Eddie Cantor

Eddie Cantor (born Isidore Itzkowitz;[1][2] January 31, 1892 – October 10, 1964) was an American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor, and songwriter.[3] Familiar to Broadway, radio, movie, and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters. Some of his hits include "Makin' Whoopee", "Ida", "If You Knew Susie", "Ma! He's Makin' Eyes at Me", "Baby", "Margie", and "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" He also wrote a few songs, including "Merrily We Roll Along", the Merrie Melodies Warner Bros. cartoon theme.

His eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, "Banjo Eyes". In 1933, artist Frederick J. Garner caricatured Cantor with large round eyes resembling the drum-like pot of a banjo. Cantor's eyes became his trademark, often exaggerated in illustrations, and leading to his appearance on Broadway in the musical Banjo Eyes (1941).

His charity and humanitarian work was extensive, and he is credited with coining the phrase, and helping to develop the March of Dimes. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1956 for distinguished service to the film industry.

Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor 1945
Cantor in 1945
Born
Isidore Itzkowitz

January 31, 1892
DiedOctober 10, 1964 (aged 72)
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California
OccupationActor, comedian, dancer, singer-songwriter
Years active1907–1962
Spouse(s)
Ida Tobias
(m. 1914; died 1962)
Children5
2nd President of the Screen Actors Guild
In office
1933–1935
Preceded byRalph Morgan
Succeeded byRobert Montgomery

Biography

Reports and accounts of Cantor's early life often conflict with one another. What is known is that he was born in New York City, the son of Mechel Iskowitz (also Michael), an amateur violinist, and his wife, Meta Kantrowitz Iskowitz (also Maite), a young Jewish couple from Belarus. It generally accepted that he was born in 1892, though the day is subject to debate, with either January 31 or Rosh Hashanah, which would have been on September 10 or September 11, being reported.[4][5][6] Though it was reported Cantor was an orphan, his mother dying in childbirth and his father of pneumonia, official records say otherwise; Meta died from complications of tuberculosis when Cantor was a year old and the fate of Mechel is unclear, as no death certificate exists for him, and, given Mechel's poor history as a husband, he may have simply abandoned his infant son. There is also discrepancy as to his name; both his 1957 autobiography and The New York Times obituary for Cantor listed his birth name as Isidore Iskowitch but newer articles, published after the 20th century, list his birth name as Edward Israel Itzkowitz.[7][8] His grandmother, Esther Kantrowitz (died January 29, 1917), took custody of him, and referred to him as Izzy and Itchik, both diminutives for Isidor, and his last name, due to a clerical error, was thought to be Kantrowitz and shortened to Kanter.[9] No birth certificate existed for him, not unusual for someone born in New York in the 19th century.

Eddie and Ida Cantor 1952
The Cantors in 1952

Cantor had adopted the first name "Eddie" when he met his future wife Ida Tobias in 1913, because she felt that "Izzy" was not the right name for an actor. Cantor and Ida were married in 1914. They had five daughters, Marjorie, Natalie, Edna, Marilyn, and Janet, who provided comic fodder for Cantor's longtime running gag, especially on radio, about his five unmarriageable daughters. Several radio historians, including Gerald Nachman (Raised on Radio), have said that this gag did not always sit well with the girls. Natalie's second husband was the actor Robert Clary and Janet married the actor Roberto Gari.[10]

Cantor was the second president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving from 1933 to 1935. He invented the title "The March of Dimes" for the donation campaigns of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which was organized to combat polio. It was a play on The March of Time newsreels popular at the time. He began the first campaign on his radio show in January 1938, asking listeners to mail a dime to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At that time, Roosevelt was the most notable American victim of polio. Other entertainers joined in the appeal via their own shows, and the White House mail room was deluged with 2,680,000 dimes—a large sum at the time.

Cantor wed Ida Tobias (1892 – 1962) on June 6, 1914. They had five children, all daughters, Marjorie (1915–1959), Natalie (1916–1997), Edna (1919–2003), Marilyn (1921–2010), and Janet (1927–2018). Natalie wed actor Robert Clary, French-born American actor, who was best known for his role as Corporal Louis LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes. Following the death of their daughter Marjorie at the age of 44, both Eddie and Ida's health declined rapidly. Ida died on August 9, 1962 at age 70 of "cardiac insufficiency",[11][12] and Eddie died on October 10, 1964, in Beverly Hills, California, after suffering his second heart attack at age 72.[11] He is interred in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, in Culver City, California.

Stage

Saloon songs to vaudeville

By his early teens, Cantor began winning talent contests at local theaters and started appearing on stage. One of his earliest paying jobs was doubling as a waiter and performer, singing for tips at Carey Walsh's Coney Island saloon, where a young Jimmy Durante accompanied him on piano. He made his first public appearance in Vaudeville in 1907 at New York's Clinton Music Hall. In 1912, he was the only performer over the age of 20 to appear in Gus Edwards's Kid Kabaret, where he created his first blackface character, "Jefferson". He later toured with Al Lee as the team "Cantor and Lee". Critical praise from that show got the attention of Broadway's top producer, Florenz Ziegfeld, who gave Cantor a spot in the Ziegfeld rooftop post-show, Midnight Frolic (1917).[9]

Broadway

A year later, Cantor made his Broadway debut in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1917. He continued in the Follies until 1927,[13] a period considered the best years of the long-running revue. For several years, Cantor co-starred in an act with pioneer comedian Bert Williams, both appearing in blackface; Cantor played Williams's fresh-talking son. Other co-stars with Cantor during his time in the Follies included Will Rogers, Marilyn Miller, Fanny Brice, and W.C. Fields.[14] He moved on to stardom in book musicals, starting with Kid Boots (1923) and Whoopee! (1928).[13] On tour with Banjo Eyes, he romanced the unknown Jacqueline Susann, who had a small part in the show, and went on to become the best-selling author of Valley of the Dolls.

Eddie Cantor Midnight Rounders
Flyer for Midnight Rounders
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1917revue – performer
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 – revue – performer, co-composer and co-lyricist for "Broadway's Not a Bad Place After All" with Harry Ruby
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1919 – revue – performer, lyricist for "(Oh! She's the) Last Rose of Summer"
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 – revue – composer for "Green River", composer and lyricist for "Every Blossom I See Reminds Me of You" and "I Found a Baby on My Door Step"
  • The Midnight Rounders of 1920 – revue – performer
  • Broadway Brevities of 1920 – revue – performer
  • Make It Snappy (1922) – revue – performer, co-bookwriter
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1923 – revue – sketch writer
  • Kid Boots (1923) – musical comedy – actor in the role of "Kid Boots" (the Caddie Master)
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 – revue – performer, co-bookwriter
  • Whoopee! (1928) – musical comedy – actor in the role of "Henry Williams"
  • Eddie Cantor at the Palace (1931) – solo performance
  • Banjo Eyes (1941) – musical comedy – actor in the role of "Erwin Trowbridge"
  • Nellie Bly (1946) – musical comedy – co-producer

Radio and recordings

Radio

Cantor appeared on radio as early as February 3, 1922, as indicated by this news item from Connecticut's Bridgeport Telegram:

Local radio operators listened to one of the finest programs yet produced over the radiophone last night. The program of entertainment which included some of the stars of Broadway musical comedy and vaudeville was broadcast from the Newark, N. J. station WDY and the Pittsburgh station KDKA, both of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. The Newark entertainment started at 7 o'clock: a children's half-hour of music and fairy stories; 7:[35?], Hawaiian airs and violin solo; 8:00, news of the day; and at 8:20, a radio party with nationally known comedians participating; 9:55, Arlington time signals and 10:01, a government weather report. G. E. Nothnagle, who conducts a radiophone station at his home 176 Waldemere Avenue said last night that he was delighted with the program, especially with the numbers sung by Eddie Cantor. The weather conditions are excellent for receiving, he continued, the tone and the quality of the messages was fine.[15]
Bert Gordon Eddie Cantor NBC
Cantor (right) with Bert Gordon, AKA "the Mad Russian".

Cantor's appearance with Rudy Vallee on Vallee's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on February 5, 1931 led to a four-week tryout with NBC's The Chase and Sanborn Hour. Replacing Maurice Chevalier, who was returning to Paris, Cantor joined Chase and Sanborn on September 13, 1931. This hour-long Sunday evening variety series teamed Cantor with announcer Jimmy Wallington and violinist Dave Rubinoff. The show established Cantor as a leading comedian, and his scriptwriter, David Freedman, as “the Captain of Comedy.” Freedman's team included, among others, Samuel "Doc" Kurtzman, who also wrote for song-and-dance man, Al Jolson, and the comedian Jack Benny. Cantor soon became the world's highest-paid radio star. His shows began with a crowd chanting "We want Can-tor! We want Can-tor!", a phrase said to have originated in vaudeville, when the audience chanted to chase off an act on the bill before Cantor. Cantor's theme song was his own lyric to the Leo Robin/Richard Whiting song, "One Hour with You". His radio sidekicks included Bert Gordon, (comic Barney Gorodetsky, AKA "The Mad Russian") and Harry Parke (better known as "Parkyakarkus"). Cantor also discovered and helped guide the career of singer Dinah Shore, first featuring her on his radio show in 1940, as well as other performers, including Deanna Durbin, Bobby Breen in 1936 and Eddie Fisher in 1949.

Indicative of his effect on the mass audience, he agreed in November 1934 to introduce a new song by the songwriters J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie that other well-known artists had rejected as being "silly" and "childish". The song, "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town", immediately had orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day. It sold 400,000 copies by Christmas of that year.[16]

His NBC radio show, Time to Smile, was broadcast from 1940 to 1946, followed by his Pabst Blue Ribbon Show from 1946 through 1949. He also served as emcee of The $64 Question during 1949–50, and hosted a weekly disc jockey program for Philip Morris during the 1952–53 season. In addition to film and radio, Cantor recorded for Hit of the Week Records, then again for Columbia, for Banner and Decca and various small labels.

In the early 1960s he syndicated a short radio segment, "Ask Eddie Cantor".[17][18]

His heavy political involvement began early in his career, including his participation in the strike to form Actors Equity in 1919, provoking the anger of father figure and producer, Florenz Ziegfeld. At the 1939 New York World's Fair, Cantor publicly denounced antisemitic radio personality Father Charles Coughlin and, subsequently, dropped by his radio sponsor, Camel cigarettes. A year and a half later, Eddie was able to return to the air thanks to help from his friend Jack Benny.

Recordings

Cantor began making phonograph records in 1917, recording both comedy songs and routines and popular songs of the day, first for Victor, then for Aeoleon-Vocalion, Pathé, and Emerson. From 1921 through 1925, he had an exclusive contract with Columbia Records, returning to Victor for the remainder of the decade.

Cantor was one of the era's most successful entertainers, but the 1929 stock market crash took away his multimillionaire status and left him deeply in debt. However, Cantor's relentless attention to his own earnings to avoid the poverty he knew growing up caused him to use his writing talent, quickly building a new bank account with his highly popular, bestselling books of humor and cartoons about his experience, Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street[19] in 1929 "A.C." (After Crash), and Yoo-Hoo, Prosperity!

Cantor was also a composer, with his most famous song seldom attributed to him. In 1935, along with Charles Tobias and Murray Mencher, Cantor wrote "Merrily We Roll Along", which he recorded in the 1950s. It was adapted as the themesong for the Merrie Melodies series of animated cartoons, distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures between 1937 and 1964. Cantor himself was frequently caricatured in Warner cartoons of the period, (see Film and television: Animation).

Film and television

Eddie Cantor - 1933
in Roman Scandals (1933)

Cantor also bounced between films and radio. He had previously appeared in a number of short films, performing his Follies songs and comedy routines, and two silent features (Special Delivery and Kid Boots) in the 1920s. He was offered the lead in The Jazz Singer after it was turned down by George Jessel. Cantor also turned the role down (so it went to Al Jolson), but he became a leading Hollywood star in 1930 with the film version of Whoopee!, shot in two-color Technicolor. He continued making films over the next two decades until his last starring role in If You Knew Susie (1948). In the 1950s Eddie Cantor had his own television show, entertaining a live audience.

Filmography

Television

Eddie cantor television 1952
Cantor as host of The Colgate Comedy Hour, 1952.

On May 25, 1944, pioneer television station WPTZ (now KYW-TV) in Philadelphia presented a special, all-star telecast which was also seen in New York over WNBT (now WNBC) and featured cut-ins from their Rockefeller Center studios. Cantor, one of the first major stars to agree to appear on television, was to sing "We're Havin' a Baby, My Baby and Me". Arriving shortly before airtime at the New York studios, Cantor was reportedly told to cut the song because the NBC New York censors considered some of the lyrics too risqué. Cantor refused, claiming no time to prepare an alternative number. NBC relented, but the sound was cut and the picture blurred on certain lines in the song. This is considered the first instance of television censorship.[20]

In 1950, he became the first of several hosts alternating on the NBC television variety show The Colgate Comedy Hour, in which he would introduce musical acts, stage and film stars and play comic characters such as "Maxie the Taxi". In the spring of 1952, Cantor landed in an unlikely controversy when a young Sammy Davis, Jr., appeared as a guest performer. Cantor embraced Davis and mopped Davis's brow with his handkerchief after his performance. When worried sponsors led NBC to threaten cancellation of the show, Cantor's response was to book Davis for two more weeks. Cantor suffered a heart attack following a September 1952 Colgate broadcast, and thereafter, curtailed his appearances until his final program in 1954. In 1955, he appeared in a filmed series for syndication and a year later, appeared in two dramatic roles ("George Has A Birthday", on NBC's Matinee Theatre broadcast in color, and "Sizeman and Son" on CBS's Playhouse 90). He continued to appear as a guest on several shows, and was last seen on the NBC color broadcast of The Future Lies Ahead on January 22, 1960, which also featured Mort Sahl.

Eddie Cantor was portrayed as a recurring character on HBO's series Boardwalk Empire, beginning with the introduction of the show in 2010, where he is played by Stephen DeRosa. Cantor's character appeared in three episodes of the show's first season, one episode of the second season, two of the third. and one of the fourth season.

Animation

Cantor appears in caricature form in numerous Looney Tunes cartoons produced for Warner Bros., although he was often voiced by an imitator. Beginning with "I Like Mountain Music" (1933), other animated Cantor cameos include "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" (Harman-Ising, 1933) and "Billboard Frolics" (Friz Freleng, 1935). Eddie Cantor is one of the four "down on their luck" stars (along with Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, and Jack Benny) snubbed by Elmer Fudd in "What’s Up, Doc?" (Bob McKimson, 1950). In "Farm Frolics" (Bob Clampett, 1941), a horse, asked by the narrator to "do a canter", promptly launches into a singing, dancing, eye-rolling impression. The Cantor gag that got the most mileage, however, was his oft-repeated wish for a son after five famous daughters. "Slap-Happy Pappy" (Clampett, 1940) features an “Eddie Cackler” rooster that wants a boy, to little avail. Other references can be found in "Baby Bottleneck" (Clampett, 1946) and "Circus Today" (Tex Avery, 1940). In Merrie Melodies, "The Coo-Coo Nut Grove" Cantor's many daughters are referenced by a group of singing quintuplet girls. In "Porky’s Naughty Nephew" (Clampett, 1938) a swimming Cantor gleefully adopts a "buoy".[21] An animated Cantor also appears prominently in Walt Disney's "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (Wilfred Jackson, 1938) as Little Jack Horner, who sings "Sing a Song of Sixpence".

Books and merchandising

Eddie Cantor and daughters ad postcard 1926
Cantor and three of his daughters strike a pose in 1926 to promote his first film, Kid Boots, and children's shoes.

Cantor's popularity led to merchandising of such products as Eddie Cantor's Tell It to the Judge game from Parker Brothers. In 1933, a set of 12 Eddie Cantor caricatures by Frederick J. Garner was published by Brown and Bigelow. These advertising cards were purchased in bulk as a direct-mail item by such businesses as auto body shops, funeral directors, dental laboratories, and vegetable wholesale dealers. With the full set, companies could mail a single Cantor card each month for a year to their selected special customers as an ongoing promotion. Cantor was often caricatured on the covers of sheet music and in magazines and newspapers. Cantor was depicted as a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,[22] one of the very few balloons based on a real person.

In addition to Caught Short!, Cantor wrote or co-wrote at least seven other books, including booklets released by the then-fledgling firm of Simon & Schuster, with Cantor’s name on the cover. (Some were "as told to" or written with David Freedman.) Customers paid a dollar and received the booklet with a penny embedded in the hardcover. They sold well, and H. L. Mencken asserted that these books did more to pull America out of the Great Depression than all government measures combined.

Bibliography

  • My Life Is in Your Hands by Eddie Cantor (1928) with David Freedman; Harper & Bros.
  • Caught Short!: A Saga of Wailing Wall Street by Eddie Cantor (1929) Simon & Schuster
  • Between the Acts by Eddie Cantor (1930) Simon & Schuster
  • Yoo-Hoo, Prosperity!: The Eddie Cantor Five-Year Plan by Eddie Cantor (1931) with David Freedman; Simon & Schuster
  • The Rise of the Goldbergs by Gertrude Berg (1931) Foreword by Eddie Cantor; Barse & Co.
  • Your Next President! by Eddie Cantor (1932) with David Freedman, Illus. by S.L. Hydeman; Ray Long & Richard R. Smith, Inc.
  • Eddie Cantor in An Hour with You: A Big Little Book (1934) Whitman
  • Eddie Cantor Song and Joke Book (1934) Illus. by Ben Harris; M. Witmark & Sons
  • Ziegfeld: The Great Glorifier by Eddie Cantor (1934) with David Freedman; Alfred H. King
  • World's Book of Best Jokes by Eddie Cantor (1943) World Publishing Co.
  • Hello, Momma by George Jessel (1946) Foreword by Eddie Cantor, Illus. by Carl Rose; World Publishing Co.
  • Take My Life by Eddie Cantor (1957) with Jane Kesner Ardmore; Doubleday
  • No Man Stands Alone by Barney Ross (1957) Foreword by Eddie Cantor; B. Lippincott Co.
  • The Way I See It by Eddie Cantor (1959) with Phyllis Rosenteur, ed.; Prentice-Hall
  • As I Remember Them by Eddie Cantor (1963) Duell, Sloan & Pearce
  • Yoo-Hoo, Prosperity! and Caught Short! by Eddie Cantor (1969) Greenwood Press
  • "The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics" by David Weinstein (2017) UPNE/Brandeis University Press
  • The Golden Age of Sound Comedy: Comic Films and Comedians of the Thirties by Donald W. McCaffrey (1973) A.S. Barnes
  • Radio Comedy by Arthur Frank Wertheim (1979) Oxford University Press
  • The Vaudevillians: A Dictionary of Vaudeville Performers by Anthony Slide (1981) Arlington House
  • American Vaudeville as Seen by Its Contemporaries by Charles W. Stein, ed. (1984) Alfred A. Knopf
  • Eddie Cantor: A Life in Show Business by Gregory Koseluk (1995) McFarland
  • Eddie Cantor: A Bio-Bibliography by James Fisher (1997) Greenwood Press
  • Banjo Eyes: Eddie Cantor and the Birth of Modern Stardom by Herbert G. Goldman (1997) Oxford University Press
  • The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio's Golden Age by Leonard Maltin (1997) Dutton
  • My Life Is in Your Hands and Take My Life by Eddie Cantor (2000) Cooper Square Press
  • Film Clowns of the Depression: Twelve Defining Comic Performances by Wes D. Gehring (2007) McFarland
  • Eddie Cantor in Laugh Land by Harold Sherman (2008) Kessinger Publishing
  • Angels We Have Heard: The Christmas Song Stories by James Adam Richliano (2002) Star Of Bethlehem Books (Includes a chapter on Cantor's involvement in the history of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town").
  • The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics by David Weinstein (2018) UPNE/Brandeis University Press

Tributes

Cantor was profiled on This Is Your Life, the NBC program in which an unsuspecting person (usually a celebrity) would be surprised on live television by host Ralph Edwards, with a half-hour tribute. Cantor was the only subject who was told of the "surprise" in advance; he was recovering from a heart attack and it was felt that the shock might harm him.

On October 29, 1995, as part of a nationwide celebration of the 75th anniversary of radio, Cantor was posthumously inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame at Chicago's Museum of Broadcasting Communication.

Warner Bros., in an attempt to duplicate the box-office success of The Jolson Story, filmed a big-budget Technicolor feature film, The Eddie Cantor Story (1953). The film found an audience but might have done better with someone else in the leading role. Actor Keefe Brasselle played Cantor as a caricature with high-pressure dialogue and bulging eyes wide open; the fact that Brasselle was considerably taller than Cantor did not lend realism, either. Eddie and Ida Cantor were seen in a brief prologue and epilogue set in a projection room, where they are watching Brasselle in action; at the end of the film, Eddie tells Ida, "I never looked better in my life"... and gives the audience a knowing, incredulous look. George Burns, in his memoir All My Best Friends, claimed that Warner Bros. created a miracle producing the movie in that "it made Eddie Cantor's life boring".

Something closer to the real Eddie Cantor story is his self-produced feature Show Business (1944), a valentine to vaudeville and show folks, which was RKO's top-grossing film that year.

Probably the best summary of Cantor's career is on one of the Colgate Comedy Hour shows.[23] Re-issued on DVD as Eddie Cantor in Person, the hour-long episode is a virtual video autobiography, with Eddie recounting his career, singing his greatest hits, and recreating his singing-waiter days with another vaudeville legend, his old pal Jimmy Durante.

Cantor appears as a recurring character, played by Stephen DeRosa, on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

References

  1. ^ Eddie Cantor, with Jane Kesner Ardmore, Take My Life, Mr. Cantor's second autobiography, 1957
  2. ^ Kenrick, John.Who's Who in Musicals: Ca-Cl Musicals101.com, accessed September 5, 2011
  3. ^ Obituary Variety, October 14, 1964.
  4. ^ International, United Press (October 11, 1964). "Eddie Cantor Dead Comedy Slar Was 72". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  5. ^ "Banjo Eyes". movies2.nytimes.com. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Eddie Cantor Story". Eddie Cantor Official Website. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "'Whoopee!'". Baltimore Jewish Times. January 3, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  8. ^ International, United Press (October 11, 1964). "Eddie Cantor Dead Comedy Slar Was 72". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Eddie Cantor Dead. Comedy Star Was 72. Comedy Star of Vaudeville, Screen, Radio and TV Was a Discoverer of Talent". The New York Times. October 11, 1964. Retrieved August 9, 2012. Eddie Cantor, banjo-eyed vaudevillian whose dancing feet and double-takes brought him stardom in movies, radio and television, died of a coronary occlusion today at the age of 72.
  10. ^ The Children of Eddie Cantor blog article by David Lobosco
  11. ^ a b "Eddie Cantor Dead. Comedy Star Was 72. Comedy Star of Vaudeville, Screen, Radio and TV Was a Discoverer of Talent". The New York Times. October 11, 1964. Retrieved August 9, 2012. Eddie Cantor, banjo-eyed vaudevillian whose dancing feet and double-takes brought him stardom in movies, radio and television, died of a coronary occlusion today at the age of 72.
  12. ^ "Deaths", The New York Times, August 10, 1962, p. 14
  13. ^ a b "Eddie Cantor Broadway Credits" Internet Broadway database listing, retrieved December 24, 2009
  14. ^ Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florence; McNeilly, Donald. "Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers" (2007). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-93853-8, p. 193
  15. ^ "Radio Operators Hear a Good Concert", Bridgeport Telegram, February 4, 1922.
  16. ^ Collins, Ace (October 5, 2010). "4 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town". Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas. Zondervan. p. 224. ISBN 0310327954. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  17. ^ http://www.radioechoes.com/?page=series&genre=OTR-Talk&series=Ask%20Eddie%20Cantor
  18. ^ David Weinstein (November 7, 2017). The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics. Brandeis University Press. pp. 226–. ISBN 978-1-5126-0134-3.
  19. ^ "'Caught short! A saga of wailing Wall street', OCLC Number: 381325" worldcat.org, accessed September 5, 2011
  20. ^ "Cantor Censored in Televised Act". The New York Times. May 27, 1944
  21. ^ From "The Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion", E.O. Costello, ed. Archived October 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ New York Daily News (November 28, 2008). "Floating back in time with Macy's balloons, 1940, photo No.11". Retrieved November 28, 2008.
  23. ^ Pondillo, Bob (2005). "Racial Discourse and Censorship on NBC-TV, 1948-60". Journal of Popular Film & Television. 33 (2): 106.

Further reading

External links

Ain't She Sweet

"Ain't She Sweet" is a song composed by Milton Ager, with lyrics by Jack Yellen. It was published in 1927 by Edwin H. Morris & Co. Inc./Warner Bros. It became popular in the first half of the 20th century and typified the Roaring Twenties. Like "Happy Days Are Here Again" (1929), it became a Tin Pan Alley standard. Both Ager and Yellen were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Milton Ager wrote "Ain't She Sweet" for his daughter Shana Ager, who in her adult life was known as the political commentator Shana Alexander.

Baby Face (song)

"Baby Face" is a popular song. The music was written by Harry Akst, the lyrics by Benny Davis. The song was published in 1926. That same year, Jan Garber had a number one hit with the song.

Swan Districts, an Australian Rules club in the WAFL since 1934, bases its club song on this tune.

An instrumental version of the song was used in the 1933 film Baby Face starring Barbara Stanwyck.

Charley, My Boy

"Charley, My Boy" is a song with music by Ted Fio Rito and lyrics by Gus Kahn. The Russo-FioRito Oriole Orchestra introduced the song in 1924. The most popular recording was released by Eddie Cantor. The sheet music was published for voice and piano by J. Albert & Son.The refrain is four lines, of which the first two are:

Charley, my boy; oh, Charley, my boy

You thrill me, you chill me, with shivers of joyIt is sung from the viewpoint of a woman enamored of a man whom she finds to be an exceptional lover, even better than Romeo:

And when we dance, I read in your glance

Whole pages and ages of love and romance

They tell me Romeo was some lover, too

But boy, he should have taken lessons from youOn July 18, 1923, singing comedian Eddie Cantor recorded the song, which he released as a single on Columbia Records in 1924. It was recorded by several of his contemporaries, including Billy Murray. Murray's version is wrapped inside a lively instrumental that is clearly intended for dancing the Charleston or other popular Jazz Age dances. Murray's version featured a short instrumental interlude between the two sets of verses, which included a bar from an earlier Murray recording with a similar theme, also introduced by Eddie Cantor:

He's not so good in a crowd,

But when you get him alone,

You'd Be Surprised In 1949, "Charley" was recorded on the Decca Records label by the Andrews Sisters as the A-side of a single which had "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (from the popular 1949 John Wayne movie of the same name) as the B-side. It was also one of two theme songs used by the popular radio program The Spike Jones Show.It is now most easily found as a square dance tune, with at least three different publications, two by MacGregor and one by Hi Hat Records, the latter using the alternate spelling and punctuation "Charlie, My Boy." Several of the old versions, including the performance by Billy Murray, are available on YouTube.

I've Got My Captain Working for Me Now

"I've Got My Captain Working for Me Now" is a popular song written in 1919 by Irving Berlin. It was published by Music Publishers Inc. in New York, New York.The song tells of a young man who returns to work as a manager in his father's factory following his tour of duty as a Private First Class in World War I. His now-unemployed former Captain is hired as a clerk by the delighted former PFC. Sample lyric:

When I come into the office he gets up on his feet

Stands at attention and gives me his seat

Who was it said "revenge is sweet"?

I've got my Captain working for me nowThis song was in the top 20 from October 1919 to January 1920 and reached number 6 in November and December 1919.Al Jolson and Billy Murray had successful recordings of the song in 1919-20. It was also recorded in 1919, by Eddie Cantor, for Pathe (#22201). The song was revived by Bing Crosby in the 1946 film, Blue Skies and he made a commercial recording for Decca Records on July 24, 1946 which was included in his album Blue Skies.

If You Knew Susie (film)

If You Knew Susie is a 1948 American comedy film directed by Gordon Douglas and written by Warren Wilson, Oscar Brodney, Bud Pearson and Lester A. White. The film was produced by, and starred, Eddie Cantor in his final starring role in a feature film. The film also stars Joan Davis, Allyn Joslyn, Charles Dingle and Bobby Driscoll. The film was released on February 7, 1948, by RKO Pictures.

Makin' Whoopee

"Makin' Whoopee" is a jazz/blues song, first popularized by Eddie Cantor in the 1928 musical Whoopee!. Gus Kahn wrote the lyrics and Walter Donaldson composed the music for the song as well as for the entire musical.

The title is a euphemism for sexual intimacy,

and the song has been called a "dire warning", largely to men, about the "trap" of marriage.

"Makin' Whoopee" begins with the celebration of a wedding, honeymoon and marital bliss, but moves on to babies and responsibilities, and ultimately on to affairs and possible divorce, ending with a judge's advice.

Mandy (Irving Berlin song)

"Mandy" is a popular song by Irving Berlin, published in 1919.

Margie (song)

"Margie", also known as "My Little Margie", is a 1920 popular song composed in collaboration by vaudeville performer and pianist Con Conrad and ragtime pianist J. Russel Robinson, a member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Lyrics were written by Benny Davis, a vaudeville performer and songwriter. The song was introduced by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1920 as Victor 78, 18717-A, in a medley paired with "Singin' the Blues". The B side was "Palesteena". The ODJB recorded their instrumental version on December 1, 1920.

Other popular versions in 1920-21 were by Gene Rodemich; Eddie Cantor; Ted Lewis; and Frank Crumit. The Rega Dance Orchestra recorded the song in October, 1920 for Okeh Records, 4211.

The song was published in 1920 and was named after the five-year-old daughter of singer and songwriter Eddie Cantor. Cantor is credited with popularizing the song with his 1921 recording that stayed at the top of the pop charts for five weeks.The song has appeared in the movies Stella Dallas (1937), Margie (1946), The Eddie Cantor Story (1953) and The Drowning Pool (1975). The song was also used in a Phonofilm sound-on-film cartoon produced by Max Fleischer and released 30 October 1926.The song was the Preston North End unofficial club anthem during 1950s and played at Sir Tom Finney's funeral in 2014.

My Baby Just Cares for Me

"My Baby Just Cares for Me" is a jazz standard written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. Written for the film version of the musical comedy Whoopee! (1930), the song became a signature tune for Eddie Cantor who sang it in the movie. A stylized version of the song by Nina Simone, recorded in 1957, was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom after it was used in a 1987 perfume commercial and resulted in a renaissance for Simone.

My Mammy

"My Mammy" is an American popular song with music by Walter Donaldson and lyrics by Joe Young and Sam M. Lewis.

Though associated with Al Jolson, who performed the song very successfully, "My Mammy" was performed first in 1918 by William Frawley (later to become famous on I Love Lucy) as a vaudeville act. Saul Bornstein, the general manager in early 1921 for Irving Berlin Music Publishing, brought the song to Jolson's attention; Jolson first interpolated the song in January 1921 to the Broadway show Sinbad which was in the fourth year of its run. Jolson recorded this song twice and performed it in films, including The Jazz Singer (1927), The Singing Fool (1928) and Rose of Washington Square (1939). His voice can also be heard (dubbing actor Larry Parks) singing the song in The Jolson Story (1946).The group The Happenings revived the song in 1967 with a recording that reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. During their PopMart Tour of 1997–98, rock music band U2 would often quote the line "The sun shines east, the sun shines west, I know where the sun shines best" in performances of their song, "Miami". "The British rock band The Psychedelic Furs parodied it in their song "We Love You", singing "I would walk a million smiles for one of your miles". In the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, the song is parodied in the song "Muqǐn". It is also parodied in the jukebox musical Our House (musical) in the song 'Rise and Fall' and 'The Sun and the Rain (Act II)'

Palmy Days

Palmy Days is a 1931 American Pre-Code musical comedy film written by Eddie Cantor, Morrie Ryskind, and David Freedman, directed by A. Edward Sutherland, and choreographed by Busby Berkeley (who makes a cameo appearance as a fortune teller). The film stars Eddie Cantor. The famed Goldwyn Girls make appearances during elaborate production numbers set in a gymnasium and a bakery ("Glorifying the American Doughnut"). Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, Virginia Grey, and Toby Wing are among the bevy of chorines.

Roman Scandals

Roman Scandals is a 1933 American black-and-white pre-Code musical film starring Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Gloria Stuart, Edward Arnold and David Manners. It was directed by Frank Tuttle. The film features a number of intricate production numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley. The song "Keep Young and Beautiful" is from this film. In addition to the starring actors in the picture, the elaborate dance numbers are performed by the "Goldwyn Girls" (who in this film include future stars such as Lucille Ball, Paulette Goddard and Barbara Pepper). The title of the film is a pun on Roman sandals.

Show Business (1944 film)

Show Business is a 1944 movie musical film starring Eddie Cantor, George Murphy, Joan Davis, Nancy Kelly, and Constance Moore. The film was directed by Edwin L. Marin and released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Strike Me Pink (film)

Strike Me Pink is a 1936 American musical comedy film directed by Norman Taurog, starring Eddie Cantor and Ethel Merman, and produced by Samuel Goldwyn.

Cantor plays a nebbishy employee of an amusement park, forced to assert himself against a gang of slot-machine racketeers. The climax involves a wild chase over a roller coaster and in a hot-air balloon, filmed at The Pike in Long Beach, California.

The film was Eddie Cantor's sixth of six films for Goldwyn, all produced and released within seven years. The story derives from the novel Dreamland by the once-popular writer Clarence Budington Kelland, reworked as a 1933 stage musical comedy by Ray Henderson for Jimmy Durante.

Thank Your Lucky Stars (film)

Thank Your Lucky Stars is a 1943 American musical comedy film made by Warner Brothers as a World War II fundraiser, with a slim plot, involving theater producers. The stars donated their salaries to the Hollywood Canteen, which was founded by John Garfield and Bette Davis, who appear in this film. It was directed by David Butler and stars Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, Edward Everett Horton and S. Z. Sakall.

The Eddie Cantor Story

The Eddie Cantor Story is a 1953 American film about the life of Eddie Cantor, starring Keefe Brasselle as Cantor, and released by Warner Brothers.

The Kid from Spain

The Kid from Spain is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Eddie Cantor, involving bullfighting. Songs were composed by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar. Noteworthy are the musical scenes, directed and choreographed by Busby Berkeley, Cantor in blackface, and an appearance by the Goldwyn Girls (whose starlets this film include future stars Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, Toby Wing, and Jane Wyman).

Whoopee! (film)

Whoopee! is a 1930 American pre-Code musical comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, Paul Gregory, and Eleanor Hunt. It was photographed in two-color Technicolor. Its plot closely follows the 1928 stage show produced by Florenz Ziegfeld.

Yes Sir, That's My Baby (song)

"Yes Sir, That's My Baby" is a popular U.S. song from 1925.

1928–1950
1951–1975
1976–2000
2001–present
Presidents of the Screen Actors Guild and SAG-AFTRA

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