Today, first, I want to wish all those suffering from the devastating earthquakes in Nepal an eventual sense of peace and comfort through those who have been able to help, and I am sad that so many others are using their energy to hurt rather than to help.
Now, on to the purpose of this blog. Inspiring those who would like to accomplish something specific, but are reluctant to do so, because of seeming obstacles. My father, Eddie Green, has been a great example to me, of a person who started out with rags (in various senses of the word) and rose to riches. Eddie’s rise was not rocket-like. But it was steady and continual.
Eddie was born in 1891, he left home at about age nine, got work where he could performing as a child magician in churches and whatnot until he got work in various theaters, by 1909 he was married for the first time, 1917 he was drafted for WWI and wrote his first song, he spent the 20s on the Vaudevile and Burlesque stage, in the 30s he got married again and started his radio career. By 1936 Eddie was 45 years old and still climbing.
On April 18, 1936 Mr. Joe Bostic of Radiograph wrote an article about Eddie. He chose Eddie’s performance on the Rudy Valley radio show as the “peak radio performance of the Week.” It was the second time within a month that Eddie’s performance had been chosen. He said that “Eddie Green, it seems to be, is more than a new star in the radio firmament, he is a symbol of what race artists might achieve if they have a distinctive and individual entertainment idea to offer.” He also states “We doff our hat to a sterling performer and a great fellow.” Hear Eddie Green Thursday night WEAF 8 p.m.
Eddie’s distinctive and individual entertainment idea was to perform skits, with scripts written by John Tucker Battle, of people from certain literature, such as, The Courtship of Miles Standish, which I have just learned, is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about a love triangle involving pilgrims who may have actually been real people; and Sir Galahad and the Knights of the Round Table, I guess these skits were sort of a “What if the Knights of the Round Table were Black” kind of thing. The skits were part of a sketch called “Heroes Wuz People”. Eddie acted out these skits with a Negro’s impression (according to the Daily Herald) and evidently they were so funny he kept getting called back to the show.
And Eddie was there to perform a humorous sketch titled “Adam and Eve”. What if Adam and Eve were Black?
This same year, Eddie performed, on the Rudy Vallee radio program, “Jonah and the Whale” – The general consensus was this was his funniest skit of all.
My very first set of books was bought for me by Eddie. Moby Dick, The Last of the Mohicans, Sir Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, The Count of Monte Cristo. As a young child these books were a connection to my father, now I see they were a connection to his entertainment career. The set of books looked something like this:
Unfortunately, sometime before I turned ten, we needed some cash, so mom sold the books. I still consider those books a legacy from my father. Eddie was obviously a reader. He taught himself.
Those appearances on the Vallee show when Eddie portrayed these classic characters, were added rungs up Eddie’s ladder to success.
Keep reading and thanks for stopping by.