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It ran in the family?

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  • jazzpianist
    I have been happily tasked with writing the official biography - in print - of my character actor father, Sam Edwards (http://ragpiano.com/sam_bio.shtml). In
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 1, 2011
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      I have been happily tasked with writing the official biography - in print - of my character actor father, Sam Edwards (http://ragpiano.com/sam_bio.shtml). In doing so, I had to go back to his beginnings in 1915 and how he got to the stage. It was through his mother more than anybody.

      So I'm finding out that Edna Lorraine (Watson) (Park) Edwards was one of three "Baby Ednas" in the country - one in California, and one a contortionist. She was the singing, coon-shouting, ragtime dancing Baby Edna who did appear in several NY Venues at (still trying to determine accurately) age 8 to 16, with her father Clifford Watson. Her mother (still haven't pegged an accurate name) married a total of four times, making Edna hard to track before 1910.

      Baby Edna eventually married Samuel J. Park in 1910. His family was deeply into vaudeville and ragtime performance, and he went on to some level of fame on Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s, mostly as a pretty good writer and director, and less so as actor. She had two children, including Sam, with him. During that period she acted in several films with cowboy Tom Mix as his leading lady until one day when she fell through a fake railing on a ship set (the director knew, she did not) and quit the movies for good.

      Then she married Charles (Jack) Edwards from her own Vaudevelle Stock company, where they were performing ragtime and early jazz songs, but soon turned to dramatic and comedic plays instead.

      When Sam first hit the airwaves with his younger brother Jack in the early 1930s, he was known for his song renditions, including Sonny Boy, Robert E. Lee, etc.

      Fascinating to find all this out and even better that it was in your family! We are hoping for October galleys and a December printing at this point. Just need some cooperation from the Disney organization for inclusion of some Tigger-related material (he was the original Tigger for Disney records - just not in the films). So it will be a sort of ragtime to show-biz book after all. I'm stoked.

      If anybody has any searchable databases where you could locate anything on Baby Edna (usually with Clifford Watson or James Clifford in a stock company), that would be deeply appreciated. Year range is 1900 to 1907. I've done 20 on-line archives to date, so this would be separate.

      Finest, Bill E.
    • Bill Blomgren
      Wow.. now that s a family history.  Tigger indeed!   Makes think of his close aquaintance: Pooh... “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn t use
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 1, 2011
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        Wow.. now that's a family history.  Tigger indeed!   Makes think of his close aquaintance: Pooh...
         
         
        That's a whole lot of show biz in your background....


        From: jazzpianist <perfbill@...>
        To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Mon, August 1, 2011 2:38:18 PM
        Subject: [EliteSyncopations] It ran in the family?

        I have been happily tasked with writing the official biography - in print - of my character actor father, Sam Edwards (http://ragpiano.com/sam_bio.shtml). In doing so, I had to go back to his beginnings in 1915 and how he got to the stage. It was through his mother more than anybody.

        So I'm finding out that Edna Lorraine (Watson) (Park) Edwards was one of three "Baby Ednas" in the country - one in California, and one a contortionist. She was the singing, coon-shouting, ragtime dancing Baby Edna who did appear in several NY Venues at (still trying to determine accurately) age 8 to 16, with her father Clifford Watson. Her mother (still haven't pegged an accurate name) married a total of four times, making Edna hard to track before 1910.

        Baby Edna eventually married Samuel J. Park in 1910. His family was deeply into vaudeville and ragtime performance, and he went on to some level of fame on Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s, mostly as a pretty good writer and director, and less so as actor. She had two children, including Sam, with him. During that period she acted in several films with cowboy Tom Mix as his leading lady until one day when she fell through a fake railing on a ship set (the director knew, she did not) and quit the movies for good.

        Then she married Charles (Jack) Edwards from her own Vaudevelle Stock company, where they were performing ragtime and early jazz songs, but soon turned to dramatic and comedic plays instead.

        When Sam first hit the airwaves with his younger brother Jack in the early 1930s, he was known for his song renditions, including Sonny Boy, Robert E. Lee, etc.

        Fascinating to find all this out and even better that it was in your family! We are hoping for October galleys and a December printing at this point. Just need some cooperation from the Disney organization for inclusion of some Tigger-related material (he was the original Tigger for Disney records - just not in the films). So it will be a sort of ragtime to show-biz book after all. I'm stoked.

        If anybody has any searchable databases where you could locate anything on Baby Edna (usually with Clifford Watson or James Clifford in a stock company), that would be deeply appreciated. Year range is 1900 to 1907. I've done 20 on-line archives to date, so this would be separate.

        Finest, Bill E.



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