Monday, May 10, 2010
Sing It, Fred!
There aren't many people in the world who don't know who Fred of Fred and Ethel are. If you were to ask those same people if they knew who Bill Frawley was, you might not get as a big of a response. Bill Frawley was the inimitable actor who portrayed the lovable landlord for the Riccardos. Most of his life was spent in show business and he appeared in over a hundred films, but he will always be remembered for his role as Fred Mertz. As a child, he formed a vaudeville act with his younger brother, Paul. Six months later, he wrote a script named Fun in a Vaudeville Agency which earned him over five hundred dollars. He then moved to Denver, Colorado, where he was hired as a singer at a café. He met and teamed up with pianist, Franz Rath. The two men relocated to San Francisco with their act, "A Man, a Piano, and a Nut." During his vaudeville career, Frawley introduced and helped popularize the songs "My Mammy" , "My Melancholy Baby", and "Carolina in the Morning". By 1951, the 64-year-old Frawley had appeared in over 100 movies but was starting to find film role offers becoming fewer. When he heard that Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball were casting a new television situation comedy and were looking for someone to play the part of the , miserly landlord Fred Mertz. Gale Gordon was the first choice to play the character. Fortunately for Frawley, he was unavailable due to a prior commitment and the rest is history! In 1958, using his success from "I Love Lucy", he recorded many of his old stage songs on an album. I share that album of classics with you now. Here is "Bill Frawley Sings the Old Ones." Enjoy!
Bill Frawley Sings The Old Ones
PS - Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I have been extremely busy and will be for the next month or so. I will do my best to keep posting new things but it may not be as frequent as usual.