Billy is still with us and he lives in mid-state Florida and he no longer plunks the strings of his banjo, but now plays the piano-organ he owns. He would probably love to hear from some of his viewers (like YOU) but I can't post his address without his permission, so I will check with him shortly and post it if he says ok. He is not at all into computers, ...so no e-mail I am sorry to say!
Oh, I am still around too and I would like to hear from you anytime...send to:
jumpinjack@comcast.net
I now live in mid-Tennessee!
Jumpinjack!
george hill 13-Aug-2010 02:57
omg I was born in hialeah 1956, I remember banjo billy, watched him all the time! back in about 2004 Chuck Zinc came into my bar "humperdinks" in lighthouse point, and I asked him about banjo billy, and he said that he had no idea who I was talking about! antways thanks for the fond memories!
L Curtin 25-Jul-2010 23:56
Banjo Billy is right here but isn't internet savvy. He's doing well and living the high life and promises to pick the strings of the banjo once more!
L Curtin 25-Jul-2010 23:56
Banjo Billy is right here but isn't internet savvy. He's doing well and living the high life and promises to pick the strings of the banjo once more!
Kathy 04-Nov-2009 03:42
Banjo Billy!!! I remember him...and the spot on the front of his banjo that he said was where someone stuck bubble gum...and he's keep playing like he was stuck and one of the kids had to grab his hand to get him to stop... :-D
Is he still with us?