Celebrate BHM at a Library-Celebrate Libraries Anytime

Hello again. Here is a poster announcing my next appearance at a local library here in Los Angeles, the Eagle Rock Branch Library to share my father’s inspirational story. When I started this book writing journey my thoughts never went further than getting the writing done and getting a publisher. The idea of being asked to give a presentation at a library never entered my mind. I simply knew that I wanted to put my father’s story down on paper and present it to my grandson. My doctor asked me the other day how I wrote the book-did I have any help? I realized that this is one of the first questions people ask. So this past week I sat down and wrote out what I did to get this book written. Once I took a good look at what entails getting a book written, I was in awe of myself. I am beginning to realize what a big deal this is.

 

 

Here I am last week speaking about writing the biography of my father. I have pictures, we played a cd of a comedy skit with Lena Horne and I was happy to be there. Especially as there were two grammar school girls sitting in the front row. Paying attention. Sitting still. One little girl would take a photo I handed out, show it to her friend, have a little discussion and place the photo on the table. They even contributed to the discussion when I managed to touch on something currently relevant. I loved talking to them and assuring them that they too could achieve their dreams, like Eddie, if they learned as much as they could and believed in themselves.

Of course I told these young girls that I started my research in the Central Library in Los Angeles. That I went to the library a lot when I was little, which I did. And, in fact, the Central Library is exactly where I began my research for my book. My mother actually found the first picture we had of Eddie on stage doing an Amos n Andy radio show back in the 1930s or 40s. This is Central Library.

 

Central Library is beautiful. All of the information I found here about Eddie (and my mom) was housed in the basement level. So I went down this escalator many times. This is where I found the copyright entries for Eddie’s last movie. This is where I found old copies of Black newspapers that had so many articles about Eddie. And my mom. This is where I got carried away with reading those old newspapers. And how I found my aunt mentioned and my Nana. And my godfather. I even began genealogy research here. I made lots of copies here. I usually ate lunch in the building. And of course you can’t just visit one area of this library.

 

 

 

 

Along the way someone told me they had found information on Eddie at the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills and suggested I check it out. This is the library for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It houses the Oscars library. So I went to this library. What an experience. First of all, I would have never thought of going to this library. Even though I knew my father was a filmmaker-I did not realize how big an impact Eddie had in the entertainment field. I must say here that at the time I did not have a car. I used public transportation. L. A. has good public transportation, but, some buses only run once an hour or once every 30 minutes. And visiting these libraries took me from the East to the West side of town. I visited the African American Museum in Exposition Park,  the Mayme Clayton Museum in Inglewood, AND I spent hours at the Family History Library in West L.A. (a 2 hour bus ride one-way), I found so many books here on US history.

The inside of the Margaret Herrick Library is gorgeous. One must leave one’s bags, coats and books in a little locker. When looking at photos or scripts of old papers, one must wear gloves and be very careful when handling delicate items such as old invoices. Oh, and you cannot just walk in, you have to have an appointment. The people that work in here are so nice. You tell them what you are looking for and they get it and bring it to you. I found Eddie’s movie scripts!! Posters of his movies!!! Invoices from Seiden Cinema in New Jersey for the film work they did for Eddie (with signatures). I even found the contract he made with Paramount when he was in the 1945 Duffy’s Tavern movie. Of course,, some of those items I could purchase, some not, but I could write down what I found and pay for copies. I made three trips to this library.

Visiting libraries and museums was a big part of my journey. There were also conventions. I spent many hours online. There was  a lot of reading, emailing, learning how to get with social media. Reading how-to books and articles. Reading other people’s biographies to study writing styles. Studying how to get a publisher. Biting my nails. After my mother passed in 2010 I used my grieving time to focus on the book. I was retired. Footloose and fancy-free. I had time to put into this book. Today, now that it is published I have time to share Eddie’s story in the libraries here in Los Angeles. This photo of Eagle Rock library is where I will be on the 24th of February 2018. I hope to get more kids involved. Because after all, I began this writing venture to try and motivate my grandson who grew up while I was in this process. But I also want to bring Eddie out of the shadows of time and share his many contributions to the entertainment industry and beyond.

Please ask for this book at your local library so that it can be available to more people. Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.

Thanks so much, for stopping by.

 

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Funny & Fun

My father liked two things for sure: Pretty women and he liked being happy. From the first time he went out on the road with his first song in 1919, through his movie making days in 1939, ’40 and ’41 his ensemble included chorus girls and comedy. He even incorporated dancing girls, tap dancers, singers and comedic skits in his last 1949 movie that depicted Blacks and how they dealt with life after the Atom Bomb. For those new to this blog you can see his last movie on YouTube-it’s titled Mr. Adam’s Bomb. A young lady (Margaret Westfield)  sings a song called “You can Always Believe Your Heart” which Eddie wrote. I am still looking for information on Ms. Westfield.

Eddie became a household name as Eddie, the waiter in the radio program Duffy’s Tavern, during the last ten years of his life. Everyone loved Eddie. February is Black History Month. I am going to inundate social media with “fun Eddie stuff”. I want to get him as much exposure as possible. I want to get as many people as I can to experience Eddie’s good nature and for them to get a few laughs as well. I think our world could use uplifting right now. Eddie’s life story is truly inspiring. I will also be pushing the biography I have written about him, “Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer“, it’s much more fun that that “other” book everyone is talking about these days.

In this still from Eddie’s 4th movie you can see that Eddie (in the striped shirt) liked being silly (which is why, I am sure I like silly jokes: What kind of flower is that on your face? Tulips!!! Hahahahaha!) There were even chorus girls in this movie.

So here’s to a Funny February.

And thanx, for stopping by.

 

Norma and Eddie Green Name Their New Daughter

NORMA and EDDIE  choose the name “ELVA” for their new daughter. Elva Green. This was of course a few years ago. Well, more than a few. I got the idea for this post because Kanye and Kim are trending on twitter because of their newest child’s name. I like to show my blog’s younger readers that famous couples have been trending in the news for years. Readers of today’s news have come up with all sorts of reasons K and K chose the name that they did for their child. And this reminded me that most of my life I have wondered how my father chose my name. Despite the fact that my name contains only 4 letters, people have mispronounced it always. Evelyn, Eva, Elvis, Alva, Elba. When I was a kid, the other kids called me Greenie stickum caps (I think some of you older folks might remember those).

When my father was still alive, mom would put me in our Buick and drive me to see the street sign that read Elva Ave. It was located in Compton, California. I remembered looking at the sign out of the passenger window. So I thought I was named after that street for a long while. As an adult I wondered why that name was chosen for a street in Compton. In my lifetime I have met less than ten women named Elva. And none of them were Black. There were a lot of Black people in Compton when I was a child. I researched a bit and discovered Elva has roots in Scandinavia-I think it means “running brook”. Compton was named after a settler who travelled from Pittsylvania, Va., where Scot and Irish had settled.

Vallone D’Elva

Then I learned there was a village in Italy called Elva. I don’t know that Eddie had ever gone to Italy, but my mom’s father was Italian, so maybe Eddie got the name from my maternal grandfather, Joe. I never heard my mother mention that Eddie had ever met her Italian father because there were family “issues” and Joe was not “around”. Anyhow, they are all gone now. But maybe I’m named after a village in Italy.

 

 

 

Or maybe my name is from the French “elle va” meaning “She Goes”. If I ever get the money I fully intend to go to the South of France. Eddie actually took my mom to Paris. Or maybe Eddie thought of me as an Elf. In the Irish language Elva means Elfin. Eddie did appear on stage once in a one-man play called “Tam O’Shanter” by Scottish poet Robert Burns. And once I did win a St. Patrick’s Day writing contest.

Well, here is the announcement in the newspaper about me and my name and my proud daddy. And my mom, the former Norma Amato. The name my father gave me has taken me around the world. I am proud of my name as I am sure Kim and Kanye’s daughter will be of her name.

 

 

Hey, thanks, for stopping by. KCB

Check out my book Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. Found on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, Book Soup and Walmart.

 

 

 

Misery Does Not Love Company

For the last couple of weeks I have been running on empty. It’s not new for me. Periodically, I slow way down. Family issues, world events, self-doubt and other issues overwhelm me. But, my misery does not love company, besides, everybody has problems. The day after Christmas I went out and seemed like everybody was pissed off. And today because of the snow back east a newscaster was talking about a “misery map”.  Anywho, this is my reason for not posting lately.  So, while looking for a photo on Google Advanced Images for this blog I typed in “Misery Loves Company: and got “the freeze”. Because I have such a weird sense of humor this picture cracked me up. This guy looks miserable. The fact that I laughed when I saw this picture lets me know I am still my old self-silly. And I am not as miserable as he looks. In fact, January has started off well for me (I had the best day with my daughter and her honey) and I do hope this year brings all of you happiness.

I have multiple library presentations coming up. I have met two lovely people, one who is going to help me genealogy-wise, and the other I will be helping with their social media needs. At the end of the month I will have a YouTube video up and running promoting my book. I discovered that a television station in Staunton, Va. aired my father’s last movie Mr. Adam’s Bomb as recent as 1983 and I have sent off an email trying to find out if they have knowledge of a physical copy of the movie. Meanwhile…..

I want to touch on a subject that is important to me. Today is the birthday of Zora Neale Hurston. She was born the same year that my father, Eddie Green, was born. She was born in Alabama, and moved to Eatonville, Florida, with her family in 1894. Eatonville would become the setting for many of her stories and is now the site of the Zora! Festival, held each year in her honor. Incorporated on August 15, 1887, Eatonville was one of the first self-governing all-black municipalities in the United States. I saw this quote from her online today and it touched something in me. She wrote these words in her 1950 essay, What White Publishers Won’t Print. “For various reasons, the average, struggling, non-morbid Negro is the best-kept secret in America.”

There is more, of course, but these words spoke to me. They said what I feel, that I am simply an average, struggling, female human being who happens to be Black and who just wants to live the best life I can. I go to work. I’ve raised a child. I pay bills.  I’m not pissed off because I am Black. I just am who I am. I decide what I want or need to do and I do it. Eddie was like that. When he was asked about Blacks being able to get into radio back in the 30s he said: “Radio for Negroes is a very hard field to get into . . . very hard! But the returns are so great that it’s worth the try.” Commenting further he also said: He found one thing to be true, “Talent is appreciated . . . you get respect if you know your business.” Eddie also said: “If you’ve got the talent, you can’t miss in the long run, even if it’s mighty long!”

It’s about living life.  Find something you like to do, and do that the best you know how. Treat others the way you want to be treated. And smile, brother, smile. Because “Misery” does not love company.

Thanks, for stopping by. KCB

Check out my Facebook Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/elvagreenbookpage/

Thanks Wikipedia.

 

 

Eddie Green, “Moms” Mabley, “Dark” Gable, Yuletide at the Apollo

Christmas Show-Eddie Green, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, “Pigmeat”, James Baskette and Ralph Cooper, emcee

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and as my mom used to say, a happy 4th of July to you all from my blog celebrating my father, Eddie Green, Comedian, composer, filmmaker, entrepreneur and a good man.

I have posted this article from a 1930s newspaper simply because I waited till the last minute and I just happened to have the article because a Facebook friend found it and sent it to me. So cool! The one thing I like about these articles is that when I research the other people that are mentioned I acquire new knowledge. I’ve learned that sometimes one has to look extra hard in order to find information on these old time entertainers. As you can see my father, Eddie Green performed in this show along with other great Black entertainers of the day. I’ve added pics of Jackie “Moms” Mabley and Ralph Cooper further down.

Articles like this one here are only to be found in the Black newspapers of the day-once I found out what those were all I needed was the time and patience to go through the archives. This article happens to mention the same program as the first article. The first article mentions a Clarence Robinson and his “Christmas Carols” show. I wanted to get some information about these folks before I typed this post. Well, typing in Clarence’s name into the internet to get some background on him got me nada. So I typed in “Apollo”.

Hurtig&Seamons  was purchased in 1933 by Sidney Cohen,  and after lavish renovations it re-opened as the “Apollo Theater” on January 16, 1934, catering to the black community of Harlem, previously it had been a whites-only venue. The internet info on the Apollo stated that on February 14, 1934, the first major star to appear at the Apollo was jazz singer and Broadway star Adelaide Hall in Clarence Robinson’s production Chocolate Soldiers, which featured Sam Wooding’s Orchestra. The show ran for a limited engagement and was highly praised by the press, which helped establish the Apollo’s reputation. Well, there you go.

You’ll notice that Eddie was on this same bill with Jackie “Moms” Mabley. I discovered Moms Mabley when I was about sixteen. She cracked me up. Turns out that at the height of her career, she was earning US$10,000 a week at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. One of her regular themes was a romantic interest in handsome young men rather than old “washed-up geezers”, and she got away with it courtesy of her stage persona, where she appeared as a toothless, bedraggled woman in a house dress and floppy hat. I heard her talk about “George” and that white suit “I bought you”. She was too funny. And my father had once been on the stage with her. Remarkable.

 

And this is Ralph Cooper, the originator and master of ceremonies of Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Ralph, also known as “The Dark Gable” (so handsome) was an American actor, screenwriter, dancer and choreographer. Starred in “The Duke is Tops with Lena Horne” in 1938. Ralph was also a producer and a director and starred in at least ten movies. He was working in this capacity just ahead of Eddie who started his movie making career in 1939. Mr. Cooper was with us until 1992. I would have loved to have met him.

According to Wikipedia (which I love), although the theatre concentrated on showcasing African American acts, it also presented White acts such as swing bandleaders Harry James, Woody Herman and Charlie Barnett during the swing era, and, later, jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich. Also, Jimi Hendrix won the first place prize in an amateur musician contest at the Apollo in 1964. And even these greats performed at the Apollo:  James Brown, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, and so many more.

Just one big happy family. Happy, happy Holidays everyone!!

And thanks, for stopping by.

Last minute gift: https://bearmanormedia.selz.com/item/eddie-green-ebook

 

Christmas 1939 Must Have Been Merry

On September 10, 1942 Eddie Green, my father, opened a dramatic training school in this building at 2352 Seventh Avenue, New York City. The school, called Sepia Artists offered services and classes for both amateurs and professionals. The Pittsburgh-Courier newspaper referred to Eddie in it’s article about the school as a comedian of radio and stage fame. I think it was a short-lived endeavor because in 1943 Eddie filed for bankruptcy. Before this from 1939 through 1941 Eddie was making movies and planning plans, so he had some money.

 

Chauncey Northern

In fact, there must have been enough money to hire this gentleman, Chauncey Northern. According to an article just before Christmas of 1939, Mr. Northern a recognized voice specialist and coach joined Eddie’s motion picture company as head of it’s music department. In this capacity he would have charge of  the arranging of voices for Eddie’s Sepia-Art Pictures choir which would be a permanent feature of the organization, New York Age, December 23, 1939. The article goes on to say that Mr. Northern’s studio was located in Carnegie Hall and that his studio was the mecca of many of the great artists of today.

In researching Chauncey Northern I learned that he was one of the first black opera singers (a tenor) to appear on the Italian stage, making his debut in the 1920’s at the Teatro Politeana in Naples and that he studied at the Juliard School of Music. I did not spend much time trying to find info on Mr. Northern while I was writing the book about my father, but today while trying to come up with a blog post I decided to dig a little further.

it’s amazing what can be found if you are really paying attention. I learned that in 1924 he wrote the music for the University of Hampton’s Alma Mater, one of the top historically black universities in the world.

An interesting fact is that this tree, The Emancipation Oak, stands near the entrance of the Hampton University campus and is a lasting symbol of the university’s rich heritage and perseverance. The peaceful shade of the young oak served as the first classroom for newly freed men and women, eager for an education. Mrs. Mary Peake, daughter of a freed colored woman and a Frenchman, conducted the first lessons taught under the oak located on the University’s campus. Classes continued with the The Butler School, which was constructed in 1863 next to the oak. One day in 1863, the members of the Virginia Peninsula’s black community gathered to hear a prayer answered. The Emancipation Oak was the site of the first Southern reading of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, an act which accelerated the demand for African-American education. And Chauncey Northern was a part of this history. And Eddie was a part of his history. And I am a part of their history. Awesome.

After Mr, Northern’s debut in Naples, he remained in Europe until 1937, when he returned to the United States and established the Northern Vocal Arts School at Carnegie Hall, where he taught until his death in 1992. The main hall of Carnegie Hall was home to the performances of the New York Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962. The building also contains the Carnegie Hall Archives, established in 1986, and the Rose Museum, which opened in 1991. Until 2009 studios above the Hall contained working spaces for artists in the performing and graphic arts including music, drama, dance, as well as architects, playwrights, literary agents, photographers and painters. The spaces were unusual in being purpose-designed for artistic work, with very high ceilings, skylights and large windows for natural light.  In 1906 both Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington spoke here. Chauncey Northern had his studio here!

Today a person has to dig to find out information on Mr. Northern, just like I had to dig to get my information on Eddie, even though he was a major player in entertainment. Most of the information of pioneering Black people can only be found in Black newspaper archives. However, I did find a Facebook page for a woman who knew Mr. Northern and who is still active today. Hopefully she will “friend” me. If not, she has a web site. History is fascinating. I love research. I can go back in time to 1939 and I can travel the world, visit universities and meet new people right here with my laptop.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by.

Info on Chauncey Northern and Carnegie Hall courtesy of the World Wide Web

For the Biography of Eddie Green Visit t hen click “Shop Now”: https://www.facebook.com/elvagreenbookpage/

 

 

Eddie Would Have Loved the World Wide Web

An internet map. If my father was alive today he would be over the moon about the internet. According to the old Los Angeles California Eagle newspaper Eddie said it “was thrilling to talk to people all over the world”, and he said this way back in 1946 when asked about his hobby ham radio.

 

This is an example of a ham radio set-up. Eddie had one in our basement on 2nd Avenue in Los Angeles in the 40s. When Eddie and my mom “motored” across the U.S. Eddie could also broadcast from his automobile. Mom said that he spent a lot of time in that basement talking to people from all walks of life. Eddie’s call letters were W2AKM. He got his ham radio license in 1925. A newspaper reporter saw his set-up at home and called it a private radio station!

With the advent of the Radio Act of 1912, the first Amateur Radio License was issued. Applicants were required to demonstrate technical expertise in adjusting and operating equipment, and a knowledge of International Conventions and US laws . The code requirement was ability to transmit and receive in the Continental Morse at least 10 words per minute and recognize important signal usage of the day (distress and “keep out” signals). By 1936 Eddie was one of 51,000 amateur ham radio operators.

By 1939 Eddie had a ham radio set-up at this theater, the Broadhurst on 44th Street in New York where he was performing as KoKo, The High Executioneer in Mike Todd’s Hot Mikado, as well as a set-up in his apartment at 120 W. 138th Street in New York (W2AKM—Edward Green, 120 W. 138 St., N. Y. City. Radio Amateur Call Book Magazine). During this same time the 1939 World’s Fair was happening and Eddie spent a lot of time commuting between Harlem and Flushing Meadows just so he could spend time at the communications exhibits. I read that he had been cited by the government for his work with ham radio, and had written a few articles, but I could not find any actual corroboration.

Eddie continued this hobby until his passing in 1950. By the time he was doing Amos n Andy shows he would communicate with Freeman Gosden (Amos) in Beverly Hills, another ham operator, with engineers at NBC and with others around the country. I imagine he would be happy to know that according to an estimate made in 2011 by the American Radio Relay League, two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. This is not a good picture but I put it in because Eddie’s call letters for his station are the teeny pin on his lapel in the bottom right hand corner.

The internet would blow him away.

Thanks, for stopping by. And don’t forget to “Like” my page mentioned below.

https://www.facebook.com/elvagreenbookpage/

 

 

GIVING THANKS TO YOU!!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I WISH FRIENDS, FAMILY, FOLLOWERS, VISITORS AND ALL THOSE YOU LOVE A HAPPY AND SAFE THANKSGIVING DAY. I AM THANKFUL THAT THIS BLOG CONTINUES TO ATTRACT ATTENTION, ESPECIALLY AS I BEGAN AS A NEWBIE WITH MY FIRST EVER LAPTOP THAT I GOT FOR A STEAL PRICEWISE. I KNOW THIS WAS MEANT TO HAPPEN NOT JUST TO SHARE MY WRITING JOURNEY BUT BECAUSE I HAVE MET SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE. HAVE FUN!

ELVA

We Are Family-Connected

My family is connected with an important part of history. In the book I have written about my father I included a chapter on my mother, Norma. I don’t write about her often, except on Mother’s Day and when the date of her death comes around or the date of her birthday, which is on November 17th. This is Norma about 4 years before she married my father. But the history I want to write about started with my maternal grandmother.

 

My mother’s mother was born in 1896, her name was Sinclaire White. In 1912 Sinclaire got a mention in The Crisis magazine for her skills as a violinist. The second photo here is the cover of that 1912 issue.  The lady on the front is not Sinclaire. I only ever saw one picture of my maternal grandmother and I do not remember her as she died when I was a year old. My siblings never knew her or even saw a picture. Nor was she ever talked about as we grew up. As a violinist she was magnificent. Later in life she taught violin. Inside this magazine in the MUSIC AND ART section is this article about my grandmother:

” Miss Sinclair White of Chicago, Ill., who graduated June 18 from the Chicago Musical College, took part in the commencement program, playing the first and second movements of Sitt’s concertina in A minor. Miss White, who is a violinist, was the winner of the diamond medal awarded in the “teachers’ certificate class.” Accompanied by her mother she leaves shortly for Russia, where she is to have the advantage of five years’ study.”

At the time The Crisis was a very influential magazine. Published by W. E. B. DuBois who was also a co-founder of the NAACP. William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Due to current racial issues he and the NAACP have been in the news more often, lately. I love his picture. It’s possible Sinclaire knew DuBois.

By the 1930s Sinclaire was living in Pasadena with her husband and my mother. She was now Sinclaire White Murdock and she was the head of the Sinclaire White Murdock Music Arts Association. The meetings would proceed with musical selections and a reading of stories such as, “The Immortal Story of Enoch Ardin,”, by Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson. Sometimes, the meetings were held in the Second Baptist Church; other times meetings were held at the Sojourner Truth Home in Los Angeles.

Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York. We didn’t talk much about Sojourner Truth when I was growing up, but they obviously recognized her in Pasadena back in the day and Sinclaire had the good sense to hold her meetings in a building named after a woman who would become  a force in 2017. As of today Truth’s statue will stand on the Empire State Trail in Ulster County.

My family history is very much Black history. Though for some reason Sinclaire listed herself as Spanish in my mother’s school records.

My family history is also Italian as Sinclaire also married Guiseppe Amato (or Joe) and had my mom, Norma. Joe’s parents emigrated from Italy to New York in the early 1900s.  Joe became a barber and gave my brother’s their first haircuts. It’s more difficult to find Italian records but that is on my to do list.

I love my family. And I love connecting with you, too.

Thanks, for stopping by. And, KCB.

https://www.facebook.com/EddieGreenBook/

https://www.facebook.com/elvagreenbookpage/

 

 

 

 

 

You Learn Something New Every Day

I have a few newer followers to this blog. So I am posting a bit of information, some of which is in my book, for the newer people, though I have added new information in this post that I have only found today. I have also included a YouTube video, so there should be something for everybody. Say Hi to this guy Eddie Green, my father. I began this blog in order to chronicle my research into and my writing of his biography. A rags-to-riches story of a man who was a composer, Broadway and movie star, an Old Time Radio icon and filmmaker.  The book has been published and has even won a Foreword INDIES 2016 Bronze Book Award (yay!!). I am in the process now of visiting libraries and Rotary Clubs and other venues to give presentations. I have been interviewed on podcasts and a National Radio program, and on YesterdayUSA.  And I am continuing to post on this blog, one reason being that I am still learning new information about my father, another is that I continue to make good friends as well as good contacts. And I continue to discover that there are lots of people in this world who knew of my father and wanted to learn more.

The title of the book is Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer. In the book I mention a song that Eddie and another actor, Ernest Whitman, sang in 1945, “One Meatball”. I decided to post a YouTube video so that my audience (you) can hear Eddie announced and, can hear his voice.

When I logged onto the YouTube site I noticed these comments from tugOjackson from 2000: Eddie Green was beloved by millions of Americans who knew him as “Eddie the Waiter” on the Duffy’s Tavern radio show (which was the basis of the Cheers TV show.) Eddie was a marvelous talent and I know he would have been just as successful today. Thanks (jazzman) for not letting him be forgotten. And who knew Ernie & Eddie could sing jazz too? Their jazz/comic timing is superb in this clip! This may be the best version of “One Meatball” ever recorded! Listening again to this superb rendition of “One Meatball”. Eddie Green’s spoken comic asides as Ernie sings the first chorus are pure jazz improvisation. And Ernie can really sing too. By the way Mark Twain mentions this song in his book Roughing It, so it goes waay back. (I have tried to locate these two  gentleman to thank them for their comments, but no luck so far.)

The song is by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer.  What I didn’t put in the book is the journey this song took before it got it’s current name. In 1855 while living at Cloverden in Cambridge, Massachusetts, George Martin Lane wrote the song “The Lone Fish Ball”; after decades as a staple of Harvard undergraduates, it was modernized into the popular hit “One Meat Ball”. The song is composed upon an old english folk song entitled “Sucking Cider Through a Straw”. According to Professor Morris H. Morgan, the song is based upon an actual experience of Lane’s at a restaurant in Boston, although the reality involved a half-portion of macaroni, rather than a fish ball. The song goes on to relate the impoverished diner’s embarrassment at the hands of a disdainful waiter.

After becoming popular among Harvard undergraduates, it was translated into a mock Italian operetta, “Il Pesceballo”, by faculty members Francis James Child, James Russell Lowell and John Knowles Paine, set to a pastiche of grand opera music, and performed in Boston and Cambridge to raise funds for the Union army. A fish ball was for breakfast, cooked fish and potatoes pan fried together.

In 1944, the song was revived by Tin Pan Alley songwriters Hy Zaret and Lou Singer in a more bluesy format as “One Meat Ball”, and the recording by Josh White became one of the biggest hits of the early part of the American folk music revival. The song has been performed by  The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Savo, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and others. Hy Zaret lived to be 99 years old, dying in 2007.

 

So, take a few more minutes, sit back and enjoy seeing my father, Eddie Green, and his friend Ernest Whitman in this compilation of images put together by jazzman and tugOjackson just so I could find it and share it with you.

As always, thanks, for stopping by.

https://www.facebook.com/EddieGreenBook/