Laughter, Love and Respect

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In 1936 my father had been in show business for nineteen years. He was forty-five years old. He had done so well that one newspaper wrote: This brings up the subject of Eddie Green, the fine comedian who appears occasionally on the Rudy Vallee hour. Eddie who specializes in burlesques of famous plays and men of history, is one of the few people of color ever to win such radio recognition as a comic.

By 1937 Eddie was appearing on a radio program with Louis Armstrong which was announced in a local New York newspaper: Standard Brands Inc. (Fleischmann Yeast) through J . Walter Thompson Co. yesterday announced the full talent line-up of its all-negro show which will make its debut over 30 NBC-Blue network stations, April 9 at 9-9: 30 p.m. Eddie Green and Gee Gee James, a comedy team, with Louis Armstrong and his orchestra will be the regular talent.

In 1938 the papers reported: Eddie Green, well known Black comedian of the stage and screen, with a long line of appearances to his credit, jumped into screen favor last week when he was given a screen test for the role of ‘Pork’ in the 20th Century Fox production of Gone With The Wind.

In the 1939-1940 Eddie was making, writing, directing, producing and starring in his own movies. (Back then they were called ‘race’ movies, meaning everyone associated with the movie was Black, at least that is what it meant to Eddie.) The Eddie’s Laugh Jamboree poster was from 1947, but the movies were made earlier.

During the time Eddie came to Hollywood for the screen test he met my mom, Norma. In my last post I showcased Norma, as in Norma Amato Green Beasley Washington. Amato was her maiden name and Green was her first married name. For those who have just found my blog and for all of the newcomers in the Green Beasley Washington families I will just share a bit about Eddie and Norma’s marriage, back in the day. They met at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Los Angeles when mom was about seventeen. They were married in 1945. Mom was twenty-two, Eddie was fifty-four. One article in the paper read:

Eddie Green Takes Bride – LOS ANGELES – Coming as a pleasant surprise to even his closest friends, Eddie Green, former New Yorker and one of the Nation’s top-flight comedians, and a member of “Duffy’s Tavern” radio show eloped with attractive Norma Amato, concert vocalist, last Wednesday.  The couple were married at Yuma, Arizona, where they spent a brief honeymoon before motoring back to Los Angeles.

They were married a little short of five years because Eddie died in September of 1950. Mom married two more times. The book I have written will introduce Eddie to all the members of all the branches of my family who have been born since 1950. My hope is that they can find Eddie’s life story of success relevant today, because as a Black man coming up in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s Eddie’s life is a good example of personal achievement that I hope resonates with anyone, no matter what color,  who thinks because of this or that obstacle they will never be able to fulfill their dream.

One piece of knowledge that Eddie found in regard to dealing with one’s colleagues and achieving success was, “you get respect if you know your business.”

Thank you so much, for stopping by.

 

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It has been eleven days since my last post. Now that I have finished writing the biography of my father’s (Eddie Green) life and signed with a publisher I have been concentrating on the book cover design. Actually, I have been obsessing over it. Morning, noon, and night. Today I went out to the dentist and I was so anxious to get back home to my computer, I forgot to bring home something for dinner. I have been wracking my brain over what pictures to use.

Eddie’s forte was comedy, but he also sang, wrote songs, ran a string of restaurants, owned a movie picture/television station and was a government licensed ham radio operator. In the early 1900s Eddie was what Bob Hope called “a man of all trades, master of fun.” He was present before, during and after the Harlem Renaissance. So there are photos that I can use on the cover page, but in most of them Eddie was either acting silly, as in the picture from his movie “One Round Jones” (1941), or he is making a funny face in character. Anyhow, what I want to use is a picture that showed Eddie as the business man that he was because even as a comedian he was all business.

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EDDIE GREEN IN ONE ROUND JONES

So, I have chosen the only photo that I have – a head shot of Eddie in his usual attire when he wasn’t in character – a sharp suit and a snazzy hat. Back east in the 40s and 50s men wore snazzy hats. Once the design is done, I will post it here. I think I will place small images of one or two of the comedies he made on the cover also.

I have realized recently that when I post to this blog I post as if I am sending my stuff out to the whole world, worrying that if I put too much in the blog who will buy this book? But, hello, silly me, the whole world is not following my blog! I have realized that I think of my blog followers as the whole world which is a good thing. Because that means I am pleased and satisfied with the progress of this endeavor.

Once my book publishes of course, I will be making a serious effort to see that it gets out to as many people as possible.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by.

The Size of Success

eddieandhattieThough this picture is very small, I wanted to lead this post with it because in more ways than one it signifies success. From left to right are my mom Norma, my father Eddie, actress Louise Beavers, Louise Beavers’ father, Academy Award Winner Hattie McDaniel, and unfortunately I have not identified the woman on the far right. This photo was taken about 1939.  Eddie, Ms. Beavers and Ms. McDaniel were role models of success in the entertainment business, especially in the African-American community. My mom had begun to achieve success as an opera singer. My daughter, Melony (a success in more eyes than just mine), loves this picture.

I have realized over the past few days that success for me is finishing the book about my father’s life.  Relatively speaking, it’s a small thing. Thousands of people have written books. But today I actually felt successful. I had the motivation and the ability to search out information and put it down on paper. My skills with a laptop grew along with my need to use a laptop. Every person has the ability to succeed in life, whether it be on a grand scale or on a less than grand scale.

I have learned that success is achieved with the help of others. I never thought that I would receive as much help as I have during this process. From the beginning of my research for my book, through the writing, the proofing, until today, I have received support and encouragement from people I have met along the way.

Of course, it’s not finished yet. I am working on a Book Cover design (with help). And I have to get a picture taken of myself for marketing purposes (which means I need a new outfit, a manicure, hahaha). By the way, the title of the book is: Eddie Green – The Rise of an Early African-American Entertainment Pioneer.

I started my very first blog post back in 2014 with this sentence:  Best-selling author, Dean Koontz said, “I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.” I wanted this blog to help others determine the skills or abilities they possessed. I hoped to be able to help determine what motivates each individual person, and what it means to succeed in life. Hey, if I can do it………..

Thanks, for stopping by.

 

 

 

My Brother Was Right!

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Jay-z holiday charity*

Happy Holidays to everyone!! My brother, Brad Beasley, has told me from the day I started writing a biography on my father, Eddie Green, that Eddie was just like Jay-Z, who is a hard-working man who has made a name for himself as a rapper and as an entrepreneur, and who is married to a gorgeous, talented woman. I put off mention of any similarities, cause I couldn’t figure out how to write a relevant post.  At last I have found what I needed!  A picture of Jay-Z and friends at a holiday charity.

This provided a link that I could work with, because, not only was my father, Eddie, also a hard-working man who made a name for himself as a songwriter, actor and as an entrepreneur, and who was married to a gorgeous, talented woman (my mother), Eddie was also involved in holiday charity work.  Thanks to the research I have done, I just happened to have a newspaper article that covered Eddie’s act of charity on Christmas of 1940.  Following is the article.

As per the New York Age, Saturday, December 21, 1940:  Eddie Green to Play Host to 250 Poor Christmas Eve.

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“Eddie Green will play host to 250 of New York City’s poor on Christmas eve morning. Along with Arthur Oliver, manager, and about a dozen of the girl employees of Eddie Green’s Bar-Bee-Q, they will assemble at the Eighth avenue link of this popular chain of restaurants where they will pack and hand out Christmas baskets containing roasting chicken and all of the fixings that go to make up a good dinner. Tickets for these baskets have been distributed among quite a few responsible persons who in turn are giving them to families that they know to be needy.”

Then and now these two gentlemen had and have the spirit of Christmas. Decades apart, yet similar in outlook. Role models.

I wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you so much for stopping by!

*Jay-Z holiday picture courtesy http://www.fuse.tv and Google Advanced Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m So Excited

th (6)I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!

 

Hi, there!  I have been working diligently on the biography of my father, Eddie Green, for the past couple of weeks, because I am so close to finishing and I want to get the manuscript sent out for proofreading before I send it to a publisher. One year ago I bought my first laptop and started this project. AND THEN, last week, out of the blue, I received a message from a lady whose 90-plus year old Grandmother, whose name is Millicent, had been in one of the movies my father directed, produced and starred in, “What Goes Up.” The movie was made in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1939.

Evidently, Millicent had for years been telling  the younger members of her family about those days, but no one really listened until one family member decided to investigate. She went on line and found my blog (yay!) after typing in Eddie’s name, and now I get to add a bit more information to my book, and I get to share a little of Millicent’s story (she played a chorus girl in the movie) with my readers. This is exactly the type of thing I wanted to happen, though I wasn’t sure it would.

Millicent is the shorter woman in the front in the black dress.  I have had a copy of this photo for a long time, but had no idea who these women were. Now I know one of them.  Millicent and I live in different cities and have never met, but, boy, am I glad her relative found me.  (Laugh Jamboree was a Toddy Pictures production, though the movies, Dress Rehearsal, What Goes Up and Comes Midnight, were Eddie’s.)

Through her granddaughter, Millicent has provided me with more insight into Eddie as an entertainer and as a movie producer than she will ever know.  For instance, she says that Eddie was “all business”.  Well, in a Baltimore Newspaper article from around the same time that Millicent knew Eddie, the headline reads: ” As a Comedian, He’s Very Funny, As a Business Man, He’s Very Sensible and Comedy is a Business.” The article goes on to say “The fact that Eddie is so funny on the screen, stage and radio is due to the highly intelligent and efficient manner in which he conducts his work.”

The other thing about this contact with Millicent, is that, had my mother, Norma, still been alive today, she would have been 92 years old. For those that don’t know Eddie married my mom when he was 54 and mom was 22. So Millicent was a cast member in Eddie’s movie, about the same time Eddie first met my mom.  I love Millicent, I don’t know her, but that’s ok. I have a few more tidbits to share (Millicent was a beauty contest winner), but I will save them for another post.

Being able  to look back and “experience” the past through my book and this blog, brings me so much joy.  I mean, just because its 2015 does not mean past times are inconsequential. Past times, older people,  are extremely important to who we have become today, and well worth the attention, in my opinion.

Thank you, Sharon.

And, thank you, for stopping by.

Lyrics for “I’m So Excited” courtesy of The Pointer Sisters

 

 

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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.

A BIT OF REHASH AND SOMETHING NEW

Eddie Green-Getty Image  Hello there, today I am going to do a short re-cap of this gentleman’s (my father, Eddie Green) story so far, for those who have just tuned in, or may have forgotten my previous posts, or maybe it’s just for myself while I wrap my head around the fact that I must get back into posting mode, from book writing mode.

This month, if Eddie had still been alive he would be 124 years old on August 16th.   Even though I am way past grown, I still sometimes wish Eddie hadn’t died in 1950.  I mean, people do live a long time.  I know there was a French lady who lived until she was 124, and  Jiroemon Kimura became the oldest man in history on December 28, 2012, at the age of 115.  So, Eddie could have lived until 2015, if Life’s plan had been my plan.

Eddie was born in 1891 in East Baltimore in a poor neighborhood.  He left home when he was nine, became a “Boy Magician” to support himself, and by the age of eighteen, in 1909 he married his first wife.

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By 1917, Eddie was living at 1405 Ten Pin Alley and was working at the Standard Theater as a magician, with a little bit of comedy thrown in, and he was also performing handy man chores.

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Standard Theater

That June, Eddie signed up with the draft board for WWI, I don’t know where he may have been stationed or if he stayed at home because by now he and his wife had a child, my step-sister.

005150793_04693 (2)This is a tiny picture of a 2-page draft card,, but notice that a corner has been torn off, which is how the Government kept track of the Black men that were signed up.  The document says:

Name:Edward Green

City:Baltimore

State:Maryland

Birthplace:Maryland,United States of America

Birth Date:16 Aug 1891

Race:African (Black)

Draft Board: 05

By the year 1921, Eddie had dropped his magic act and had gone into comedy on the Vaudeville and Burlesque stage.

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By 1929 Eddie appears in the play “Hot Chocolates” along with Louis Armstrong, and “Fats” Waller, and Eddie also wrote the comedy sketches for “Hot Chocolates”, as listed on this album cover which you can see if you have really good eyesight.

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1939, we find Eddie, as “KoKo”, singing “Tit Willow” in the Mike Todd adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado”, “The Hot Mikado.”

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang “Willow, titwillow, titwillow”
And I said to him, “Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow'”
“Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?” I cried
“Or a rather tough worm in your little inside”
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied
“Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!”

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Eddie is “KoKo”, the little guy with the tall white hat.  He was the Lord High Executioner.  Isn’t he cute?

And now we are at the place I left off with my last post (does that make sense?).

By now, late 1939, Eddie is on his third wife, they are living on 138th Street in New York, and at the beginning of 1940, Eddie wrote, directed, produced and starred in his third film “Comes Midnight”, which, per some reviews, was his best film yet.

61FklgttwBL._SY450_ (2)There are some funny stories about the making of this movie, which I will go into in my next post.

I cannot emphasize enough how much pleasure I am getting from researching my father’s life for a book and for this blog.  I encourage you to consider delving into the history of someone in your family, because what I have found is that I am learning so much more about the people who came before me, who worked hard day and night to foster progress in this country and in this world.   And, I continue to be blown away by new people who come into my life via this blog and who provide me with additional information.   Just people who share the same interests.  My father’s hobby was ham radio.  He would talk to people all over the world and I am beginning to be able to understand his enjoyment of simply connecting with people.

Ok, gotta go.  Thank you, for stopping by.

EDDIE GREEN, MOVIE MOGUL IN PALISADES, NEW JERSEY 1939-40

H3257-L74549107 Hi.  Welcome back to my on-going story about my book-writing adventure.  I have thrown out this, and added in that, and I remembered to place (photo) where photos should be instead of the photos themselves. To some people I have spoken with, this part of book-writing seems tedious, but I love it.

The poster I have placed on this post “What Goes Up”, is from Eddie’s second picture, which he wrote, directed, starred in and produced though his Sepia Art Pictures Company.

“What Goes Up” starred Babe Mathews, Dick Campbell, Ho// ney Boy Johnson, Sydney Easton and Carol Pertlow.

Babe Matthews was a singer, dancer and actress who was very popular in the 1930s.  She also appeared in “Paradise In Harlem”, written by Frank L. Wilson.  There is a Youtube video of Babe Mathews, but I have not been able to find any pictures.

Dick Campbel, a successful performer in his own right, as a theater producer and director, helped launch the careers of several black theater artists, including Ossie Davis.   He was also a co-founder of the Negro People’s Theatre in 1935.

Honey Boy Johnson was an actor who also acted in his own short “At the Mike”.

Sydney Easton was an actor, songwriter, composer and author who also appeared in “Paradise in Harlem.”

Carol Pertlow was a Sepia Art Pictures discovery, who had actually been crowned “Miss Sepia New Jersey” at New York’s Rockland Palace.

Eddie’s films were made at a studio lot in Palisades, New Jersey, while his office was in New York.  While trying to gather information on the studio lot, I learned all about Fort Lee, New Jersey.  Before Hollywood became the movie making capitol, there was Fort Lee.

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In the early days of the American movie industry, the Fort Lee–Coytesville area became New Jersey’s busiest production center. The first permanent film studio built there was the Champion Film Company.  Fort Lee is a borough at the eastern border of Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, in the New York City Metropolitan Area, situated atop the Hudson Palisades.

So, I got caught up in searching for “Sepia Art Pictures Company” in Fort Lee.  What I have found was that today, on-line, I could not find any information about Black-owned film companies in 1939, until I decided to query Oscar Micheaux.

I discovered that in 2008, Fort Lee High School celebrated black history month by showcasing the history of black filmmakers and the borough’s (Fort Lee) extensive role in independent film, and that the borough council were in the works to construct a Fort Lee style “Walk of Fame” celebrating figures like Alice Guy-Blache, the first female filmmaker and Oscar Micheaux, the first major African-American filmmaker, both of whom worked extensively in Fort Lee.

Eddie came along maybe ten years after Oscar’s last full length movie, and since I know his movie studio lot was in Fort Lee (aka Palisades), I am pretty sure Eddie walked in Oscar’s footsteps.  Of course, by the time Eddie got to Palisades, the big studios had moved on to Hollywood.

I found the script for Eddie’s second movie where he has a joke about being late to the set and he is speeding through the Holland Tunnel and gets pulled over by a cop:  The cop says “Didn’t you see me standing in the middle of the street?  And Eddie says “Yea, I saw you and said to myself, that man is going to get runned over standing out there!”

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Money, or the lack thereof, was a big problem for blacks in the movie making business in the early 1900’s.  If you were not a Sennett or a Selznick or affiliated with someone like them. you had a hard row to hoe in trying to make an inroad into the business.  But Eddie was making a pretty good effort at realizing his dream.

Eddie was an independent.  When he worked in his craft on stage, on the radio and on early television, he worked with Whites and Blacks, but when he was making his own movies, he insisted on using only black people in every aspect of getting the movie made, in part so that more Black people could have jobs, and he believed that in order to make movies that appealed to Black people, who better to do it.  At his studio, Eddie had positions for scenario writers, photographers, lighting technicians and costume designers.

Eddie believed that Black people’s movie-making efforts were judged by Hollywood standards, the customary yardstick, which were high, and so, he always made sure he had young actors with fresh and interesting talent.

Thanks for visiting and hanging in with me.   Oh, and so far I have a 46,781 word manuscript, hoping for 50,000, we’ll see.

Thanks, Joe Malvasio 2008 Fort Lee School Project

I AM WRITING FOR POSITIVITY

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Hi there!!  The above picture is me working on the proofing and editing of the first draft of the book about my father, Eddie Green, Star of Stage, Screen and Radio from the 1920s through 1950.

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It’s hard work!  And very time consuming!  And in the process of verifying information, I keep finding new information that just must go in the book!

For instance, I found my father’s 1917 WWI registration card and on the card where it says “Race”, Eddie wrote in “African”.  So I started reading about Africa and how Blacks first came to America and what happened after they got here, and I wound up on a site discussing Billie Holiday and her singing of the song “Strange Fruit.”  So I looked up “Strange Fruit” and found the story of the man who wrote the song.

Mr. Abel Meeropol (February 10, 1903-October 30, 1986), was a writer, teacher and song-writer.  Mr. Meeropol wrote this song after seeing a photo of the hanging of a black man because the photo affected him so profoundly, in regards to the inhumanity of racism.  Billie Holliday received the song through another source and recorded the song and Mr. Meerepool became well-known through this song.

Mr. Meerepol was a man of compassion.  He cared about people.   He was at the house of W. E. B. DuBois one evening and he met the orphaned sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.  Mr. Meerepol and his wife got to know the boys and began to care for them and eventually adopted the boys.  Mr. Meeropol passed away due to complications of pneumonia at a Jewish Nursing Home in Massachusettes when he was 83 years old.

Mr. Meerepol was the type of person I would like to know.  His thought process is what attracts me and somehow ties in with what I have been trying to incorporate into my posts.  That even though there are awful things that happen in the life, there are people who genuinely care about others, no matter what their “color”.   It’s people working together.

Ok, then I was thinking about all the help I have had since I began my book project from people who don’t know me from Adam.  I have received legal help, help with radio scripts, cd’s, free books.  I talk with people in the U.K.  I have been feeling really grateful for the help I have received.  And just wishing the race question could be a little simpler.

So then I start thinking about what to put in my post today.  My last post dealt with Eddie’s first movie in 1939, so I decided to write about the fact that Eddie, while working in the “Hot Mikado”, and contemplating his next movie, was also in charge of “The Miss Sepia Beauty Contest” at the 1939 Worlds Fair.  But when I went on-line to get information, I could find nothing about Miss Sepia or Eddie at the World’s Fair.

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The Perisphere NYWF 1939-40

However, at the New York Public Library there is archived information about:

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All correspondence, speeches, exhibition material, pass and address lists, and financial records  relating to the planning and presentation of “Negro Week” at the New York World’s Fair, 1940, became the property of the growing Schomburg Collection in New York.

“Negro Week” consisted of festivals, exhibitions, song and dance recitals, choral and symphonic music, concerts, religious services, guest speakers and a children’s program.  Noted events during the week included a dramatic sketch of the “Life of Booker T. Washington” performed by the Rose McClendon Players and performances by the Karamu Dancers, Eubie Blake, W. C. Handy, James P. Johnson, Cecil Mack and Philippa Schuyler.  There were speeches by W.E.B. DuBois and L. D. Reddick relating to various aspects of black contributions to American culture.

There was also a beauty contest.  The Pittsburgh Courier printed “South Carolina Beauty Wins
“Miss Sepia America Crown”, with a picture and this blurb under the picture:  ” Helen Lewis, wins first prize honors in nation-wide beauty contest in New York.   The second photo presents “Miss (Sepia) America” and her running mates.   “New York is a great place,” Helen agrees in final photo, as she goes on sight-seeing tour with Eddie Green, master-mind behind contest.”

Back in the day, news about Black endeavors only made it into Black newspapers.  Things have changed.  We, people, make the changes together.

imagesThank you so much for stopping by.

NPR music, E. Blair npr.org 2012

Pittsburgh Courier, 1940

 

 

 

CAMERAS, LIGHTS……..

 

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When trying to write a book and posts for a blog, I forget there are other things to attend to.  Like grocery shopping, washing, visiting friends, calling people, eating three meals a day (ha!).  So every now and then I have to do these things.  When I get back to my laptop, it takes a while for my brain to settle back into the writing process (where was I?, what did I do with my highlighter?), so I waste a few minutes getting back in the groove of writing, and I was wondering today how in the world my father could do everything he did as a comedian, businessman, a director and a writer?  Then I remembered, he had a wife.  I just have me.

Which brings me to an article I found written in 1940, about Eddie, after he had begun his movie making career.  This was a full page article discussing Eddie as a comedian (funny), and as a business man (sensible).  It begins:  “Everybody knows Eddie Green as Koko in the “Hot Mikado”, or as the chief characters in his skit on Christopher Columbus and on Jonah and the Whale, (which he did on the Rudy Valley radio show), but there is another Eddie Green who is akin to these characters, but who is also very different.  That is Eddie Green Himself.”

The article goes on to discuss Eddie’s comedic talent, the fact that he owns and operates two barbecue restaurants in New York,

“Eddie Green’s Bar-Bee-Q 2149 8th (near 116) Specializing in Southern Bar-Bee-Q.
Always Open. Finest South’n hospitality. E. Green, Host.”

and that he is a writer and producer of “what many people believe are the finest films being released about our people.”  This paper was the Baltimore Afro American.   The article includes this quote from Eddie:

“The first thing I try for is naturalness.  I write my own stories, building them around some incident that has been interesting, but not offensive.”

The article mentions, that although Eddie had already released three films, he had no picture scheduled that summer because he was concentrating on a beauty contest at the World’s Fair.

Towards the end of the article, they talk about Eddie’s typical day.  He is up at 8 and off to the office.  At lunch he has coffee with Mrs. Green, at home, or she comes to the office.  If he is broadcasting, he goes to rehearsal, if not, he goes back to his office until dinner, then he goes home to eat.  He likes ham and cabbage which he taught Mrs. Green to cook.  He tinkers with his ham radio, then at 10:00p.m. he goes to check on his restaurants till about 12:00, then goes back home.  Mrs. Green, (the wife before my mom), was an entertainer, but decided to become a stay-at-home wife.  I assume that she did all the shopping, and washing, and cleaning, so Eddie had only to concentrate on his career path, he didn’t have to worry about thing falling apart at home.

In 1939, Eddie began a new venture and opened his own motion picture company:

movie company formed
in harlem
NEW YORK, Aug. 24  With familiar theatrical figure Eddie Green as guiding light, a new motion picture company was formed this week, the “Sepia Arts Pictures Company.”  Los Angeles California Eagle, August 24, 1939

Eddie’s first film was:

courtesy live auctioneers
courtesy live auctioneers

In my ongoing research I have actually seen my father’s original script for this movie.  Remarkable!  Though the script lists the cast members, it is difficult to tell which person was in which movie.  Anywho, “Dress Rehearsal” would have a long run, at theaters and on television, as noted below:

NEW YORK, Dec. 21.—History was made here Saturday
afternoon, Dec. 16, when the National Broadcasting Company picked the Sepia-Art Pictures Company’s featurette,”Dress Rehearsal,” featuring Eddie Green, to broadcast over their television station here in New York City. Not only is “Dress Rehearsal” the ” first ” Negro motion picture ever to be broadcast by television, Mr. Green breaks a precedent by staring in the first film of its kind ever to be sent over the air.  Pittsburgh Courier  12/23/39

AND, at the

Vogue  1905 Columbia
Edw. G. Robinson, “Destroyer”
Eddie Green, “Dress Rehearsal”   Dec 9, 1943

I do not have the rights yet, if ever, to post much information regarding scripts, but I did get a piece of a skit:  Eddie (who is the Director, the Writer and the Star of this featurette) is late getting to the set, so he is speeding and gets stopped by a policeman.  The policeman asks Eddie where he is coming from, Eddie says New Jersey, the policeman says “how did you ever get through the Harlem Tunnel?  Eddie says, “there’s a hole on both ends!”  Ba Dump Bump!

I hope that those reading these posts find inspiration for pursuing their own goals even though they may seem unattainable.  No matter the time period or the climate.  More action coming up!  Thanks for stopping by.