Fame, Friendship, and (Some) Fortune

martingramsblogspot

Hi. To those of you new to this blog, welcome. As this blog is meant to chronical my writing of a book about my father, I have to let you know that in the past 3 years I have written and published my book. You can of course read through prior posts to get an idea of the story, or you can start here. The picture I have posted is from the radio program that brought fame to my father Eddie Green.  Taken in the early 1940s  This is a shot from the radio program Duffy’s Tavern. The gentleman on the left is the creator and star of the show Ed Gardner (who is cast as Archie.) The gentleman on the right is my father, Eddie Green, who is cast opposite Ed as Eddie the waiter.

Duffy’s Tavern was one of the most popular radio programs during the years 1941-1950, after which time the program was switched to television. Eddie was a part of this show from the beginning until 1950 when he passed away. In 1941 when he was signed on to this program, Eddie had written a best selling song in 1917, plus twenty-nine more songs, he had performed on Broadway, owned Bar-b-que restaurants, appeared on television in the first ever RCA/NBC variety test broadcast to the public, worked with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Louis Armstrong and had written, directed, produced and starred in four all-Black cast movies. He was on the rode to fame.

In 1943 Eddie was fifty-one years old, and at the beginning of the year he filed for bankruptcy. He owed the government $445.00. Probably had something to do with the fact that Eddie had used his own money to start his Sepia Art Pictures movie company and  some of his actors had stared accepting roles with the White owned studios who could pay much more than Eddie. And I think a business deal went awry (meaning “a friend” absconded with some money.) You could still hear him on the weekly Duffy’s Tavern radio program and on other radio programs, too.

In 1945 the money started rolling in again when Paramount decided to make a movie version of Duffy’s Tavern using the regular radio crew in the movie. The movie was titled Ed Gardner’s Duffy’s Tavern, directed by Hal Walker, starring a number of Paramount stars such as, Bing Crosby, Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour, Barry Fitzgerald, Veronica Lake and William Bendix, to name a few. Oh, and also Ed Gardner, as Archie, Eddie Green, as Eddie the waiter, and Charles Cantor as Finnegan. The next few years saw Eddie’s continued rise to becoming a popular, beloved comedian.

By writing the biography of my father my hope was to bring his inspiring story out of the dark and into the light of awareness, as a way to provide propelling motivation to others. Eddie said that he found the best way to achieve success, is to find something you like to do and do it the best you know how.

One other thing, Eddie and Ed Gardner became very good friends over the years. Today a Green and a Gardner are still friends, me and Ed’s son. We’re pen pals!

Thanx, for stopping by. KCB

Photo courtesy of Martingramsblogspot and Ed Gardner, Jr.

 

 

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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.

YOU TOO CAN BE PRESIDENT

my brother

my brother

Here is a picture of my Brudder Brian (I love my brother.)  He is very happy for me.  Well, he would be if he knew what I am going to post about.  Since Sibling Day has just passed I will use his picture anyway, cause I know he will be happy for me when he learns about my latest find.

Research is a never-ending tool of non-fiction writing, I am finding.  And I am absolutely suited to spending hours pouring over maps and newspapers and searching websites.  I have had help, also.  From the folks who read my posts.  From people I have found on-line, and from one person who heard me on the radio.  I have received cd’s, an original portrait, lyrics to my father’s (Eddie Green) songs.

There is a gentleman who told me about a library in Beverly Hills, where I have found scripts for a couple of Eddie’s movies and even a contract Eddie had with Paramount Motion Pictures.  I found a letter  that was written by a censor about one of Eddie’s racier movies (he made five movies).  I even received a Press Sheet in regard to this comedy of Eddie’s from 1940:

EG in "One Round Jones"
EG in “One Round Jones”

Eddie is the one with his mouth wide open-I guess he is winning.

I have received messages of support for this blog and I even have a couple of people who want to read the book I am writing about my father.  This has become much more than a one woman project and helps keep a smile on my face.  But you know there are always things that just do not want to work out, at first.

At one point in 1922, Eddie made his first foray into the movie business, in Washington, D.C.  Over the past few years, I have not been able to find  anything more than a couple of two line articles about this business.   Very frustrating.  But today I found a listing  where I never before thought to look:

10th Annual Edition, 1922-23

THE FIRST COLORED

Professional, Clerical, Skilled and Business

DIRECTORY

OF BALTIMORE CITY

With Washington, Wilmington and Annapolis Annex

PRICE 5O CENTS

Sold at AFRO-AMERICAN OFFICE. Eutaw St. and Druid Hill Avenue
and R. W. COLEMAN. Publisher. 418 Federal St., Baltimore. Maryland

————————————————————————————-

DEANWOOD MOTION PICTURES CORP.

308 SOUTHERN AID BUILDING
WASHINGTON, D. C.

Capitalization $200,000 Stock $1.25 per share.

Edward Green, President.
Anything that you want to know about Moving Pictures, Write us.

Eddie’s business is the first listing on the page.  Not only do I now have the verification, I also have the address and money info.  I am sure more will be revealed, which can go into my second rough draft of the book.

So, everything is cool and life is good.  Thanks, for stopping by.