Radio stars (July 1933)

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RADIO Culver Service (Above) Al Jolson, Doug Fairbanks, Mary Pick- ford, Cantor, Ronald Colman and Sam Gold- wyn on the United Artists lot. (Above, right) Eddie and Georgie Jessel in their early stage days. (Right) As he looks on the beach. Within one year from the jolly clay when his brokers phoned him the news that the last Cantor dollar had taken wings, he had put nearly half a million back into his own pockets, and the pockets of his friends, charities and retainers. The upward climb involved something more than hard work, however. It meant turning his back once and for all on his boyhood dream of the Surprise Lake Camp days, the dream of blue sky, green trees all around and plenty of fresh air. The minute Eddie was wiped out he closed the Great Neck house and took his family back to the hotels. You can have it now—or you—for a mere quarter of a million dollars, some four hundred thousand less than he paid for it. I am told that it costs him about three thousand a month not to live in it. So it stands there empty, a lavish monument to an empty dream. "I was all set to retire then," he told me. "Now ? No. Never. I'll be in there clowning till they carry me off." As the song goes: "Never no more." Eddie has a home again, in Beverly Hills, among the movie stars. His family lives there; his wife, when she isn't traveling with him, and his five girls. But he doesn't own it. He rents it. It is a transient home, an annex to the Hollywood Hotel. Eddie says he will never own a home again. I think perhaps the idea of owning a home is too closely bound up with the dream that almost came true. A Ghetto boy living a life of leisure under the open skies? No, it's not in the cards. WELL, we can't have everything, and Eddie has ef- fected a pretty good compromise. He takes his sun- shine on the run. He arranges tours to Florida, just so he can drive to work under a blue sky down a palm- l>ordered street, or idle for an hour on a golf course without an overcoat. In New York he never misses getting STARS out to feed the pigeons in Central Park. And he does get a vacation now and then which he spends with his family in Beverly Hills where he has a tennis court and a swimming pool. There may be another reason, too, why Eddie won't retire. If he ever does get two million dollars again— and it shouldn't take him long at his present rate in spite of his generosities—if he ever does get that sum again, after his other experience, I think he simply won't believe it. In September, 1931, Eddie went on the air over his famous Sunday evening Chase & Sanborn hour, and made history. You hear a lot of comedians over the networks now. And you have Eddie to thank for them. He blazed the way. At the time he first stepped before the micro- phone, radio was cold on comedy. Eddie changed all that. Specifically, you have him to thank for Burns & Allen. Eddie plugged them at the Palace and plugged them with his own sponsor's agency, another comedy act, mind you. They became a sensation and Eddie is as tickled as they are. Jimmy Wallington, Eddie's stooge and announcer, will never forget that morning before he went on the air. He called them all in, program directors, sound men, control men. He said: "Boys, I'm old enough to be (Continued on page 39)