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Come one, come all, and join us in celebrating Stan Laurel's birthday on the evening of Tuesday, June 16. As we all know, Stan was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on this date, 108 years ago in Ulverston, England. We will commemorate this occasion with a special film program featuring two of Laurel & Hardy's most popular films, as well as a terrific Stan Laurel solo film (see "Film Program" for details).
We are also very excited to announce that Stan's daughter, Lois, will be in attendance to help us pay tribute to her father. Lois, a long time member of the Way Out West Tent, also appeared on screen as an extra in Swiss Miss. She'll be available for questions and autographs, as well as to cut her father's birthday cake. Also joining us for this evening will be Jerry Maren (see below).
This will all take place at the Mayflower Club, which is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard (west of Vineland Avenue) in North Hollywood. The doors open at 6:30 PM and the meeting will begin promptly at 7:15 PM. So don't be late--on this very important date--to Stan's birthday party on June 16, 1998.
Map to the Mayflower Club...
Back in 1939, Jerry Maren made appearances in three popular motion pictures. He was the Munchkin who gave Judy Garland the lollipop in The Wizard of Oz, he was interrogated by the Marx Brothers in At the Circus, and he played Light Fingered Lester in Our Gang's Tiny Troubles. Over the years, Jerry has appeared in numerous motion pictures, television programs, and commercials. You will recognize him as Buster Brown of Buster Brown shoe fame, Little Oscar from the Oscar Mayer company, and most recently, he and his wife Elizabeth made an appearance on Seinfeld. Jerry will be available for questions and autographs at our upcoming meeting.
In honor of Stan Laurel's birthday, Turner Classic Movies will broadcast a special film marathon on the morning of June 16. But unless you're an early riser, you'll want to set your VCR for the films╔which will begin at 3 AM (Pacific time). Five features will be shown in their entirety, without commercials.
TCM Schedule for June 16 (Pacific time)
For the past year, it has been very difficult to see Laurel and Hardy on television. So we are delighted to see TCM paying tribute to Stan Laurel this month. In recent months the network has honored other notable celebrities on their birthdays, including Jimmy Stewart and Shirley MacLaine.
The channel number for Turner Classic Movies will vary between cable companies. Throughout the western part of Los Angeles and much of the San Fernando Valley, Century Cable carries TCM on channel 56; Century Cable in Eagle Rock carries TCM on channel 61; you'll find TCM on channel 63 on Marcus Cable in Glendale; and Time Warner Cable in the Chatsworth area has TCM on channel 30. If you live elsewhere, check your local television listings for the proper cable channel.
This summer, the acclaimed Dutch orchestra "Beau Hunks" will perform live in London, accompanying several Laurel and Hardy films. What makes this unusual is that, in addition to accompanying two silent shorts, the orchestra will also play previously lost music from the feature film Our Relations. This will be the world premier of the rediscovered material.
In 1936, Le Roy Shield had written a complete score for Our Relations, as opposed to the short "themes" used in other L&H features. The score was to be played by a 23-piece orchestra. After being shown to a test audience, it was decided that the film was too long and should be cut down. This resulted in substantial cuts to Shield's musical score as well. The music was lost until recently, when composer Piet Schreuders and our very own Rob Stone (author of Laurel or Hardy) found portions of the sheet music here in Los Angeles. The entire score has been pieced together using this material, as well as material acquired from the Library of Congress.
The "Beau Hunks" have released three albums of Laurel & Hardy/Our Gang music. A new CD featuring this lost score is expected in 1999. The concert will take place at London's South Bank Center on July 1, as part of the "Meltdown Festival."
The 11th Sons of the Desert International Convention will take place this July in Birmingham, England. The Way Out West Tent is being supported by 8 members ... not bad when you consider that we're traveling farther than any other tent! A bid for the 2000 convention has been made by the Seattle Beau Hunks Tent. More information on their bid can be found in the latest issue of the Intra-Tent Journal, which will be available at our upcoming meeting.
The meeting of April 7, 1998, began with the traditional singing of the "Sons of the Desert" song and the toasts to Stan, Ollie, and company. Bob Duncan started us off with an introduction of our first film, Night Owls. After a short break, "Mama Hen" McCaffery made some announcements and Bob Duncan introduced the next film, Our Gang's Official Officers. This was followed by Bob Satterfield's introduction of our special guests for the evening, Lassie Lou and Peggy Ahern. After sharing many memories of their careers in Hollywood and at the Hal Roach Studios, Lassie Lou entertained us all with her own special dancing talents to the tune of Bobby Darin's, "Mack The Knife." At the break we honored L&H costumer, Jay Dare, on his upcoming birthday. Peggy and Lassie Lou shared the cake cutting duties with Jay. The evening finished off with a screening of the boys in Another Fine Mess. Many thanks to Lassie Lou and Peggy (and her daughter, Jill) for making the evening a memorable one. Our thanks to Bob Duncan, for the film introductions he provided, as they gave us some interesting history and anecdotes to the movies that we viewed; to Bob Satterfield for serving as moderator during the interview with the Ahern sisters; and to Richard Bann for loaning us the print of Official Officers.
Film, television, and stage actor Douglas Fowley passed away on May 21, at the age of 86. Fowley's most memorable role was as Doc Holliday on television's The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (with Hugh O'Brian). But Laurel and Hardy fans will remember him best as Malcolm Bennett in the Jitterbugs.
Fowley was born May 10, 1911, in New York City. He found work both on and off Broadway before coming to Los Angeles. His first film was 1933's The Mad Game, starring Spencer Tracey. In 1939, Fowley nearly starred in Of Mice and Men for Hal Roach; he lost the role to Burgess Meredith. Douglas Fowley went on to appear in many classic films, including Mighty Joe Young, The Naked Jungle, and Singin' in the Rain. He also appeared on television in such series as The Rockford Files, CHiPs, & Perry Mason. He appeared in over 200 films and TV shows during his career.
The second annual Thelma Todd Celebration is being held from July 29th - August 2nd in her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the On the Loose Tent website.
He was born on January 30, 1871 in Ontario, Canada. As one of the early pioneer actors in silent films, his career began in 1907 with Biograph. He worked with Mack Sennett and D. W. Griffith in their beginning days. In 1912, he moved over to the Sennett Keystone Studio and served as a director for many of the one and two-reelers the following year. After that stint, he went back to acting and appeared in such films as Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra with Claudette Colbert, The Count of Monte Cristo with Robert Donat, The Story of Louis Pasteur with Paul Muni, and Angels With Dirty Faces starring James Cagney. His final film was The Sea Wolf with Edward G. Robinson. He died on December 13, 1940, in Los Angeles, just seven weeks short of his 70th birthday. His film credits at the Hal Roach Studios include Zenobia, however, Laurel and Hardy fans remember him best as the warden in Pardon Us and as the dean in A Chump at Oxford ... Wilfred Lucas
While the films of Laurel and Hardy are becoming increasingly difficult to find on home video, a few more of each of their solo films are now available. Kino on Video has recently announced a series of eight tapes, called "The Slapstick Encyclopedia."
Volume I, which is available now, contains films by Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Charlie Chase, Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle, and the Keystone Kops. Volume II is due out in August. The entire series will contain 54 comedies in all; two solo Oliver Hardy shorts (One Too Many and He's in Again) and two solo Stan Laurel shorts (Oranges & Lemons and Pie-Eyed).
Individual tapes are priced at $24.95 each; the boxed-set of four tapes is $89.95. Check your local video retailer for the tapes.
As most of you know, all regular members receive free guest passes when they pay their annual dues. If you're anything like us, you probably have a drawer full of them by now! So why not ask a friend to come along to our next meeting. It's a great way to expose new people to the magic of Laurel and Hardy.
Released February 18, 1939. Starring Our Gang's Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, George "Spanky" McFarland, Darla Hood, Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas, and Jerry Maren. In an attempt to get a baby brother that doesn't cry so much, Alfalfa trades in his brother at a nearby park for a more quiet brother. Unfortunately, the new baby turns out to be Light Fingered Lester, a midget pickpocket impersonating a baby. Trouble brews when the Gang gets him home.
Them Thar Hills
Released July 21, 1934. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, Charlie Hall, and Billy Gilbert. A gout-ridden Ollie follows his doctor's orders and takes off for the mountains with Stan. The boys settle in at a recently abandoned location vacated by a gang of bootleggers, who have deposited their liquor in the nearby well. When Mr. & Mrs. Hall show up in need of some gas for their car, the boys accommodate Mr. Hall with the gasoline and Mrs. Hall with the "well" water, which means trouble when Mr. Hall returns with the car.
Tit For Tat
Released January 5, 1935. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Mae Busch, James C. Morton, and Bobby Dunn. Electrical supply store owners Laurel & Hardy run up against a very unfriendly Charlie Hall from next door. As it turns out, they had an earlier run-in on a trip to the mountains. An exchange of destruction follows their meeting.
Hustling For Health
Released February 2, 1919. Starring Stan Laurel, Frank Terry, Marie Mosquini, and Bud Jamison. After missing his train for a vacation, Stan is invited to stay at a friend's house. When he arrives, he is put to work (ruining the neighbor's yard in the process). The neighbors are not too happy when they realize that the lunch that they have been invited to is made up of their own food.
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May 4 Edgar Dearing Two Tars 5 June Lang Bonnie Scotland 5 Harry Woods Block-Heads 8 Sam Lufkin Sons of the Desert, Saps at Sea 10 Johnny Arthur Our Gang, Pick a Star 11 Douglas Fowley Jitterbugs 11 Peggy Lynch (Margaret Kerry) Our Gang 11 Doodles Weaver Swiss Miss 12 Lionel Bellmore Bonnie Scotland 18 Frank Capra Our Gang writer 20 Patricia Ellis Block-Heads 20 Vivien Oakland Way Out West, Scram 20 Stanley Fields Way Out West 20 Edith Fellows The Devil's Brother, Our Gang 21 Ralph Sanford The Bullfighters 23 Max Davidson The Call of the Cuckoos 26 Dorothy Christy Sons of the Desert 28 Minna Gombell Block-Heads 29 Iris Adrian Our Relations 30 Virginia Karns Babes in Toyland 30 Stepin Fetchit Zenobia June 3 Paulette Goddard Berth Marks 8 Henry Brandon Babes in Toyland 8 Sheila Ryan A Haunting We Will Go, Great Guns 8 Dorothy Coburn The Finishing Touch 8 Mary Carr One Good Turn 9 Bob Cummings Sons of the Desert 10 Hattie McDaniel Zenobia 10 William Seiter Sons of the Desert director 12 William Austin County Hospital 13 Ralph Edwards This is Your Life 13 Ellen Corby Hal Roach script girl 15 Harry Langdon Zenobia 16 STAN LAUREL 18 Mae Busch L&H supporting player