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.



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.


My Father and the New York Police Department 1929

Due to a recent podcast I realized I needed to gain a greater degree of knowledge in regard to how my father, Eddie Green, got into the field of radio. In his words: “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.” Eddie was a living example of how one gets ahead in life. He stayed busy, he knew his talents and dedicated himself to making them pay off. His biggest break was in 1929.

I found an article from about 1928, by Chappy Gardner,  “Along the Rialto”, in the Pittsburgh Courier: “ Eddie Green, well-known songwriter, electrician, motion picture operator, famed comedian, opened on the Burlesque wheel this season. Played at Newark last week in A Perfect 36. Eddie appeared with the regular cast, being the only race performer, but was at his best in his single that wowed the customers”.

It took him a minute to realize his popularity. In his own words “In the meantime, I was so busy working here and there and doing a bit of writing on the side that I did not notice my own advancement. One indication of the change, I should have noticed, was the fact that I could see my name very frequently in the various trade papers”. Then along came George Immerman and opened a show called Hot Chocolates. I became the featured comic in this show. It turned out that none of the various scenes written for the show were good enough, so I was engaged to write the scenes”.

Hot Chocolates was a musical revue that  opened at the Hudson Theater in New York on June 20, 1929. The show was staged and directed by Leonard Harper, with songs by  and Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks and book by Andy Razaf. The revue was touted as being fast, funny and frank. Hot Chocolates had a run of 219 performances.

Eddie double as a performer in the show along with these two gentlemen

  • Louis Armstrong  Ensemble (Armstrong made his Broadway debut with his role in the ensemble as part of the pit band for the show)
  • Jimmie Baskette Ensemble (Baskette later became well-known as the zip-a-dee-doo-da man, Uncle Remus, in Walt Disney’s movie “Song of the South” (1946)

A big hit from Hot Chocolates was “Big Business” written by Eddie. It was  a “talking song,” with Eddie, Billy Higgins and Company, and “Fats” Waller on piano.

Then there was the record that was produced from one of Eddie’s skits titled “Sending A Wire” on the Okeh record label:

And the  Warner Bros Vitaphone film “Sending A Wire” (directed by Murray Roth)  (courtesy IMDB) that featured synchronized sound. It was said to be the funniest Vitaphone comedy act “which has yet been produced,”, and that it “kept thousands shaking with laughter.”

At about the same time in another part of town,  Gannett Newspapers decided to put together a stellar list of entertainers to perform over radio stations WGY and WHAM, to be broadcast to “Little America” for the enjoyment of Commander Richard E. Byrd, an America Naval Officer, and his explorers, who had set up the “Little America” base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf.  Radio remained a primitive and exciting medium in 1929, and when the stations contacted Little America directly and spoke with Byrd or Hanson, it caused a worldwide sensation. They chose Eddie to be added to the broadcast to perform his “Sending a Wire” skit.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle said: “The whole town is talking about Eddie Green, prime colored comic, who will put on one of the funniest skits on the stage”. The “whole town” (New York) was talking about my father!! He was Big Time! Of course the radio people wanted him. He was Hot!! The “stellar” cast in this radio show also included: Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rudy Vallee one of the first modern pop stars and Ted Healy, the creator of the Three Stooges.

Eddie had to perform in both of these venues on the same night. Problem was he had to be on stage at the Hudson at almost the same time the radio broadcast would begin. This was a predicament. In his words this is what happened: “The Police Department solved the problem by giving me a motorcycle escort from the theater to the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) studio”. He said that they went up Broadway on the wrong side of the street with the police sirens screaming. Can’t you just picture it? The police escorting Eddie through traffic trying not to hit the theater crowd, zigging and zagging!! Just to get him on that radio program so Commander Byrd could laugh his head off and forget about the cold in Antarctica!! I salute the New York Police Department!

Broadway about 1926-1929

Eddie was Hot!! They had to have him! If he were alive today he’d be on Ellen, Oprah, Steve, National Public Radio (NPR), Twitter, Internet. Because he was one of the best comedians of his time. THAT is how Eddie got into radio.

Hey, thanks for stopping by.





When questioned about his recipe for success, my father Eddie Green said the best recipe that he has for success, is to find what you like to do and do it the best you know how.

I decided to write a biography of my father. Once I got into the process of researching this gentleman who died when I was three years old, I found that I liked doing the research. I have the patience needed for this type of project, of course, I have an interest in the subject, and as time went on the information I discovered gave me the impetus to keep searching. I was amazed at how much my father had accomplished in his lifetime that I never knew about. I began to like what I was doing. The book writing idea began back in about 1998, but the serious work began in 2010. I like it and I have done it the best I know how. This week I am signing a contract with a publisher. The very publisher I had planned to contact when I was ready (meaning when I got over being afraid of certain rejection).

I have a PUBLISHER. The cover photo is on my previous post and the title is: Eddie Green – The Rise of an Early 1900s African-American Pioneer.

And just in case here is another picture of Eddie:(Hopefully, WordPress places it here)


Eddie is the little short dude standing next to Mr. Ed Gardner, his boss in the Duffy’s Tavern 1945 movie. I have to point out here, that Eddie and Ed became good friends and I have had the pleasure of being in contact with Ed Gardner’s son.

This week I am addressing the proofreading “those wonderful people out there” did for me, and beginning my photo scanning.

I am now in a new phase of my book writing project and I will continue to post about it here because, after all, this is why I bought this, my very first laptop. I wanted this blog to be an inspiration to others. I believe it has been judging by my friendly followers. So, stay tuned for more good news!

And Thanks! For stopping by.









 You’ve Screamed at Him on Duffy’s Tavern In Person – EDDIE GREEN!


This headline was from an article in 1945.  Eddie was scheduled to appear at the Orpheum Theater, in Los Angeles, on May 1st, along with The King Cole Trio, and, Johnny Otis and his Orchestra.

In case you are new to my blog, Eddie, my father, is the Black gentleman with the big smile on his face, in the above photo.  Kinda like my smile.  The gentleman in the hat, is Mr. Ed Gardner, creator of Duffy’s Tavern, the gentleman next to him is Charles Cantor and the lady is Florence Halop.

In the seven years prior to 1945, Eddie had owned two barbeque restaurants in New York (specializing in southern bar-bee-Q), he had made four of his own movies, and, he was on The Executive Board of the Negro Actors Guild of America, Noble Sissle, President, along with Mrs. Noble Sissle, and W. C. Handy.


images (8)
Ben Bernie, 1938 Google Advanced Image Search

Eddie had also appeared on  the Ben Bernie Music Quiz radio program.  Ben Bernie was a jazz violinist, and a bandleader as well as a radio personality, who was born in 1891 (like Eddie.)  He originated the term “yowsa, yowsah, yowsah,” that became a national catchphrase, and which was used in the movie, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?


I thought They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, was very “deep” when I saw it, a movie about  a depression era dance marathon, with contestants desperate to win. I mean, these people stayed on their poor feet a long time.   Now, I am writing a book, years later,  about my father appearing on a radio program starring a man associated with this movie.  It just blows me away.  Small world.

Eddie had appeared on many radio programs, including a radio special titled, “All God’s Children,” with Paul Robeson. Eddie was even a guest on The Jell-O Program, starring Jack Benny.  In the following episode titled “Columbus Day,” (cause it was), Jack is talking on the phone to Rochester who needs $50 dollars to pay off some debts and he sends his friend, Columbus Smith (played by Eddie), to pick up the money from Jack.

Jack Benny Google Advanced Image Search
Knock, knock, knock.
BENNY:  Come in.
COLUMBUS:  Excuse me for intruding, Mr. Benny, but I got a note for you.
BENNY:  I’m sorry, I’m busy right now, come back later.
COLUMBUS:  I would advise you to take a quick gander at this communique.
BENNY: All right, what’s the note, what does it say?
COLUMBUS:  I’m only a carrier pigeon, we ain’t much on reading.
BENNY:  Oh, ok, let’s have it.
MARY LIVINGSTONE:  Who’s it from, Jack
BENNY:  It’s from, Rochester.  Listen to this, dear boss, please give bearer, Mr. Columbus Smith – Columbus?
COLUMBUS:  Yea, that’s me.
MARY (to Columbus):  Happy Anniversary.
Loud laughter from the audience.

Eddie would find his greatest fame, however, through the popular radio show, Duffy’s Tavern. 

The show aired March 1, 1941. Once a week, Duffy’s Tavern entertained America’s citizen with the antics of Archie, the bartender, played by Ed Gardner, the creator of the show,  Eddie, the waiter played by my father Eddie Green, and the tavern regulars, Finnegan, played by Charles Cantor, and Miss Duffy, (the tavern owner’s daughter), played by Shirley Booth. Duffy of Duffy’s Tavern was never seen or heard, but the show would start off with Archie having a telephone conversation with his “boss”, Duffy.  The phone would ring, and Archie would answer:  “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, where the elite meet to eat, Duffy ain’t here, Archie speaking, oh, hello, Duffy.”  Usually, the show featured a different celebrity guest each week.
Archie, the bartender, tended to misuse the English language and Eddie would usually call subtle attention to this fact:
EDDIE:  Mr. Archie, what happened to the sign?
ARCHIE:  What sign, Eddie.
EDDIE:  The “watch your hats and coats” sign.
ARCHIE:  There it is, only I rephrased the words so Clifton Fadiman would feel more at home here.  Read it.
EDDIE:  Maintain scrutiny of thy chapeaus and hats, umm, nice and confusing, ain’t it?
ARCHIE:  Yes, isn’t it?  It’s a quotation from Shakespeare.  Did you ever see any of Shakespeare’s
plays, Eddie?
EDDIE:  One, As You Like It.
ARCHIE:  Well?
EDDIE:  I didn’t like it.
Eddie would appear in every episode until his death in 1950, as well as appearing in the same role in the 1945 movie.
After Eddie got the role in Duffy’s Tavern, he was able to fulfill another dream of his, The Pittsburgh Courier reported “Eddie Green, comedian of radio and stage fame has opened a dramatic training school with services and classes for both amateurs and professionals.  The School is called Sepia Artists.”
Thank you for coming today.  I hope these stories of my father and his ambitions inspire you to go after your dreams, no matter how unattainable they may seem.


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.


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.