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Eddie Green Biography Named 2016 Foreword INDIES Finalist

‘Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer’ about legendary Black composer, actor, and filmmaker is recognized by independent publishing book award
Eddie Green
Eddie Green
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ALBANY, Ga.March 29, 2017 — BearManor Media is pleased to announce that Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer by Elva Diane Green is a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards finalist in the Biography (Adult Nonfiction) and Performing Arts & Music (Adult Nonfiction) categories.

Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer by daughter Elva Diane Green tells the rags-to-riches story of Green’s determination to rise above and triumph against all odds to become a pioneering Black filmmaker, and renowned songwriter, composer, radio icon, and movie actor.

“As soon as I heard [Elva] was working on this book, I sought her out to be her publisher,” said Ben Ohmart, President of BearManor Media. “It’s an important story that deserves telling, and I was determined to be a part of that.”

In an era when Black entertainers struggled to gain a foothold in show business, Eddie Green rose from poverty to prominence. Green wrote Roaring Twenties blues standard “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which was recorded by Sophie Tucker, Bessie Smith, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, and many others; starred in multiple Vitaphone short films and in 1939 Broadway musical The Hot Mikado; headlined at The Apollo; appeared memorably in two of America’s most popular long-running radio series, Amos ‘n’ Andy and Duffy’s Tavern, and rivaled Oscar Micheaux for honors as a pioneering Black filmmaker.

Talent and desire propelled Eddie on stage, over the air, and into films with Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Hattie McDaniel, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and James Baskette (Uncle Remus in Walt Disney’s Song of the South), Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, and Louise Beavers.

Foreword INDIES winners will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer ($31.95, 204 pages, 6″ x 9″, hardcover, ISBN:  978-1593939670 / $21.95, 204 pages, 6″ x 9″, paperback, ISBN: 978-1593939663) is available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BearManor Media.

Elva Diane Green is the daughter and biographer of Black filmmaking pioneer and legendary songwriter and composer Eddie Green. She wrote Eddie Green: The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer to prove to her grandson that a person can succeed no matter the obstacles. Elva currently resides in Los Angeles.

BearManor Media is the award-winning and Pulitzer-nominated press publishes cutting-edge entertainment books, audio books, e-books, CDs, and DVDs on movies, television, radio, theater, animation, and more. Founded in 2001 by Publisher Ben Ohmart, the BearManor Media catalog now features more than 900 outstanding subjects from the obscure to the eminent.

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A REAL LAUGH RIOT

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Otay.  Comes Midnight is the third picture my father made.  It is a story about two men (played by Eddie and Jimmie Baskette) who will receive $100 if they stay in Old Man Mose’s deserted house overnight in order to dig up his body and get the gold that has been placed under his body, and return it to the rightful owner.

It’s got really corny jokes in it such as:  1st person:  You know, old man Mose had a million dollars in gold ore.  2nd person:  Gold or what?

Supposedly, Eddie filmed this movie in a real haunted house in New Jersey.  The older residents of the neighborhood said they had heard weird groans and had seen a pale face pressed against the window.  One of the original cast members bowed out because he was too afraid to enter the house.

The movie had a great cast, though.

imagesK6TQ86AOJimmie Baskette, who you might remember as “Uncle Remus” or the man who sang “Zip A Dee Doo Da”.

imagesC02DE8VNAnd Amanda Randolph.  She was the first African-American performer to star in a regularly scheduled network television show, appearing in DuMont’s The Laytons.  Miss Randolph also   starred in “Beulah” in 1953.   She also appeared in 71 episodes of “Make Room for Daddy” with Danny Thomas. (Anybody out there remember at least one of these shows?)  I found the following information on the net, and it kind of upsets me:  Amanda Randolph appeared in a few Oscar Micheaux films.  The reason I get upset is also one of the reasons I am writing a book about my father.  Eddie made movies with the current  stars of his day, the same stars who appeared in Micheaux films and films produced by Whites, yet as far as the media goes, it is as though Eddie and his work with these actors has simply dropped through the floor.  I am a champion for my father.

The movie was a short, only twenty-one minutes, but it was a “real laugh-riot.”

Eddie, “Harlem’s favorite Hollywood comedian”  was quoted as saying this about his movie making skills:

“The first thing I try for,” he said, “is naturalness.  I write my own stories, building them around some incident that has been interesting, but not offensive.  Then I select the actors that I think are best suited to the parts, so that they need only be themselves.”

untitled (17)The movie had its first showing at the Brooklyn Apollo Theater at 1531 Fulton Avenue. The theater closed in 1965.

On Tuesday afternoon of July 30, 1940, if anyone was looking for a good short movie, according to the Television column, of The New York Sun, you could catch “Comes Midnight” at 3:55 p.m. that afternoon, right after the 3:48 p.m. film “Tour of the World’s Fair.”

Just before Eddie started making “Comes Midnight”, he went to Hollywood from New York to audition for the part of “Pork” in Gone With the Wind. He did not get the part, but, hey, nothing beats a failure but a try, right?

The update on my first try at writing a book is that I now have a 48,061 word manuscript, including title sheet, TOC, dedication, introduction, appendices and bibliography.  I’m done, basically, I know I am.  I am sending it piecemeal to my brother, who is helping me with editing, and, of course I am proofing also.  I will be looking for a “real” editor any day now.

I am still having fun.  And I thank you effusively for stopping by and hanging in.

HOOKUPS

 

Times Square 1935
Times Square 1935

 

 

EDDIE GREEN SIGNED FOR NBC HOOKUP

Eddie Green-Getty Image

NEW YORK

Billed on Broadway and elsewhere as an ace black-face comedian, Eddie Green has been signed for twenty-six weeks to co-feature on a bill with Ernest Whitman and Charles Winnenger.  The program will be aired every Sunday from 10 o’clock to 11:00 over WEAF NBC national hookup.  Nothing new to EG who worked several seasons very successfully with Rudy V., in fact so successfully he was returned 3 times by popular demand.  Leaving the Vallee hour a year ago, he worked through a long term contract engagement at the Apollo, where with his original style of getting laughs won an uncountable following.  June 22, 1935, Pittsburgh Courier.

The program for which Eddie was signed was “Uncle Charlie’s Tent Show”.  Charles Winninger was “Uncle Charley”.   Charles Winnenger  (May 26, 1884-January 27, 1969), was a stage and film actor, who began in Vaudeville, and became known for his role in a Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II musical “Show Boat” in 1927, 1932 and in film in 1936.  Mr. Winninger would go on to appear in over 20 films.

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Each Sunday night Uncle

Charley’s Tent Show parades into your loudspeaker

amid a blare of parade revelry as the performers meander down

the streets of a designated city and come to a

stop in front of the canvas top which houses their act.

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 Two of those performers were Eddie Green and Ernest Whitman, who were cast as Sam and Jerry,  were the  only Negro comedians on a network , according to the August 3, 1935 issue of Radio Guide magazine.

Eddie Green, (left), my father, was at this time, a stage and radio performer, who had performed in Vaudeville,  and Ernest Whitman (February 21, 1893-August 5, 1954), was a stage and screen actor who had appeared in a number of films, including “Green Pastures”, “, Gone With The Wind”, Stormy Weather and “The Lost Weekend”.

Eddie and Ernest would team up later and record  a song together, and Eddie also went on to Hollywood to join the cast of the Showboat Radio program, starring Charles Winnenger as  (Cap’n Henry), see above picture.

It was on the “Show Boat” radio program that my father and Hattie McDaniel (first Black female Oscar winner, for her role in the movie “Gone With The Wind”), performed the comedy skit, “Ulysses and the Siren”, which was a poem, written by Samuel Daniel 1562-1619 (who knew?).

Here is a picture of two versions of “Ulysses and the Siren”.

ulysees and the

Neither one the these pictures look anything like Eddie and Hattie.  Of course, looks don’t really matter when you are broadcasting over the radio, do they?  Hattie actually went on to be cast in the 1936 film version of “Showboat”.

These people worked together and I believe they looked out for each other.  During the 30s times were hard for everybody, but the entertainment industry was there to provide a bit of relief.  Radio was going strong.

Of course, there is always somebody with a different opinion.  One was a writer with the Knickerbocker News.  I found this article but I have not been able to print it all because the type just won’t act right, but she started out by saying “What that Eddie Green is doing in radio I don’t know.  I still can’t see his type of comedy.”  Good thing she was not in the majority.  Anyhow, they say even bad publicity is good, cause it means people are talking about you, you are causing a stir, people are noticing you.  In Eddie’s case it was a good thing.  Find what you do best and go out there and get noticed.  Have fun and spread the love.

I have a picture of Eddie and Hattie, after she won her Oscar.eddieandhattieFor those of you who don’t know, Hattie is the fifth person from the left, and Eddie is the second man from the left.  My mom is here also, first lady on the left.  She told me she could not remember whose house they were in at the time, but it was definitely in Los Angeles.  Thanx for stopping by.