Paul Henning project

Paul Henning was an Independence native and a pioneer in early television.

In 2015, we rediscovered an unpublished manuscript about Henning's life written in the early 1990s by his wife Ruth.

A copy of the manuscript was mailed to Sue Gentry - a Henning friend and local journalist/historian - where it was later rediscovered among papers Gentry left to the historical society.

The manuscript contained a cover letter to Gentry from Ruth Henning which concluded:

"Thank you for being on my side about this book. I really believe one day it will find a publisher."

And that what has happened.

Working with the Mid Continent Public Library and its Woodneath Press, the manuscript is being published under the title The First Beverly Hillbilly: The Untold Story of the Creator of Rural TV Comedy.

JCHS is gathering up additional information about the life, career and impact of Henning and sharing that information about a special website devoted to Henning which we intend to develop and share additional information.

Here's one example:

Henning wanted to be a singer and started his entertainment career at Kansas City radio station KMBZ singing and writing.

Watch Henning sing "Stardust" from an early promo video found at the Marr Sound Archives on the campus of University of Missouri-Kansas City.