Friday, April 27, 2012

The Revelers

As I am about to head off on a brief European vacation (Paris for a week), I thought it appropriate to post a photo I found of my father with The Revelers on their European tour in 1928.

The Revelers were born in 1925 from an older group called the Shannon Quartet, so named because Irish songs were very popular 1918 when they first came together to make recordings for the Victor Company. Until 1925, they were only heard in recordings and on the radio, but in the summer of that year they started making concert tours, including one to Great Britain where they sang for the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary. The original group consisted of Lewis James and Charles Hart (tenors), Elliott Shaw (baritone) and Wilfred Glenn (bass). In 1925, Charles Hart left the group, and was replaced by Franklyn Bauer. In due time he too left to pursue a solo career, and the quartet went in search of another tenor. In 1927, Dr. Frank Black became their accompanist and arranger. And they hired James Melton as first tenor.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter 1948

The Easter when I was about 3 years old we were in Los Angeles, staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is where this photo was taken. (It may be one of the few times when my father was the photographer, rather than having a professional on site. It's also a print made from a 60+ year old color slide, which may add to the blurriness.)

In the Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the hotel, my egg-hunting partner was Candice Bergen (yes, that Candice Bergen, a.k.a. "Murphy Brown.") She's about six months younger than I. Wish I had a photo of the two of us kids. My father and Edgar Bergen were colleagues and friends; Edgar appeared on my father's TV show "Ford Festival" in 1951.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The oldest car in the Melton Collection

The oldest car in the Melton collection was 1893 custom steam stagecoach, which looked rather like a horse-drawn carriage with engines added front and rear.

This photograph of my parents is actually from the December 7, 1942 issue of Opera News. That was the date of my father's debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Tamino in "The Magic Flute," conducted by the legendary Bruno Walter, and starring Ezio Pinza and Jarmila Novotna.

The other illustration is from an undated newspaper clipping.