The Mighty Hercules

Along with a centaur named Newton (the half-boy, half-horse), a little mute satyr named Tewt, King Dorian, and the beautiful maiden Helena, the Mighty Hercules protects the Learien Valley of Ancient Greece from villains such as the evil Daedalius and his cat Dydo, Willamene the Sea Witch and the Mask of Vulcan.


Produced and directed by Joseph Oriolo for Adventure Cartoons for Television and Trans-Lux, this series was originally syndicated in 1963. The episodes were written by former DC Comics writers/editors, George Kashdan and Jack E. Miller.  Featuring a memorable theme song written and sung by Johnny Nash, this series presented the adventures of the mythological Greek hero from Mount Olympus, Hercules. Montreal TV and radio personality, Jimmy Tapp, provided the voice of Hercules.  


It is with sadness that I report the passing of Jimmy Tapp on November 20, 2004 at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital in Oakville, Ontario. Mr. Tapp was 87 years old.  He was married for 58 years to Mary Moroney Tapp. In addition to his wife, he leaves behind five children - Nancy Featherstone (Paul), Rourke Tapp (Anne Marie), Judith Tapp, Colleen Tapp (John Grant), and Stephen Tapp (Heather Gordon). He is also survived by grandchildren - Ben Featherstone (Laura Cornish), Kate Featherstone, Patrick (Karine Jolicoeur), Lauren, Kathleen and Liam Tapp, Clare and Pearse Grant, and great-grandchildren Meagan and Jacob Tapp and Simon Featherstone. He also leaves behind three sisters, Marie, Audrey and Shirley.

Jimmy Tapp began his broadcast career spinning discs and hosting closed circuit radio shows on board the HMS Wasaga during the Second World War. After studying radio broadcasting at Northwestern University in Chicago, he became a staff announcer with CBC radio in Montreal. He later became President of Radio Times Sales after which he spent 2 years as Station Manager of CJAD in Montreal. 

While he had many successes as a radio executive, and continued to host radio shows on CFCF and CFQR and later on CHWO in Oakville, Jimmy Tapp is best known as a television performer. He became one of Canada's first television personalities hosting the CBC show "My Favourite Story", the nationally broadcast "Flashback" and "The Tapp Room", which was the first television talk show of its kind produced in Montreal in the mid-1950s. On CFCF-TV in Montreal, he hosted the magazine format show "Carte Blanche", the popular game show "A Kin to Win", "Matinee with Jimmy Tapp" and the local variety program "Camera Call". Jimmy acted as a spokesperson for a number of well-known household brands, and appeared in a number of feature films. He is probably best known as the voice of "Hercules" in the hit cartoon series, which has been televised around the world since the 1960s.

Over the years, Jimmy Tapp had volunteered to assist others, lending his name to many charitable fundraisers. His efforts have been recognized by B'nai Brith, the Black Community Association of Montreal, the Heart Association and the Canada-Korea Cultural Society. He was the honorary President of the Montreal West Island Jaycees and an honorary member of the Kiwanis Club. 

(Special thanks to George W. Hudson)

Bruce Eder of New York wrote me the following additional information regarding the musical score of The Mighty Hercules: "Winston Sharples may have taken credit for the music, and Johnny Nash may have written and sung the title song, but a major part of the music scoring for this show -- including the horn-dominated piece that accompanied Hercules putting on his magic ring and holding it up to the lightning -- was derived from the music for the Universal feature film THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH, which starred Tony Curtis and the late Janet Leigh. The music can be found, intact and as we remember it from the cartoon show, as part of a suite comprised of the movie's score on the Intrada label CD entitled "Creature From The Black Lagoon," released from the personal collection of the late Universal composer Hans J. Salter."

John Nash wrote me a short email on January 9, 2009, regarding The Mighty Hercules theme song:


A Trans-Lux Television Presentation
Produced by Adventure Cartoons For Television Inc.
Produced and Directed by Joseph Oriolo
Executive Producer : Roger Carlin
Production Coordinators : Arthur P. Brooks
"Big" Sid Ginsberg For Trans-Lux
Director, Animator : Reuben Grossman, Frank X. Endres,
George Germanetti, George H. Rufle, Grim Natwick
Animation : John Gentilella, Doug Crane, 
Anthony Tarricone, Earl James
Music : Win Sharples
Camera : William Fox
Editor : A. Rosenblum
Background : Johnny Vita
Character Design : George Peed
Story : George Kashdan, Jack E. Miller
Hercules Theme Sung by Johnny Nash
Hercules/Zeus: Jimmy Tapp
Helena: Helene Nickerson
Newton/ Daedalus: Gerry Bascombe

Click on an image above to see a larger version

Hercules, hero of song and story!
Hercules, winner of ancient glory!
Fighting for the right, fighting with his might;
With the strength of ten, ordinary men!
Hercules, people are safe when near him!
Hercules, only the evil fear him!
Softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs;
Virtue in his heart, fire in every part of
The Mighty Hercules! 


Hercules vs. The Many-Headed Hydra  Hercules Saves The Villagers
Hercules And The Magic Arrows Hercules Battles The Krudes Beast
The Chair Of Forgetfulness  The Cave Of Death 
Medusa's Scepter  Search Of The Golden Apples 
The Defiant Mask Of Vulcan  Hercules Protects Helena And Newton 
The Sun Diamond Of Helios The Thunderbolt Disc 
The Bewitch Birds  The Enchanted Pool
The Endless Chasm  The Golden Goblet
The Lexas Lagoon Guarding Of The Olympic Torch
Hercules Helps King Neptune Hercules vs. The Hideous Bird-Beast
The Return Of The Mask The Magnetic Stone
Hercules Saves Helena The Magic Rod
The Minotaur Hercules And The Eternal Sleep
The Clutching Clay Pool Princess Rhea
The Valley Of Whirlwinds The Wild Boar
The Magic Belt Of Hercules The Errand Of Mercy
The Neamean Legion The Magician
Dorian's Wreath The Unicorns
Wilamene The Witch And The Magic Ring
Diomedes' Evil Plot Hercules' Unwanted Powers
The Enchanted Wolf Hercules Saves The Kingdom
Hercules And His Two Rivals Hercules Saves The King
The Thracian Army The Gems Of Venus
The Golden Torch The Chameleon Creature
Earthquake Valley Newton The Centaur
Helena Kidnapped - Hercules To The Rescue Hercules And His Friends
The Magic Sword Timon's Grandfather And Hercules
 Hercules Loses His Memory The Hall Of Justice
The Cave Of Callisto The Powerless Hercules
Omar, The Sultan's Champion Sandals Of Electra
The Sea Witch The Giant
Helena's Beauty The Island Of The Miros Monster
Hercules And The Fireball Hercules Outwits The Magician
The Evil Weapon The Giant Ruby
The Owl Man The Chameleon Man
Hercules Foils The Mask Of The Vulcan The Exploding Diamond
Hercules And The Sea Witch The Magic Lamp
The Owl-Man Of Panssus The Eruption Of Mount Sirus
The Deadly Gift The Thesian Thunderhorn
The Dreaded Beast Of Charon Hercules, Newton, And The Evil Magician
The Fiery Abyss The Giant Dragonfly
Tewt's Magic Wand Trouble The Wings Of Mercury
The Sea Beast Prometheus In Dire Danger
The Crafty Chameleon Kingdom Under The Glass Dome
The Fantus Beast The Lyssidian Locusts
Hercules Saves Calydon Helena's Jinx
The Sinister Statue Friend Or Foe Of Centaur
The Young Olympians The Feast Of Calydon
The Lava Flow The Dreaded Draught
Underwater Battle The Sidian Illusion Stone
Timon To The Aid Of Hercules The Fiery Pits Of Pyros
The Clovis Creature The Valley Of Storms
The Centaur On Michief Day The Throne Of Calydon
Battle Of the Magic Rings King For A Day
Diomedes And His Warriors  

See a full 5½ minute cartoon, in RealVideo

The Mighty Hercules

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Updated January 10, 2009.

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