Category 1911

The Talented Spike Jones Part Three

The Talented Spike Jones Part Three

Later years

The rise of rock and roll and the decline of big bands hurt Spike Jones’ repertoire. The new rock songs were already novelties, and Jones could not satirise them the way he had lampooned “Cocktails for Two” or “Laura.” He played rock music for laughs when he presented “for the first time on television, the bottom half of Elvis Presley!” This was the cue for a pair of pants—inhabited by dwarf actor Billy Barty—to scamper across the stage.
Jones was always prepared to adapt to changing tastes. In 1950, when America was nostalgically looking back at the 1920s, Jones recorded an album of Charleston arrangements...

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The Talented Roy Rogers Part Three

The Talented Roy Rogers Part Three

Death

Rogers died of congestive heart failure on July 6, 1998. He had been residing in Apple Valley, California. He was buried at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley, as was his wife Dale Evans three years later.

Honors and awards

Rogers performing at Knott’s Berry Farm
On February 8, 1960, Roy Rogers was honored with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for Motion Pictures at 1752 Vine Street, for Television at 1620 Vine Street, and for Radio at 1733 Vine Street. In 1983 he was awarded the Golden Boot Award, and in 1996 he received the Golden Boot Founder’s Award.
In 1976, Rogers and Evans were inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and in 1995 he was ...

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The Talented Spike Jones Part Two

The Talented Spike Jones Part Two

Ghost Riders

Spike’s parody of Vaughn Monroe’s rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” was performed as if sung by a drunkard and ridiculed Monroe by name in its final stanza:
CHORUS: ‘Cause all we hear is “Ghost Riders” sung by Vaughn Monroe.
DRUNK: I can do without his singing.
FRIEND: But I wish I had his dough!
The official American release edited out the dig at Monroe, because Monroe, a popular RCA Victor recording artist and also a major RCA stockholder, demanded it. The original version was released on the European market in 1949. (A few pressings containing the first ending were mistakenly released on the West Coast and are a prized rarity today.)

All I Want for Christmas

Jones’ recording, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”, with a p...

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The Talented Roy Rogers Part Two

The Talented Roy Rogers Part Two

Film career


Lynne Roberts and Rogers in Billy the Kid Returns, 1938
From his first film appearance in 1935, he worked steadily in Western films, including a large supporting role as a singing cowboy while still billed as Leonard Slye in a Gene Autry movie. In 1938, Autry demanded more money for his work, and there was a competition for a new singing cowboy. Many singers sought the job, including Willie Phelps of the Phelps brothers, who appeared in early Western movies. Slye ended up winning the contest and was given the stage name Roy Rogers by Republic Pictures, shortening his first name and combining it with the surname of Will Rogers. He was assigned the leading role in Under Western Stars...

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The Talented Spike Jones Part One

The Talented Spike Jones Part One

Spike Jones
For other people named Spike Jones, see Spike Jones (disambiguation).
Lindley Armstrong “Spike” Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was an American musician and bandleader specializing in satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. Ballads receiving the Jones treatment were punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and outlandish and comedic vocals. From the early 1940s to the mid-1950s, Jones and his band recorded under the title Spike Jones and his City Slickers and toured the United States and Canada as The Musical Depreciation Revue.
Spike Jones

Jones (left) with Marilyn Monroe and Ken Murray, 1952
Born
Lindley Armstrong Jones
December 14, 1911
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Died
May 1, 1965 (aged 53)
Beverly Hill...

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The Talented Roy Rogers Part One

The Talented Roy Rogers Part One

Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers (born Leonard Franklin Slye, November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998) was an American singer and actor who was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the “King of the Cowboys”, he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his wife, Dale Evans; his golden palomino, Trigger; and his German shepherd dog, Bullet. His show was broadcast on radio for nine years and then on television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often Pat Brady, Andy Devine, George “Gabby” Hayes, or Smiley Burnette. In his later years, Rogers lent his name to the franchise chain of Roy Rogers Restaurants.
Roy...

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The Talented Mahalia Jackson Part One

The Talented Mahalia Jackson Part One

Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson (/məˈheɪljə/ mə-HAYL-yə; October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. She became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers.
Mahalia Jackson

Jackson c. 1962, photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Background information
Birth name
Mahala Jackson
Born
October 26, 1911
New Orlean...

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The Talented Lucille Ball Part Two

The Talented Lucille Ball Part Two

Hollywood

After an uncredited stint as a Goldwyn Girl in Roman Scandals (1933), starring Eddie Cantor and Gloria Stuart, Ball moved permanently to Hollywood to appear in films. She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures, including a two-reel comedy short with the Three Stooges (Three Little Pigskins, 1934) and a movie with the Marx Brothers (Room Service, 1938). She can also be seen as one of the featured models in the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Roberta (1935), briefly as the flower girl in Top Hat (1935), and in a brief supporting role at the beginning of Follow the Fleet (1936), another Astaire-Rogers film...

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The Talented Mitch Miller Part Two

The Talented Mitch Miller Part Two

Recording artist

Mitch Miller’s single for his 1957 recording of the River Kwai March and the Colonel Bogey March
In the early 1950s Miller recorded with Columbia’s house band as “Mitchell Miller and His Orchestra”. He also recorded a string of successful albums and singles, featuring a male chorale and his own distinctive arrangements, under the name “Mitch Miller and the Gang” starting in 1950. The ensemble’s hits included “The Children’s Marching Song” (more commonly known as “This Old Man”), “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena”, and “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, which topped the U.S. Billboard chart, sold over one million copies in the United States alone, and reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart...

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The Talented Lucille Ball Part One

The Talented Lucille Ball Part One

Lucille Ball
Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedienne, model, film-studio executive, and producer. She was best known as the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy.
Lucille Ball

Ball in 1944
Born
Lucille Désirée Ball
August 6, 1911
Jamestown, New York, U.S.
Died
April 26, 1989 (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Abdominal aortic dissection
Resting place
Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, New York
Other names
* Lucille Ball Morton
* Lucille Ball Arnaz
* Diane Belmont
* Lucy Ball
* Lucy Arnaz
* Lucy Morton
Occupation
Actress, comedian, model, film studio executive, TV producer
Years active
1932–1986...

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