In "Life after Tomorrow" (awesome movie, by the way), Jon Merrill said something along the lines of "In 1982, when Hard Knock Life came out, I started 'Annie People'". I'm confused though, because Annie came out in 1977. What'd he mean by that?

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It was his magazine.
I know it was his magazine, but what did he mean when he said that Hard Knock Life came out in 1982, when Annie began in 1977?
I think he meant that he started when the first Annie-movie came out. I believe that was around 1982. I could be wrong though.

Glad you like the movie, Claire. I believe what Jon Merrill was talking about was that the first time he saw "Annie" in London, he was hooked on the show, the minute the girls came out to perform "Hard Knock Life." He went on to say that he started "Annie People," his newsletter, right after the show closed on Broadway. He had not seen the show on Broadway until close to the end of the run, in January of 1983.
Oh ok, thanks Julie.
The first time I saw Annie was in London in September 1981. I was overseas in the Armed Forces and had never heard of the show until a friend recommended I see it on a weekend in London because I had been an elementary school music teacher. At the show it was the singing and performing of the Hard-Knock Life song that absolutely hooked me on the musical and made me a fan for life. By the end of 1981 I was back in the U.S. and saw the movie in May 1982 and then the Broadway show for the first time in July 1982 and again in September 1982. At the final Broadway show in January 1983 I met Tricia Trozzi, and a couple of weeks later we decided to start the "Annie People" newsletter because there was no fan organization for the show/movie and for collectors, and our newsletter grew into an international fan club. I left "Annie People" in early 1998 but Tricia continued it until the middle of 1999, a total of 90 issues. We are in the process (slow, so far) of eventually putting the entire run of the newsletter onto CD-ROM and marketing it through eBay.

Throughout the 1980s we made contact with as many Broadway/Nat'l Tour/Movie Annie kids as we could during their teen years when they were in other shows, so that we could keep fans up to date through "Annie People." Meanwhile, as Annie began to make the run of community theaters around New Jersey and neighboring states, we saw as many of them as possible. We also did extensive coverage of "Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge" and "Annie Warbucks" when they came out.
Oh hey Jon, thanks for the background info. The CD idea is a good idea, I know I'd buy one!

It's too bad that Jon was never able to put his newsletters on CD.  I saw a photo of one issue.  I will look for them on Ebay.

I recall him telling me about interviewing Ashley Johnson from Annie 2: A Royal Adventure when I asked if she was related to Haylie Johnson, a singer on Kids Incorporated, because they looked a lot alike.  He told me that they were sisters, and that Haylie was the one who actually dubbed "Tomorrow" for Ashley in Annie 2.


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