ONLY IN A DREAM

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Time flies when you’re on a mission.

For the past week or so, my mission has been to get permission to use certain photos in the book I am writing, order the photos, re-read the book before I send it out for copy editing, and looking for a copy editor.  And for some reason, it seems like these things have to be done right away.  Which they don’t. I am not working on a schedule.  I don’t have a contract that says 4 books in 4 weeks.  I don’t HAVE a contract.  I started this project because I had a goal.  To bring my father, Eddie Green, out of obscurity to highlight his achievements as a Black man in the early 1900s, and to put the information in book form for my grandson.  Which is what I have done and what I am doing. I shared in an earlier post that, I look forward to my day because I can see the goal, and I am working towards that goal.  I am on track.  I need to remember that.

As I get closer to my book being a finished product, I realized that I have put next to nothing in this blog about my mother, Norma, Eddie’s fourth, I think, wife.  I have a chapter in the book on her, so I will just take from that for this post.

My mom, Norma, was born on November 17, 1923,  Her mother, Sinclaire was a very light skinned Black woman who chose to live as something other than Black, so by the time my mom entered school, Sinclaire was listing herself as Spanish on my mom’s school records.  My mom was born Norma Murcock, but by age sixteen, Sinclaire had remarried and mom’s last name became Amato. Norma began singing, violin and piano lessons very young, and began performing for audiences when she was seven, usually at the Second Baptist Church, or at the Murdock Music Arts Association, and as she got older, she would sing at weddings at the Wilfandel Club in the Historic Adams District in Los Angeles.

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Norma Amato, about 17

When mom was 18, an article appeared in a Los Angeles newspaper which helped me verify my mother’s heritage.  Here is a portion of the article:  “An assistant highway surveying engineer in the business world, Norma Amato, who sings fluently in Italian, French and Spanish, will render a selection. Norma Anne Amato, 18 years old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Guiseppe (Joseph) Amato, who majored in music and graduated from St. Cecilia and Romona Convents was the young lyric soprano soloist featured by the Daughters of the American Revolution at their National Convention banquet in Los Angeles.”  Mom was studying to be an opera singer.

As time went on, Norma would appear in more articles:   “Miss Norma Amato is the protégé of Miss McDaniel of Gone with the Wind fame.”  The group picture here is Norma, Eddie, Louise Beavers, Miss Beaver’s dad, Hattie McDaniel and an unidentified woman,

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In 1944 The California Eagle, printed this glowing tip: “Tip to Talent Scouts: Keep your ears on Norma Amato’s delightful thrushing. She has the kind of voice you hear only in a dream.”  imagesT553SX8Y

“Only in a dream.”  This was the path on which mom was working.

On November 17, 1944, Norma became 21 years old. At the time, she was still living with her mother, Sinclaire.  One year later, she was married to Eddie.

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I am realizing a dream in real time.  Something anybody can do.

Thanks, for stopping by.

HOOKUPS

 

Times Square 1935
Times Square 1935

 

 

EDDIE GREEN SIGNED FOR NBC HOOKUP

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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.