Love is Inclusive

View of the crowds outside the Lafayette Theater, in Harlem, gathered for a performance by Johnny Hudgins and the Cotton Club Band, New York, 1920s. (Photo by E. Elcha Collection/Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

Hi there. When I started this blog at the end of 2014 it was to provide a platform for myself as an author. I was writing my first book. A book about my father, Eddie Green. I have since written the book, had it published and even won an award. As Eddie died when I was 3 years old, researching the book allowed me to become acquainted with him and his life in entertainment. What I have learned is that the writing of the book did not mean that I had all of Eddie’s story.

Once people read the book they started sending me new information about Eddie. At library presentations people came up and told me stories about Eddie. I’ve been introduced to people in the magic entertainment venue because Eddie started out as a magician, and I’ve learned more new stuff. So, I started researching again. In the book I mentioned that Eddie wrote and staged a play titled Playing The Numbers. Just a couple of lines because that was all the information I had. Two weeks ago while reading an old 1920s magazine article I discovered how Eddie was presented with this opportunity.

According to the article, Frank Schiffman, general manager at the time, of the Lafayette Theater, New York, decided to remodel. On June 4, 1925 the theater hardly knew itself when the doors were thrown open for the opening. A new carpet was laid In the lobby. The entire front was scoured, revealing forgotten beauties In the exterior. A new electric lobby display was installed, new flooring was laid on the stage and the Interior repainted. A brand new pipe organ was also installed.

It was decided that Inasmuch as the management was so closely associated with the Apollo Theater which had been so successfully  operating for the past year, it was rather natural that a similar policy, somewhat modified, should be given a trial. Therefore Eddie Green who had been an Important comedian in the Apollo cast was commissioned to organize a miniature stock company that each week will present a IS-minute performance that will consist of mutual numbers and burlesque comedy bits. The bits, however, would be revised by Eddie to conform to the special requirements of the neighborhood. the Lafayette Theater reopened Thursday, June 4, with a program of continuous motion pictures and vaudeville.*

LAFAYETTF THEATRE
7th Ave. At 132nd-St.
Thur. Fri. Sat. Sun. JUNE 4-5-6,7
WM. de MILLE’S (Cecil’s brother, btw) MEN and WOMEN Produced by Paramount AND A Big Vaudeville Bill Including PLAYING THE NUMBERS Written and Staged by EDDIE GREEN With Henrietta Lovelace, Grace Smith, Eugene Pugh, Lorenzo McLane and a Chorus of CREOLE VAMPS Matinees 15c & 25c Eves. 25c, 35cf 50c
Midnight Show Every Friday Performances continuous I p.m. to 12 midnight
THE MOST ELEGANT THEATRE IN HARLEM CATERING TO THE BEST COLORED PATRONAGE

So now I know a bit more of the particulars. Frank Schiffman was also the man who fell in love with Eddie’s first movie Dress Rehearsal and made a deal to debut the movie at the Apollo Theater in April of 1939.

I have also learned a bit more about the star of the vaudeville bit, Henrietta Lovelace (sometimes spelled Loveless). I have really had to dig to get information on this lady. Unfortunately, pulling up Black entertainers names from the early 1900s from the internet is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. However, I did find this in the New York Age:

“HENRIETTA LOVELESS Of Washington, D. C, who went to New York with Irvin Miller’s Blue Moon early this season, is now on tour with Chappelle and Stinette’s Kentucky Sue. They played the Grand Theater in Chicago last week. Miss Loveless graduated from Fisk University in 1921 and studied music and voice culture under Mrs. J. A. Robinson, an Oberlin graduate. She is the wife of Lorenzo McLane, noted comedian, of Montgomery, Ala.”

Then there is this: 1924 Elmore Theater “In McLane and Loveless you will see the greatest musical comedy team that has been played in Dixie. Their comedy is clean and of the highest grade; their songs are snappy and the latest numbers. To hear Henrietta Loveless sing “Mammy Loves Her Child,” will knock one cold”, says J. A. Jackson in the Billboard; and this one: Jack’s Cabaret, on Congress St., officially opened for the summer Saturday night, beginning its 20th year as a local entertainment place. Miss Henrietta Loveless, who sings in the Sophie Tucker style, leads this year’s floor show.

Henrietta Loveless was born on August 26, 1903 in Polk County, Georgia, USA. She was an actress, known for Murder in Harlem (1935) and The Spider’s Web (1927), an Oscar Micheaux film. She died in 1934. Just before she passed away she was the star of the newest Broadway hit Swing Out The News. It was said that “the vehicle gives vent to all that it’s name implies—satire and burlesque on all present day affairs, especially The New Deal Administration. It’s swift gay, exhilarating. crisp and modern in every way. Rex Ingram, and Henrietta Loveless, playing the father and mother of Franklin D. Roosevelt Tones, the Harlem new-born son, on relief under the F. D. R. New Deal Program really steal the show.”

The play itself was supposed to celebrate the fact that there was a change a’comin for the poor and destitute of the country. And the New Deal programs did indeed put millions of Americans immediately back to work or at least helped them to survive, but thousands of blacks were thrown out of work and replaced by whites on jobs where they were paid less than the NRA’s wage minimums because some white employers considered the NRA’s minimum wage “too much money for Negroes”. However, since Blacks felt the sting of the depression’s wrath even more severely than Whites they welcomed any help. (Wikipedia) So I am going to continue to “lift” Black entertainers who persevered but seem to have been erased from history.

My father worked his butt off in order to bring himself out of the poverty into which he was born. He was talented and “a regular guy”. He got along with people. Even though he lived in one of the most dangerous periods of American history for a Black person.

And, of course, I am going to mention the White people who have been instrumental in helping their Black fellows progress. My father was a ham operator and he spoke to people all over the world. I love that!!!

Thanx, for stopping by!!

*Radio Daily, 1925

Eddie Green, The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Legendary, and Famous, Eddie Green

Well, it’s been two years since I published the biography on my father, Eddie Green. During the research period I searched and searched for a physical copy of this movie “What Goes Up“. Eddie wrote it, produced it, directed it and starred in it. The movie was made in Palisades, New Jersey in 1941. I am hoping to find it because, of course, it’s my father’s second movie and also because there is a member of the cast of this movie who has just celebrated her 101 years old birthday and she would love to see the movie one more time. She saw it when it first premiered in 1941 at the Apollo Theater in New York, of course, she and her mother. But not since then.

Last week I FINALLY found mention of the movie being shown at a theater in New York:

PLAZA
WILLIAM AT MONROE – Valerie Hobson THE SEA” Russell Hayden “RIDERS OF THE NORTHLAND” Serial, “OVERLAND MAIL”. Chapter 2
Also Eddie Green, Famous Colored Radio Star, in Featurette, “What Goes UpBuffalo NY Courier Express 1941

The Plaza was located near William and Monroe streets. 42 East 58th St. I believe this is in New York as the ad was in a New York newspaper. The ad itself is located way down in the bottom right hand corner of the newspaper. If you were not looking for it specifically, you probably would have missed it. Of course, sixty years later there is now a restaurant at that location. Still just the fact that I found mention of my father’s second movie being shown to an audience is FANTASTIC. And did you notice? The ad says he was “Famous”.

The fact that I have met so many people who are willing to take time out of their lives to participate in finding information about Eddie and getting that info to me is a great impetus for me to continue researching my father’s life. I was actually looking for news about the fact that Eddie was a magician before he became a comedian and a songwriter and a Old Time Radio star and a movie star. I may have to write a whole ‘nother book!!!

Thanks so much, for stopping by.

Book: Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer

 

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. 🙂

 

Eddie Green-A Well Thought-of Man

When I began writing the biography on my father, Eddie Green, I wanted to use a quote from Langston Hughes in the foreword but had to forget that idea as I could not get permission. I can, however, use a portion of an article Mr. Hughes wrote which mentioned my father. James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s.

 

 

In the Hughes article (not the one pictured here) he was writing about “sympathetic outlets to new Negro playwrights”. He wanted to stimulate growth of a real Negro theater. He believed that while White playwrights could be skilled or sincere they could not catch “the little graduation that give a negro life its drama.” He links the comedy stage thus: “Perhaps comedy is the pitfall of the theater. Exaggeration of racial types the overstressing of eccentricities of regional speech frequently dominate comedy especially in music halls”. He goes on to say, “Nevertheless just as out of serious plays has come a Robeson, so from the minstral vaudeville musical stage have come some very talented Negro comedians, Bert Williams, Pigmeat, Jackie Mabley, Eddie Green.” (New York Age May, 1953). Notice in the article to the left Eddie, Jackie, and Pigmeat are all listed as appearing with the sixteen Apollo Rockettes back in the early 1900s.

Here is a compilation of some of the scenes from Eddie’s movies in 1939. In a 1940 Baltimore article written by Lillian Johnson she headed the article with: As a Comedian, He’s Very Funny; As a Business Man, He’s Very Sensible and Comedy is a Business. Lillian said “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.”

Now that the book has been written and published I am learning who my audience is (?). Old time movie buffs, old time radio lovers, musicians, people from Baltimore (Eddie was born there, they love their history), history buffs, young people who love nostalgia, people who loved Eddie and who are so happy I wrote the book, people in the UK, people who love the blues (Eddie was a composer), people who like inspirational stories. But I am having difficulty attracting younger people, especially Blacks. Langston Hughes had this problem at one time. According to Wikipedia: “Hughes’ popularity among the younger generation of black writers varied even as his reputation increased worldwide. With the gradual advancement toward racial integration, many black writers considered his writings of black pride and its corresponding subject matter out of date.” And a lot of younger Blacks today (as young as 50 like my brother) consider Eddie’s era waaay out of date. Never mind the fact that he was successful, highly thought of, and funny.

So, these days I am searching for a way to get people to take notice of Eddie’s work ethic, his love of people and his pride as a Black man in order to promote the idea that those successful Blacks who came before us, even though they seem outmoded, added to and continue, through us, to add positive vibes to the Universe that elicit messages like this: LOVE YOUR FATHER’S WORK. HE REALLY MOVED ME WHEN I WAS ROCK BOTTOM God Bless.

Love it.

Thanx, for stopping by. Spread the love

Please “Like” this page: https://www.facebook.com/elvagreenbookpage/

 

 

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.

 

 

Eddie Green and Baltimore, 2 Greats

importfromphonejuly 135    importfromphonejuly 138

The two pictures posted here today have brought me much joy recently. The head and shoulders shot is my father Eddie Green with his Amateur Short-wave Radio Operator pin on his lapel, circa 1940, and the other is a still from a Warner Bros. 1929 Vitaphone film titled “Sending a Wire”. That’s Eddie as a customer trying to send a telegram. The headshot is located at the New York Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in the Eddie Green Photo Collection. I got the still from The Vitaphone Project where the employees are endeavoring to preserve old Warner Bros. films.

Eddie was born in Baltimore in 1891. So a few days ago I posted these photos on a Baltimore Old Photos website group. I have been blown away by the response I have received from Baltimore residents. As I type this I have received over 600 replies (likes, comments, reactions) and they are still coming in. Of course I have responded to each comment so I’ve been reluctant to leave my computer because I want to answer immediately. So far placing these photos in the Baltimore site had nothing to do with the biography I have written on my father. The people who are reacting to these pictures are simply people who love their city. They love their city history. Judging by the faces on their posts (I guess they are avatars) these are young people, middle age, older folks, and different ethnicities. To me this is a proud community.

I absolutely do not like to fly but it looks like I am going to have to visit my father’s birthplace. I would love to experience the atmosphere. There has got to be a lot of love in that city. I posted a blurb from my book that said Eddie Green was “a feather in the hat of East Baltimore” according to the local newspaper from 1925. Wait until they get the word that I have written a book about him. From the comments I have received Baltimoreans will be happy to learn more about one of theirs.

I am trying not to get too excited here because life is about ups and downs, but I am having so much fun. Since I started this blog however the process has been up all the way.  I’ve written my book, had it published, and gained followers and friends.  Because of my desire to see my father’s story brought back to the fore of people’s minds in order that they might see an example of reaching one’s goals no matter how many obstacles there are, and because Life has shown me that this is what is supposed to happen, I feel this path I am on is only going to bring me and others more happiness. How it will bring happiness to others is that people who visit my site can be encouraged to pursue their dreams and they will feel fulfilled in doing so.

I love this!

Thanx, for stopping by. And please KCB.

 

 

 

 

ANTICIPATION

eddieinoffice
Eddie and his secretary signing talent

 

Hi. So I have posted a picture of my father, Eddie in his office back in 1939 greeting young ladies who showed up for a chance to appear in one of his movies, produced by his Sepia Art Pictures Company movie studio. Eddie’s office was located on 7th Avenue in New York, which is where a good part of his career took place. He spent some time in Hollywood during 1936-38 appearing on various radio programs, but he did not have a home in California until 1945. Sepia Art Pictures had gone out of business by 1945, but that did not mean his movie making days were over.

Eddie was signed on to play “Eddie, the waiter” in a new radio program titled Duffy’s Tavern in 1941, and when Paramount decided to produce a movie version of the radio program in 1945, Eddie was signed for the role in the movie. Eddie’s movie making money had run out, but I do believe financial difficulties took a turn because he married my mom in 1945, bought his house in Los Angeles and started a new movie/television studio on Western Avenue in 1946.

Today I decided to make this a short post about Eddie because I want to write about me and my book writing journey.  I have a writer friend who is well versed in the etiquette of book writing. Meaning this friend has offered to help make sure I have not printed material that might show someone in a bad light. So my friend is reading my book. The book about my father is the first book I have ever written so I take all the help I can get. But……..the waiting is difficult. Even though I am perfectly aware of the time frame called for. My book is approximately 48,000 words in length. And people have other things to do. My friend has a family, a job, book signings. I am blessed to have this help. I am sharing this because maybe someone else is having the same issue. Learning how to wait with anticipation.

I was reminded today of the last opera I saw with my mom. It was Madama Butterfly. In one scene Madam Butterfly is waiting for her love to come back from the sea. She sits on the floor and waits.waiting 3And waits. And waits. Pretty soon some of the people in the audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion start getting a little fidgety. Madame Butterfly hasn’t moved. She’s waiting. After a while we, the audience, begin to understand that we have been invited to participate in order to understand how long Madama Butterfly waited for this man. We were waiting too. By the time her wait was over I had begun to question whether the producer of this play was a genius or a nut for making the audience wait so long. And when I thought of this today while I was standing on the bus stop, I laughed out loud. Which relieved some of the pressure that had begun to build up in me.

After all, judging by the past few years of this endeavor, everything I have needed I have received. I have no complaints. My grandson told me to remember, that no matter how things turn out, to remember that I said I was going to write a book and I did. I just need to sit back, relax and be prepared for the next phase of marketing this bad boy. Thank you, Jeremy.

Hey, thanks, for stopping by.

My Brother Was Right!

jay-z-holiday-charity (2)
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.

importfromphonejuly 132

“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 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:

39negr

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.