All stories by Trav S.D. on BroadwayStars

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Return of “Me and Lee” by Trav S.D.

Returning this week: Me and Lee: The Musical, written by, songs by, and starring Jason Trachtenburg, of Pendulum Swings and the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players.  Me and Lee is adapt…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 01:48PM

Slim Whitman: The Yodeling Enigma by Trav S.D.

Sometime in the middle of the 1970s, to everyone’s delight, a direct marketing TV advertising campaign appeared out of nowhere hawking the records of a yodeling country singer named S…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:36AM

Paula Stone: Left No Stone Unturned by Trav S.D.

Paula Stone (1912-1997) was the daughter of Broadway and vaudeville legend Fred Stone and sister of Dorothy Stone, but she made her own “ripples” as well. Naturally, she started …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:32AM
Saturday, January 19, 2019

Cheers for “Cheers” by Trav S.D.

For our post on Cheers (1982-1993) we choose the birthday of the late Nicholas Colasanto (1924-1985), and we’ll make him a peg to hang the piece on as well. Cheers is one of my favori…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM

On Edgar Allan Poe by Trav S.D.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was one of the first literary authors I ever read on my own for enjoyment, and from quite a young age. The initial entry points were undoubtedly the poems “…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:54AM

Lyle Tayo: Livened Many a Hal Roach Short by Trav S.D.

Here’s an intriguing figure who will be well known to fans of Our Gang, Laurel and Hardy and other Hal Roach comedies. Lyle (pronounced “Lily”) Shipman (1889-1982) was born…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 04:42AM

Dixie Dunbar: Stalwart of ’30s Musicals by Trav S.D.

Christina Elizabeth “Dixie” Dunbar (1919-1991) took dance classes in her native Montgomery, Alabama, and demonstrated a talent that encouraged her mother to take her to New York.…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 03:42AM
Friday, January 18, 2019

Constance Moore: Show Business by Trav S.D.

A nod today to Hollywood star Constance Moore (1920-2005). Despite the fact that she had very little experience in live theatre, there is sort of a vaudeville flavor to many of Moore’s…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 11:48AM

Chick Chandler: The Rich Man’s Lee Tracy by Trav S.D.

Fehmer Christy “Chick” Chandler (1905-1988) was a blueblood who chafed at family discipline, chucked it, and jumped into show business with both feet, to the benefit of audiences…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:32AM

Lillian Bond: Pre-Code British Bombshell by Trav S.D.

Lillian Bond (1908-1991) was a London chorine who made good in memorable parts on stage and screen in the States, usually as sexpots and “other women”. Educated at Brompton Orato…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:32AM
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Marjorie Gateson: Matron Who Didn’t Mumble by Trav S.D.

Marjorie Gateson (1891-1977) is known to comedy fans whether they know it or not) from such films as Mae West’s Goin’ to Town (1935), Harold Lloyd’s The Milky Way (1936), A…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 02:42PM

Mona Ray and Judy King: Kelly Sisters of Stage and Screen by Trav S.D.

A little murk today in our biography of these two performing sisters and their family, though we’ll fine-tune it as better facts emerge. It owes much to the gang at Nitrateville —…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 01:42PM

Ida Barr: A Cornucopia of Happy Discoveries by Trav S.D.

January 17 is the birthday of British music hall entertainer Ida Barr (Maud Barlow, 1882-1967). Barlow was an army brat, born in Regent’s Park Barracks, London. She was 16 when she mad…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 12:24PM

Faylen and Hughes (Frank Faylen and Carol Hughes) by Trav S.D.

Faylen and Hughes was a mid-west vaudeville act from the late 1920s through 1935. The team were a married couple: Carol Hughes (Catherine Hukill, 1910-1995) and Frank Faylen (Charles Ruf, 19…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM

On Al Capone and Show Biz by Trav S.D.

There’s far too much celebration of hoodlums and gangsters in this culture so that’s not we’ll be doing with reference to Al Capone (1899-1947) today, but his name does pop…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 09:06AM

Irving Brecher: Great for All But the Marxes by Trav S.D.

Because he wrote two of the Marx Brothers’ weaker, more clueless vehicles (At the Circus and Go West), I’d love to respect Irving Brecher (1914-2008) less than I’m obliged…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:04AM

Violet La Plante: A WAMPAS in Westerns by Trav S.D.

Violet La Plante (1908-1984) was Laura La Plante’s kid sister, and benefited from her stardom, though she never achieved anything like the success of her famous sibling. Violet made ju…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:04AM
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Goodbye, Dolly (R.I.P. Carol Channing) by Trav S.D.

My quandary yesterday: be a day late with a tribute to Carol Channing (1921-2019), or be very late and wait until her birthday, which is just two weeks from today, when I was already planni…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:24AM

Buddy Lester and His Million Dollar Scar by Trav S.D.

William “Buddy” Lester (1915-2002) was the younger brother of comedian Jerry Lester, though he would come to overshadow him. The brothers performed in vaudeville and nightclubs i…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:18AM

Sid Silvers: Stooge of Stage, Scribbler of Screen by Trav S.D.

Brooklyn-born Sid Silvers (1901-1976) got his show business start in the early 1920s as the vaudeville stooge to comedian and accordion player Phil Baker, interrupting the act with comic bus…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 03:36AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

R.I.P. Miss Bonnie Dunn by Trav S.D.

I emerged just now from an uncharacteristic separation from my computer to find my feed exploding with the sudden, sad news that friend the Neo-Burlesque pioneer Miss Bonnie Dunn has passed …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:32PM

Charley Rogers: With and Without Laurel and Hardy by Trav S.D.

Charley Rogers (1886-1956) was an old cohort of Stan Laurel’s from his music hall days. Originally from Birmingham, UK, Rogers had moved to the U.S. by 1912, where he toured vaudeville…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:54AM
Monday, January 14, 2019

Mission Creep on the Original “Lost in Space” by Trav S.D.

Having already done a post on Jonathan Harris, we thought it only equitable that we should publish our Lost in Space post on the birthday of Guy Williams (Armando Joseph Catalano, 1924-1989)…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 06:06AM

Mary Ann Jackson: Baby with a Bob by Trav S.D.

A tribute today to child actress Mary Ann Jackson (1923-2003). There were many performing Jacksons, beginning with her mother Charlotte (1891-1992), who presumably had a stage career before …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:04AM
Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jack Mercer and the Vaudeville-Popeye Connection by Trav S.D.

Three cheers for Jack Mercer (Winfield Mercer 1910-84), one for each skill.  Jack Mercer was one of the few people in cartoon animation who worked in the three wildly different creative are…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Saturday, January 12, 2019

Smilin’ Ed McConnell: The Sunshine Melody Man by Trav S.D.

Smilin’ Ed McConnell (1892-1954) was born this day. The son of an Atlanta minister, McConnell started out as a gospel and folk singer, breaking into local radio in 1922. Fifteen years …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 08:54AM

Gladys Blake: Talked for 20 Years, Then Shut Up by Trav S.D.

Gladys Blake (Gladys Timmons, 1910-1983) was a Hollywood supporting player who most often found work as comic relief playing talkative, gossipy friends. Orphaned shortly after her birth, Bla…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:54AM

Sara Berner: From Bowes to Benny to the Bottle by Trav S.D.

Sara Berner (Lillian Ann Herdan, 1912-1969) was better known by her voice than her face at the peak of her fame. She had been a department store clerk with a penchant for comedy dialects and…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 05:42AM
Friday, January 11, 2019

Nick Cravat: Burt Lancaster’s Vaudeville Partner by Trav S.D.

An overdue tribute to Hollywood legend Nick Cravat (Nicholas Cuccia, 1912-1994). Cravat and Burt Lancaster met as teenagers and formed an acrobatic (trapeze) act called Lang and Cravat which…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:06AM

Josephine Crowell: Mother in Melodramas, Crone in Comedies by Trav S.D.

Today Josephine Crowell (1859-1932) is remembered chiefly for several memorable late supporting performances (her last three in fact): as a lady on a street car in Harold Lloyd’s Speed…

Linked From Trav S.D. at 07:48AM
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Claudia Dell: Star of Early Musicals by Trav S.D.

A tribute to stage and screen actress Claudia Dell (Claudia Dell Smith, 1910-77). Originally from San Antonio, Dell played violin as a child, and moved to New York as a teenager to join her …

Linked From Trav S.D. at 10:18AM

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