A Hodgepodge of Family and Historical Information

 

 

EDDIE GREEN OPENS
HARLEM RESTAURANT  August 7, 1937

Eddie Green, star of the radio.
stage and screen, has entered another
field with the opening of his
swanky and cozy Bar-Bee-Q shop on
Seventh avenue near 126th street In
the heart of the section frequented
by sportsmen, actors and artists of all
kinds. In the short space that it has
been opened, this food emporium has
become a rendezvous for celebrities of
the theatrical world.

The above is a quote from the New York Age newspaper, August 7, 1937.

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Paul Whiteman

In the Brooklyn Eagle, 1939 it says:  Eddie “Is one of Harlem’s busiest citizens.  Outside of theater and radio work, owns and operates two barbeque emporiums.  Serves nothing but spareribs.  Says Paul Whiteman is his best customer at the one on 7th Avenue.

 

Eddie came from East Baltimore’s alley house area where he was born in 1891, and worked himself up to owning two restaurants in Harlem.

I watched the funeral for B. B. King today and the Rev. Herron Wilson, said, in his eulogy, talking about life and death and conduct,  “It’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re headed.”  So far, Eddie is headed in a good direction.

Eddie, at this time, was married to a lady by the name of Constance from Newark, New Jersey, happily married according to the newspaper.  He hadn’t met my mother, yet.

I decided to insert her into this post since they would meet soon, and because mom was pursuing her own career in the entertainment field at about this same time.

Found this particular article today, just by chance, so I thought I could put it here as a bit of background on my mom’s home life.  In 1933, when my mom was ten years old, she found out that the man who she thought was her father, was not.  In those days, everybody’s business got in the papers, I guess just like today.  This is what happened with my mom’s mother, Sinclaire and her husband, Alfonso Murdock:

WHITE MAN NAMED CORRESPONDENT
IN SENSATIONAL DIVORCE SUIT
Californian Accused Wife of Remaining Away From
Home On Pretext of Caring For Sick Friends

LOS ANGELES, CaL, June 8.—(ANP)—Declaring that
his wife had remained away from home weeks at a time residing
in San Bernardino, Cal., Alfonso Murdock, pioneer
and widely known in social circles, was granted a divorce
Wednesday by Judge Harry F. Sewell, from Sinclaire White
Murdock.

Mr. Murdook testified that his
wife would come home only to get
fresh clothes and return to San
Bernardino. He said that he
thought at first that his wife was
caring for a sick friend and did
not learn different until he went
there and made the discovery that
his wife was attending different
places in company with Joe Amato,
white.

This was the prelude to me learning who my mother’s biological father was.  In fact, my mother was not 100% certain before she died and I have only verified who Amato was within the last few years.  That he was indeed white, an Italian gentleman that her mother had been seeing on the side for years and that he was my mother’s father.    Sinclaire eventually took the name Amato for herself and my mom.   At ten years of age my mother wasn’t quite sure what had transpired, except that Murdock was gone and never wanted to see them again and Joe became a permanent fixture.  And she had to change her last name from Murdock to Amato.

Sinclaire, my grandmother, was a “pillar” of the church.  She taught violin and piano.  She taught my mother.  Here is an article from the Los Angeles California Eagle:

Music loving Southlanders
crowded to capacity the auditorium of the Zion Hill Church
when Professor William T. Wilkins.
director of the well-known
Wilkin’s Piano Academy presented his show.
With the appearance of Professor Wilkins on
the stage there came a deafening
round of applause … he was
ably assisted by Mme. Sinclair White Amato, violin virtuoso,
whose several violin pupils were
also a part of the splendid programme . . . too many numbers
to mention each one in detail; but
many received an unusual
amount of applause. I refer to the violin playing of little Norma
Anne Amato . . . .
In 1937 Eddie was in the news in New York, and mom was beginning to be mentioned in the news in Los Angeles.  Mom was 14.  Eddie was 46.  They would not meet for another three years.

My mom was also in pursuit of a career on the stage as an opera singer and as she got older she began to sing and play the piano at weddings at a place called the Wilfandel Club in the Historic West Adams District, while in serious operatic study.

And here we have an extra bit of Black History-because of course I had to look up the Wilfandel Club and I found that the architect was Mr. Paul R. Williams. PAUL_R._WILLIAMSC_A.I.A._-_NOTED_ARCHITECT_-_NARA_-_53569_Straightened

Paul Revere Williams,  (February 18, 1894 – January 23, 1980) was an American architect based in Los Angeles, California. He practiced largely in Southern California, and designed the homes of numerous celebrities, including Lon Chaney, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Frank Sinatra. He also designed many public and private buildings, such as The Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration and the Los Angeles County Courthouse and the First African Methodist Episcopalian (FAME) church in Los Angeles.  Who knew?  Mom did, she mentioned to me a few times how unfortunate it was that Paul Williams did not get the recognition he deserved for his works.

l
Wilfandlel Club on Adams Blvd.

 

The thing about this research I am doing is that I can in almost every instance link Eddie up with all the folks I mention.  And I found an article that does just that in this instance also:

At the 68th Anniversary celebration of  the Los Angeles California Eagle , on April 3, 1947, Paul R. Williams was the main speaker and Eddie Green, of “Duffy’s Tavern”, was the emcee for a sparkling floor show featuring Mabel Fairbanks, ice-skating star, the Basin Street Boys, and Phil Moore, singer and composer.

In 2010 when my mom died, she lived on Adams and St. Andrews Place, within walking distance from the Winfandel Club’s building, which still stands.

Thank you so much for dropping by.

 

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