SINGING, DANCING, DRAMA, BLACK HISTORY

Eddie as KoKo
Eddie as KoKo

Hello there, this is so funny to me.  I was trying to crop a picture and this is what I got.  A hand-drawn cropping, almost looks like somebody’s profile.  Anyhow, my mom used to say, “You learn something new everyday.”  Here is something I learned while looking for information on my father, Eddie, from when he played “Koko” in the Hot Mikado in 1939.  I found this article from 1962, in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Tonight at 8:00, the esteemed Sir Arthur Sullivan would have rarely looked more dour . . . and Sir William Gilbert might have returned to his law practice were they alive to hear the liberties taken In the late 30s version of Mikado.  Tonight we take a second listen as “Ko-Ko”, “Nam-Poo”, “Yum-Yum”, “Katisha” and friends go modern in Hot Mikado with Bill Robinson and Eddie Green.”

A good little blurb to add to my book.

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson turned sixty-one while starring in the Mike Todd version of Hot Mikado as the Mikado.  A local newspaper ran this ad:

“A second negro production of “The Mikado” in modern swing tempo, entitled The Hot Mikado opens tonight at the Broadhurst with Bill Robinson, the tap dancer, in the lead role.”

Michael Todd, producer of the play sponsored an after-theater party on stage at the Broadhurst Theater, where the cast of the play, members of the Cotton Club and a bunch of friends drank a toast to Bill’s health and wished him many happy returns.

Bill Robinson-Wikipedia
Bill Robinson-Wikipedia

According to the New York Age, “following the toastmaking, Eddie Green, “Koko” of Hot Mikado on behalf of the cast presented Mr. Robinson with a silver plaque on which was inscribed:  “Happy Birthday ‘Bill’ Robinson from the cast of the Hot Mikado Co. Broadhurst Theatre, May 28, 1939.” A silver stage crew, the onlv one of its kind in America, was another gift from the cast to its leading star.”

And here is an article from the Brooklyn Eagle, specifically about Eddie:

“Eddie Green, who has been funny all the time but has not quite seemed to get his teeth into anything, is singing “Titwillow” to Katisha and his “Titwillow” turns out to be completely delightful.  The song has, no doubt, been sung many times by better voices, but it could hardly be done more amusingly.  With it Mr. Green makes himself one of the jewels of the Hot Mikado.

In 1940, Eddie went on to appear on the Tommie Riggs radio program:

TONIGHT’S BEST RADIO BETS 7:50— “Blondie,” …Tommy Rlggs and Betty Lou. David Ross, Freddie Rich Orchestra. Eddie Green WEAF. 8:30— ..Brooklyn NY Eagle1940.

Eddie also found time to appear with Miss Hazel Scott on the dramatic mystery program The Bishop and The GargoyleimagesEHU5HJ1M

The show was about a former Bishop and an excon who teamed up to solve crimes.  It’s very gritty, I listened to about five minutes of one of the shows and here is a sample of the kinds of lines in the script: “Aw listen, man, don’t try to make a chest outta that stomach.”  So funny.

On the show, Eddie and Hazel did a skit titled “The Item of the Voodoo Doll”.  Miss Scott was a jazz and concert pianist, normally, who, according to the papers, put her own interpretation into Bach and Beethoven.  The reviews of her acting ability were good, and of course, Eddie was funny.

200px-Hazel_Scott_in_Rhapsody_in_Blue_trailer

Hazel Dorothy Scott, born in 1920 became a star in her own right and while she was at it, she married Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who became the first person from New York of African-American descent to be elected to Congress, representing Harlem, New York, from 1945 to 1971. 200px-Adam_Clayon_Powell_Jr

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was also pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church and as such Rev. Powell christened me.  How’s that for a good ending?

Thank you so much, for stopping by.

.

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