And Then There’s Maude!

Anything but tranquilizing, Right On, Maude! Hi there, well folks, I have begun writing my third book. I am awe struck that I have come this far as I only wanted to write one little book. I knew I could write one book. Today I am finishing my second book on The Jeffersons and I have started researching a third. I imagine that some of you beautiful people out there remember the 1970s tv sitcom, Maude. Maybe you watched it back then or you have seen reruns. I watched it, I liked Bea Arthur as Maude and Bill Macy as her husband, Walter. The reality of my life in the 70s though was that I was “doing my thing”. Remember “It’s Your Thing, Do What You Wanna Do”? Well I was partying hardy so even though I watched tv I barely remember most of the Maude episodes so I will be watching a lot of videos and I get to interview people who worked with the show.  I do remember the theme song which, I just found out about a month ago, was recorded by the famous Donnie Hathaway!

I know this is too interesting, but I just want to go back a bit to the beginning of my book writing online journey. I think it is amazing and right that the biography that I wrote about my father has a continuous connection to my second and third books. As if I am supposed to be writing these books. I started out by writing about my father who found his fame appearing as Eddie the waiter on the Duffy’s Tavern Radio Program from 1941-1950. They began taping in New York, moved to L. A. and then to Puerto Rico during these years. Duffy’s Tavern was a comedy and each episode (almost every one of them) a different guest appeared and became a part of the shenanigans. Way too many to list here, but a few were Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Billie Burke, Adolph Monjou, Charles Coburn, Boris Karloff, Larry Storch, Peggy Lee, Mickey Rooney, Ed Wynn and on and on. Ed Gardner, Jr. was the Bartender and Charles Cantor was the resident oddball guy who hung out at Duffy’s, by the name of Finnegan.

In 1945 Duffy’s Tavern with made into a movie by Paramount. In the movie they used almost every star on the Paramount lot, plus Ed, Eddie and Charlie. Bing Crosby was in this movie as you can see from this poster. Eddie’s picture is no where on this poster. Maybe he wasn’t famous enough yet. But after being in the entertainment business since about 1901 he was gettin’ there. Anywho, since I have written the book I have received pictures from fans of Eddie. Pictures that are treasures of theirs and now of mine.

 

Sometime in the early 40s this picture was taken. This is an old copy from the internet. I now have an original in hand. This is typed on the back of the picture: Produced by the Armed Forces Radio Service. Program: Jubilee. Bing Crosby and Eddie Green  “All Armed Forces Radio Service programs are stamped on flexible plastic transcription discs. In addition the the land-based broadcasting outlets ships of the United States Navy and Coast Guard in all oceans will receive the transcription of this show, which is not heard in the United States except in Army and Navy hospitals serving returned casualties.” Need I say more?

Going on to my second book. While writing The Jeffersons I discovered that a friend of Eddie’s, Lillian Randolph, had appeared in a Jeffersons episode as Mother Jefferson’s sister. Lillian and Eddie had appeared together on The Great Gildersleeves Radio Program and also on the Amos n Andy Radio Program. Lillian’s real life sister was Amanda Randolph who had stared in Eddie’s third movie Comes Midnight. Lillian is the woman who donated her dee-vorce money in It’s a Wonderful Life.

Back to Maude. I started researching my third book about the Maude tv sitcom about a month ago. I have had the great benefit of being able to call on writers who wrote for Maude and who also wrote  for The Jeffersons. (Mr. Moriarty was one writer who wrote 68 episodes according to Fandom). I’ve posted about this before but Mr. Bob Schiller and Mr. Bob Weiskopf not only wrote for Maude, they also wrote for All In The Family of which The Jeffersons was a spin-off and they wrote for Duffy’s Tavern Radio Show where it is quite possible they knew my father. It is all connected.

I was watching one of the Maude episodes, “The Kiss” when I realized Maude and Walter were so loud! I had found a newspaper article where the complaint about The Jeffersons in 1975 was that they were too loud. Well, this must have been a Norman Lear thing (I read that somewhere) because the characters in Maude talked really loud also. In “The Kiss” Walter tried to BS Maude about why she found him kissing the next door neighbor, Maude’s best friend. I wonder what I get to say about these episodes in my book? You’ll notice I said BS.

There is no set in stone title at this point. I’m wavering. Maybe God’ll get you for that, Walter or Right On Maude! (the 70s babee). I’ve got a year to figure it out. I love what I am doing. I love writing and research. I can get totally involved in it. My experience in this writing journey has far exceeded my imaginings.

I got an itch to do something and I did it and it has blossomed. I suggest to anyone else if you have something you think you can do or you have something you want to say, do it, put it down on paper, the sky’s is the limit but you gotta start the flight. And help will find you along the way.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by 🙂

Smiling & Twirling & Laughing & Caring

I like to think I am like my father. He was a happy man. He had a great smile. He loved to make people laugh. He was a good friend, with a helpful attitude. And he liked people, period. He was a family man, too. He was married 4 times. Had two daughters, one in 1911 and then me in the 40s. He told the Brooklyn Eagle in 1939 that “the depression doesn’t worry him. He’s happily married (3rd wife), Daughter Hilda is grown up and starting to follow him in show business. He’s got his work, his radio to tinker with and he’s the proud possessor of the first television set in Harlem.” At the time of this interview he was appearing in Mike Todd’s Hot Mikado. As Koko he sang “Titwillow” (Stars Over Broadway, Star Tone (M) ST 214 (Eddie Green with orchestra conducted by William Parson) The Brooklyn Eagle article said he had a “perpetual beaming smile.”

In a 1939 Press Sheet it was said that “Eddie Green still remains one of the greatest of all funny men. He has an irresistible sense of humor and he can squeeze a laugh from the sourest puss in the country!” When making his movies Eddie said that he builds his stories around incidents that are interesting, never offensive. He also said that when working on the radio show Duffy’s Tavern, “It’s grand, working with this show. The informality of it, the tavern setting and the lines which I never have to worry about, turns work into play.”

The Billboard spoke about him in a 1920 article in regard to having a helpful attitude: Eddie sent a note to The Billboard letting them know that if “the boys playing this town (New York) and having a hard time getting rooms they could stop at the Hotel Francis directly opposite the New York City Depot.” The Billboard said his not was an illustration of the many services to one another that actors may accomplish through their news page.

He and my mother were only married for five years and of that marriage I never heard any bad things about my father from my mother. She seemed to have been proud to have been married to him. Eddie was a comedian and as I grew up I always told my mother (whenever I thought I had said something funny) that I was my father’s daughter.  I find that most people  just want to be happy.  And they want to be acknowledged. I like to acknowledge people. It makes me smile to see another person realize they have been heard.

I am a family person, also. My siblings are like parts of my person. This past week I had the chance to see a nephew that I had not seen in over 10 years. He’s not little anymore. He’s grown up (about 6′ 5″, maybe more-so tall!!!). He’s a grown man. I cannot believe how happy it made me to see him. He visited from New Mexico. I have family all over the United States. Some of us have never met in person. I am “working on” putting together a family calendar. I wish I could hug them all at the same time. I LOVE my family. They totally make me smile.

I am working very hard on paying attention to what makes my happy, what makes me smile. There are so many unhappy people in the world today. So many reasons to be unhappy. So much unrest. I am going to try and take how I felt about seeing my nephew (I felt like twirling around in the restaurant!!!) and spread it around.

Thanx for stopping by and for helping to keep a smile on my face. 🙂