Showing posts with label Singin in the Rain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singin in the Rain. Show all posts

Sunday, June 14, 2020

June 14: Happy Birthday Cliff Edwards


What did Disney’s Jiminy Cricket and Cliff Edwards have in common? The answer is that they were one in the same. Born in 1895 in Hannibal Missouri, Edwards would eventually become the voice of the famous conscience of Pinocchio in 1940. Cliff Edwards spent an incredible part of his career as a voice actor for varied formats. He was also a singer of many of the popular hits of the day, such as “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” and “Singin in the Rain”. Edwards, or “Ukelele Ike”, became involved accompanying himself with the ukelele and was involved with the Ziegfeld follies. He turned that smallish string instrument into a popular item during the 1920’s. Throughout his few decades of working in entertainment, Clifton Edwards would appear in a number of movies as a character actor and a few Broadway performances. One of his friends of the day was the very creative Buster Keaton. Mr Keaton worked with Edwards in a few of his major motion pictures of the day. In 1932, Clifton Edwards got his first shot at national radio with CBS. Before he gained popularity for television with his 3 times a week variety show, named after him; Edwards spent a number of years hosting radio programs. He was married three times and unfortunately spent most of his fortune paying alimony. Sadly, Cliff Edwards passed away in 1971 with very little fanfare or public notice. Walt Disney Studios payed for his headstone that adorns his gravesite to this day.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23: Happy Birthday, Gene Kelly


They just don't make 'em like Gene Kelly anymore, do they?  George Clooney, Tom Cruise, you name any of today's big leading men and whatever their virtues, they fall short of the charm and all-around talent of Gene Kelly.

He could act, he could sing, he could dance!  He could even choreograph. Today we celebrate the 1912 birth of Eugene Kelly, the man who gave us Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris and so much more.

While dancing works only so well on the radio, Kelly did lend his talents to the medium that concerns us here.  He appeared on some of the cream of old-time radio, such as Suspense and The Lux Radio Theatre (I'll bet his appearances sold a lot of soap!).    He also appeared on episodes of The Hotpoint Holiday Hour, Opportunity USA, and The Best of Groucho.  His first known appearance on the airwaves was in 1942 (Your Hollywood Radio Reporter) and his last in 1978 (The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast).  What a lot of great memories in between!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23: Happy Birthday, Gene Kelly

Hey, thrill seekers, did you know that superstar Gene Kelly appeared in several episodes of Suspense? One of today's birthday boys did just that, lending his considerable acting chops to such episodes as "Thieves Fall Out," "The Man Who Couldn't Lose," and "The Most Dangerous Game."  

But what's just as thrilling is that in 1946 Cresta Blanca wines launched its radio program Cresta Blanca's Hollywood Players, on which it very proudly rolled out its stable of top Hollywood stars. Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Joan Fontaine, and Gene Kelly were among the players. The show brought to listeners recently-written productions, both dramas and comedies. These included "Heaven Can Wait," "Kitty," "Pride of the Yankees," and "The Glass Key." The latter, in November of '46, presented Kelly's debut on the show.

This show's Kelly's versatility, since no one dances on the radio. Best known for Singin' In the Rain, Kelly is the only Pittsburgh-born dancer of which we are aware. He would've been one hundred and one today!