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TWO BLYTHEVTLLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS M Writer's Road Is Rough N. B. A. Winner Gets Advice from His Wife liy \V. G. ROGERS Associated Press Arts Editor NEW YORK—Advice to a prize-winning story-writer from his practical wife: Don t forget that at least one writer who didn't amount to much won this before. "Don't let this go to your ' head, the whole business is aimed at man's vanity. "Don't forget that you didn't win for your best writing, for that is still to come." That was Bernard Malamud's answer when I told him that I supposed his wife, who stayed home in Corvallis, Ore., to mind the two children, was pretly tickled about his winning the National Book Awards honor for the "most distinguished" fiction of 1958. "Yes, with qualifications, she was." said Malamud, a Brook- IjTi-born 'novelist and short- story writer whose "The Magic Ba'rrel" picked up for him $1,000 and the coveted NBA scroll as the culmination of a long series of honors: ' * * * RUNNER-UP for the NBA fiction award last year with the novel, "The Assistant;" Partisan Review fellowship; Rosen- thai award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters; Jewish Book Council award; Rockefeller Grant; and most remunerative of all, one of the first 11 Ford Foundation grants to creative writers, which supports him for two years of writing. Slight, short, bespectacled, with few gestures, a matter-of- fact speaker, a man with a clearly thought out purpose and direction, Malamud is unusual in a couple of respects: * * * AS FAR AS I CAN remember, he's the only author ever to refuse to pose for news and TV cameras holding up conspicuously a copy of his own book — too corny, he decided. And he's probably the only one, for all his conunon-senss attitude about money, who had to have his NBA check presented twice: He forgot it on the podium at the NBA party and mistress of ceremonies Virgilia Peterson had to retrieve it and give it privately a second time. Born in 1914, Malamud began to write about 1922. When I prodded him into digging far back to find out the origin of his creative urge, he remembered: * * * "IT WAS in the third grade. I made up a story about Roger Williams, about a bear encountering him, and a girl, too. I KNOWS HER PSYCHOLOGY - Biirneite Bobi Byrnes, who makes her movie debut in MGM's "Niglil of the Quarter Moon," is likely to give the blondes a run for (heir money. She's a former psychology major at U.C.L.A. came lo class early one morning with it. The teacher was there alone and took it over by the window, read it, and said: 'It's very nice.' " He went on: "1 had the kind of childhood thai lias disappeared from New York. 1 enjoyed a lot of freedom. My father was a grocer (that grocery store and ifs environment have been invaluable as background or setting for some Malamud fiction.! My parents didn't worry about my running into gangs of boys armed with knives. I'd be gone all day, 1 was independent. 1 might sneak under the turnstile of the El and go io Coney Island and enjoy the rides there. If I got lost, a policeman would start me homeward." * ^ t BUT HIS FUTURE began to assume a distinct shape in Erasmus Hall high school in Brooklyn, and from the.first he aspired to write for the Erasmian, MODELS FROM FOUR LAXDS-These young ladies add a'bit Mnn*^, 10 u SP '° e '° ''*"*" for a »»>••" Monday-through-Friday NBC-TV shows, modeling prizes won by the designated "Queens " Pictured are Terry Kcasberry (top eft) of Indonesia; Shecla Alital (top right) of Pakistan; Linda Wong (lower left) of China; and Maxine Reeves nl the United SUtes. a monthly and later a quarterly. He recalled: "Dorothy Kilgallen, the writer, journalist and TV star, was the editor and turned down my first story. She said, 'It's too morbid for the Erasmian.' So I tried stories with comic aspect, .in particular dialect pieces about a farmer named Josh visiting the city." There seems to have been creative urge in the air at Erasmus. Micky Spillane was an Erasmus boy, and the school gave the theater both Clara Bow and Jane Cowell. » * * AN ESSAY, "Life from Behind a Counter," won Malamud the school's Richard Young medal, and was reprinted in Scholastic Magazine. From then on, the author said, "I was very .desirous of writing." He entered the College of the City of New York. He thought he might be a lawyer, but enrolled in English and studied mainly lo teach; that was depression and he must earn money soon. T\vo teachers helped especially: Earle Fenton Palmer, for encouraging him, and Theodore Goodman for restraining a tendency to fake or overwrite. AFTER THIS it was a case of finding time. He did odd jobs, worked wilh the Census Bureau in Washington and sold short pieces lo the Washington Post, and at last got a night-school teaching appointment at his old Erasmus Hail High and for 10 years taught at night and wrote by day. His first success was a short-story sate in 19-13-44. TV Notebook TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 195* N.Y. Actors Turn to 'Soaps' NEW YORK - (NEA) - The irony of life is now being contemplated by Peggy Cass. Although nominated for an Oscar for her work as a supporting actress in "Auntie Mame," she hasn't had an offer to do another movie^since. There is one vague project she'* thinking about. A month or so back, she did a Hitchcock TV show, with John McGiver. They played an undertaker and his wife. "We got along beautifully," says Peggy. "And don't you think that John McGiver and Mary Margaret Chase - that's me - would make a fine team for a comedy series?" ' We do. And so do others, who are considering properties now * * * MAUREEN STAPLETON played Pilar on Playhouse 90's fine Iwo-part version of "For Whom the Bell Toils." Miss Stapleton, who admits to being afraid of horses, guns and fire, had to work intimately with horses, guns and fire in thai part "With those fears," somebody asked her during the rehearsal, "what are you doing in that part?" "I'm quitting the business tomorrow," grunted Maureen. * * * THE NON-POETIC FUSS and furor about "A Touch of the Poet" ~ Kim Stanley quit the show in a high-flown huff - has focused attention on one interesting television development, ' Miss Stanley's understudy, who inherited the part in the O'Neill drama is Nancy Malone. Nancy, in turn, left the show after a salary disagreement, but she filled in for Miss Stanley many times during the run of the show! and for several weeks after Kim left. And Nancy is a regular member of the cast of the CBS-TV soap opera, "The Brighter.Day." Her emergence as a major participant in one of Broadway's classiest hits points up the steady rise in acting caliber on the soaps. "It used to be," says Nancy, "that soaps were looked on with scorn by New York actors. But nowadays an actor is lucky to be in one - you can't make a living in New York without a steady job, and'a soap opera is very steady. "Consequently, the soaps have fine actors, stage actors, these days. The casts of most of them ar« full of some of Broadway's b«st actors." .* - * * NANCY LIKES BEING in "The Brighter Day." She likes the people $h« work* with and for. They're thoughtful - they write h«r out every Wednesday, so sh« can be at the theater if necessary. During the play's out-of-town frywts, they understood her problem, and she had a whopper — she'd fly up to Boston every afternoon, do the play, take the sleeper back to New York, do the TV show "I'm still tired from it," she says. She's a New York girl, who drifted into acting by way of child-modeling, starting at six when a friend of the family took some pictures which intrigued the a4 agencies. At 12, she shifted to acting, and grew up on New York TV. "I was on all of them," she says. "Remember those shows? — Kraft, Phllco, Elgin, Alcoa. Gee, they were wonderful shows." The problem of making a living in New York, which she solved by doing a soap opera, has one easy solution. She could move to California, but she doesn't want t». "I've been there," she says. "The people are even sicker than in New York" • * * » SHELLEY HERMAN, who switched from actor to comedian to get ahead b the world, now hopes to switch right back. "I just took a detour," he says. "A detour so I could get known. I found while I was in acting school, that I had a gift for monologues. The detour is paying off but I expect now I'll be getting back to the dramatic things soon." For a while, when he first started detouring, he objected when people called him a "comic," since he isn't really, in the strict sense of the definition. He's technically a monologist. * * * "BUT THEN I FIGURED," he says, "that it wouldn't sound so good for an MC to get up and say, 'Next week, ladies and gentlemen, we'll have Shelley Berman monologist.' Nobody would come. So I let them call me anything." Berman gets most of his material from looking around observantly "Whenever anything bugs me," he says, "I write a monologue kidding the thing. I ve done airlines, telephones, lots of things. Now I think I'll do laundries " And he fingered a frayed cuff meaningfully. . ' RICHARD EASTMANS SAD SONG: Can't Sing in Hollywood, Act in NY MfTTr \7/^T>T^ /%m i \ 1 i m , _ „» NEW YORK (NEA)—Around TV Town: „.,„ L °°p f °L ch ? rles , B °Y er to have an anthology series, like David Niven's new cast of "Sv%»?r r 7?fl""-- rie T nd % bere re P°^, that the English star, who just left the cast of My Fair .Lady m London, says-he'll never do a musical play again They re dickering to-bring the brilliant French arranger and conductor, Michel' Le^ grand, here to do the musical work on the Andy Williams Show, which will be the summer replacement for Garry Moore's program. . . . When Andy Griffith opened in the new musical comedy, "Destry Rides Again," in Philadelphia, he got a telegram signed jointly by Western stars James Garner, Pat Conway, Jim Arness and Ward Bond. It read: "Welcome to the Un-- EVERY ONCE in a while, a combination of nostalgia and frustration brings Richard Eastham back to New York, scene of his greatest triumphs. You know him as the newspaper editor, co-star with Pat Conway on the Western series, "Tombstone Territory." But when he was known by his real name, Dickinson Eastham, he succeeded. Ezio Pinza in "South Pacific." He sings, and beautifully, but few of his new fans know that. "I just can't get the two coasts to get together," says Dick Eastham. "Here in New York, I can't gel a dramatic part — all (hey want me to do is sing. In Hollywood, nobody lets me sing, just act. I've never acted in New York, never sung in Hollywood. What I'm looking for is the geographical center of the country, where 1 can do both — but probably there's no theater there," * * * IT'S REALLY a tragedy, because Eastham is a big, goo.I- looking guy with a big, beautiful voice. He keeps trying, would like nothing belter than another crack at the Broadway musical stage, but he's been singularly unsuccessful in getting it. "I don't know what to do about it," he says, with a pear- shaped sigh. "I'm just not the type to sit and wait for the right RICHARD EASTMAN ON SCREEN: When he appears with Pal Conway (left) his singing voice is mute. part to come along. I've got to keep working — I've got a wife and mother-in-law to support. But it sure does get maddening." Meanwhile/he's getting a kick out of his horse-opera — more horse than opera, unfortunately. He enjoys the part, and likes the steady salary. But he sure wishes somebodj, anybody, would ritory" even got an outside voice to record the show's theme song, which was pretty silly. * + * WHEN NANETTE FABRAY was here, she recalled what was probably one or the funniest scenes ever observed in a •' Broadway theater. And it was in the house, not on the stage. Nan, who has trouble with her hearing, ,ised to go to plays with a girl friend who had bad eyes. Generally, they sat up front and both managed. But once they were in the center of the house. Nan would describe the scene, which she could see, and the friend would tell her what was being said. "Finally," Nan says, "my friend said, 'What's that on the left side of the siage — a Victrola or a dog?' That remark struck us so funny we both laughed so hard we had to leave the theater. Never did see the Boyef Baker play." An announcer today has to be something 01 an accountant, too. Especially an announcer who, like Mike Baker, does a lot of filmed and recorded commercials and spot* on both radio and TV. MIKE JUST FILED his income tax — and he had 44 withholding tax receipts to include with it. That means he worked for 44 different advertising agencies during the year. You know him best as. the commercial voice (and face) on The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, but he's all over the dial. Doing "voice over" spots — that's when the voice is heard over someting like a cartoon — is tricky work. Sometimes, Mike says, he works like a dog for a flat $70 fee. On the other hand, once last year he came in, said one line ( "It's the smoke that comes through the filter which counts") and wound up making $5,000. The difference is in "residuals" — each time that "smoke" commercial was shown, he was paid, whether it was on a network or just local. He did an -eight-second spot three years ago; it took him eight minutes to make and he's still, getting checks which, at last tally, totalled $2,300. * * * MIKE'S A YOUNG, good-looking man with a rich voice. He says he "grew up with my head in the bo>:." meaning he was fascinated by radio at a tender age. He knew he was going to be in radio from the time he was eight. Today, he still knows where he's going. In three or four years, he hopes to have his own radio station on the West Coast of Florida. He has definite ideas about programming, too — "I want to take the three subjects people say you're not supposed to talk about — politics, sex and religion — and talk about them." BILLBOARD GIRL — Slim, dark, graceful Joan Van Pelt is one of the Billboard Girls who appear on Steve Allen's NBC- TV Sunday show. Popular Death March MIAOLI, Taiwan — Hit (unes are favorite funeral dirges here on Formosa; "Our Maryknoll mission is only a short distance from the pagan cemetery," reports Father Donald J. Sheehan, M.M., of San Francisco, Calif., "and most of the funeral corteges pass by our gate. "If the deceased warrants much 'face* and his survivors can afford it, a band is hired to lead the procession. What is most disconcerting to a Western ear, however, is the music that makes up the band's repertoire. One band, for example, marched past recently playing a loud and gusty rendition of, 'I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now.!" Frogs Are Real Cool Cats c^ NEW YORK —(NEA) — Martin Denny will always be grateful to the frogs. And so should anybody who likes the intriguing sounds and rhythms Denny and his group put on their Liberty records, like his "Kxot- ica" albums and the currently hot single, "Quiet Village." To understand the debt D<3nny owes the frogs, we must first learn something about Denny. He's a tall, good-looking pianist who spent many years floating around - five years playing with orchestras in South America, more years as Hildegarde's accompanist, other years drifting wherever he could get a job. The drift, at one point took him to Hawaii. * * * HE LIKED IT, and missed it so much when he drifted away that he went back and set- tled there. He got a job playing In a room that was decorated wilh tropical foliage and a pool, equipped with bright-colored fish and frogs. "Whenever \ played," Denny says, "the frogs would croak. When I stopped, they stopped. So I began counting on them. And I had a bongo player who could do bird calls, so he started doing bird calls and Ihe frogs croaked and the people liked the sound. The frogs, Ihe calls, and a pretty solid jazz beat." * * * BASICALLY, THAT'S STILL Denny's product. Now there are four in the group — Denny on piano, his bird-calling, tse-tse-fly-imilating bongo player, a man on marimba and vibes and a bass player "to lay down a good beat." Among them, they play 50 instruments — from a Japanese samisen to an African thumb pianp. The only thing he doesn't have is a Hawaiian steel guitar; Denny says he's resisted all temptation to do typical Hawaiian music. His only problem — now he's successful he doesn't have much time to spend in Hawaii, where he has a home and family, "But this is my chance to make it big," Denny says, "and have something to provide security for my family. For a few years, I'll give it a whirl. Then it's back to Hawaii for me." » * * THEY'RE GROWING THEM younger all the time. A new hit is Kenny Rossi, who is all of 15. His first record, a hit on Adelphia, is "Problem Child" and "Rock Away the Teardrops," which got off lo a fast start on The Dick Clark Show. Rossi is another Pniladelphinn, following In the frantic footsteps of two fellow Philadelphians, Fabian and Frankie Avalon. He's just a kid, of course, and chances are his voice still has a few changes left in it. But he seems to have a big potential. One thing he definitely has 1* a following of rabid fans. Proof of his appeal is one set of statistics. Last fall, when Dick Clark mentioned on his TV show that it was Kenny's birthday, the next mail brougth In more than 3,000 birthday cards - and 151 pair* of cuff links. * *, * IF YOU'VE BEEN WANTING to build up • library of classical records, but don't know where to start, here's a tip. With so many albums out on every p j ece , H' s difficult to make a choice, but the magazine HiFi Review has compiled a selected list of available albums at bargain rates. The list con aiders only records that retail for $1-98. And the list is yours for the asking-just send your name and address to HiFi Review, Box 1773 R, Church Street Station, New York 8 N Y.