Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois on October 22, 1953 · Page 7
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Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois · Page 7

Galesburg, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 22, 1953
Page 7
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Will Not Let Amos and Andy Quit Radio By BOB THOMAS HOLLYWOOD m —People just won't lei Amos 'n' Andy quit. The veteran blackface comics, who have stayed in the big time longer than any radio stars, were thinking of retiring last season But they're back on the CBS net work every Sunday as lusty as ever. I asked the two boys how come, Amos (he also plays Kingfish) is Freeman Gosden, 54, genial father of three children, the spokesman for the comedy team. Andy is Charles Correll, 63, wry, friendly, father of five. "Like a lot of oldtimcrs in radio," Amos explained, "we sort of felt left out when TV came along. Everybody was talking about the new medium and overlooking radio, We never had any notions .• bout dying with our boots on; we wanted to quit while we were still ahead, So we let it out that we were thinking of retiring." The reaction was immediate. Amos 'n' Andy fans poured forth a flood of letters, wires and phone calls. While in the East, Amos visited a friend in Asheville, N. C. Local residents heard about it and took a quarter-page ad in the Don't Neglect Slipping FALSE TEETH Do false teeth drop, slip or wobble when you talk, eat, laugh or sneeze? Don't be annoyed and embarrassed by •tich handicaps. FASTEETH, an alkaline (non-acid) powder to sprinkle on your plates, keeps false teeth more firmly set. Gives confident feeling of lecurlty and added comfort. No gum- j my, gooey, pasty taste or feeling. Get, FASTEETH today at any drug store.' The Daily Register-Mail, Galesbifrg, 111. Thursday, October 22, 1953 7 Arthur Godfrey Gives Reasons For Firing Bleyer and La Rosa By ELIZABETH TOOMEY United Press Staff Correspondent NEW YORK (UP)-Radio and television star Arthur Godfrey said he fired two of his star performers because they lost their "humility." He denied backstage love affairs had anything to do with (he action. Godfrey, in a press conference, confirmed that all was not well in his professional family of "little Godfreys" and that he had fired singer Julius La Rosa and sus pended band leader Archie Bleyer from all but one of his shows. It was true, he said Wednesday, that La Rosa was "nuts about" singer Dorothy McGuire. But God- Citizen urging: "Please don't quit radio, Amos." "Things like that helped change our minds," said Amos. "Also there was the urging of William Paley, head of CBS, and Justin Dart, our sponsor." I asked the boys why they didn't play in the TV version of Amos 'n' Andy. "Wc don't look the parts," vol unleercd Andy. "We found that out when wc did pictures years ago. I'm supposed to be the big fat one. So they had to pad me up, front and back, and they made me wear lifts on my shoes." So the pair, who haven't blacked up in 12 years or so. hired an all-Negro cdst to lake their places on TV. Correll and Gosden seem to get along fine after a third of a century as a team. I asked if they followed the ,Olson and Johnson system of keeping apart socially lest friction enters their relationship. "No," replied Amos, "wc enjoy being together. As a matter of fact, f .'h .'ivi!" w" ''"it tm t'i dinner the other night. That makes two dinners he owes me." frey Said "she's far too fine a girl to let a romance like that carry her away." "Nobody," he said, "appreciates folks as much as I do." Godfrey said Bleyer was sued for divorce earlier this year and his wife named a member of Godgrey's singing quartet in the test! mony. But Godfrey said, those prob lems were overshadowed by Bley er's "greed for his record com pany" which recorded one of the red-haired star's competitors and led to Bleyer's dismissal LaRosa Stunned La Rosa was said to have been stunned by the announcement of his dismissal, which was made over the air Monday. Godfrey said he hired La Rosa over the air and decided to fire him on the air. He held out hope he could work out his differences with Bleyer Godfrey reviewed for newsmen the past few years of backstage developments which led to the rift in his family of performers. "I began to see that boy change," Godfrey said, referring to La Rosa, whi m he discovered three years ago on a Navy carrier at Pensacola. "He lost that humility He lost that wonderful quality that I bought in him. I've seen it happen before, and I warned him against it." Godfrey described the singer's humble gratitude when he first got a chance to sing on his show two years ago. His income went from $100 a month to well over $1,000 a week. "He used to be so cute and so awkward, and then I noticed that the awkwardness became studied," Gbdfrey continued. "I found out he was rehearsing his awkward movements." Godfrey said "the straw that broke the back" was the news he received last Friday that La Rosa had signed ft contract with thei General Artists Corp. which is said to promise him "no less than' $100,000 a year. "He knew I would stand for no outside interference from agents," Godfrey said. "I've got the best brains In the business working for me and they are available to my kids." Denies Rumor He vehemently denied the rumor that a backstage romance between La Rosa and singer Dorothy McGuire had anything whatever to do with the dismissal. "Julius is nuts about this kid the way a high school boy is nuts about the girl next door," Godfrey said. "But so far as I know they have never even had a date together. She is separated from her husband, and she's far too fine a girl to let a romance like that carry her away. "The boy went haywire, that's all," Godfrey said. He said La Rosa refused to take the ballet, lessons arranged for the entire cast and was overheard bragging about it. Bleyer will lead the orchestra only on Godfrey's "Talent Scouts" program. "He had personal problems which I understood," Godfrey said recalling the divorce suit in which Bleyer's wife named a member of Godfrey's feminine singing quartet in the testimony, "but those problems resolved themselves into greed for his record company. He was just waving a stick on my show. It's like being married to a girl for 20 years and one day youi come home and find a cigar butt in the ashtray." Bleyer started his record company more than a year ago with Godfrey's approval, and signed La Rosa to a recording contract. Last week, on what Godfrey said he understood was a vacation, Bleyer recorded Don MacNeil in Chicago and Godfrey heard about it. MacNeil is "NBC competition" for Godfrey. Asked to Explain "I called him in on Monday and asked him to explain" Godfrey Hp . Rol | Students ••-lated. "He had a 'what the hell' attitude. T told him i had just Listen at Little York fired Julie and It *as like tearing! LITTLE YORK—The honor roll my eyes out but I guessed that hei^f^ 1110 York " i,?h , * ch ™ 1 h .» a . ««v« •• icludes: seniors, Harold Kinney, „ • . I Susie Melton, Shirley Downes, *mV™*$£JSSi B ®Kenncth, Andy Olson, Lu- week dismissal notice on his othcr| night time show, after letting him take his pick of which he would remain on. "He will stay on Talent Scouts' until I can't stand him any more," Godfrey said, but he added that he hoped they could work out their differences because Bleyer "Is one of the grandest guys that ever lived and up to two years ago when he lost it, like Julie has lost it, there was no one I'd rather have in my house." La Rosa did not know about his dismissal until Godfrey told the audience on Monday morning's show that the number the singer had just completed was his "swan song." La Rosa said he had tried earlier to get in touch with Godfrey to talk over their differences. Godfrey denied this. "This boy is hotter than dynamite now," Godfrey said. "I realized I knew what he wanted— he wanted out of here. He wanted to make some money. I hired this kid on the air, and a v/holc audience had seen me develop him, so I decided to let him go on the air." La Rosa knew him well enough to know what to ,cxpect, Godfrey said, "and he was not surprised." cille Gavin, Ruth Burns, Dylls Davies; juniors, Betty Dutton, Theda Hall, Maxine Biddle, and Barbara Best; sophomores, Carol i':terson, Shirley Luckenbill, Doris Shike, James Hanson, Donna Phillips and Bill Damewood; freshmen, Dwight Boock, Patricia Olson, Charlotte Rhodert, Debri Terpening and Mary Lynn Watson. Use a swivel-blado feeler for paring off the thin outer covering of asparagus stalks if you like this vegetable peeled. When PILE Misery ! Robs You of Sleep ...HERE'S QUICK RELIEF! Tonight you can sleep! 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