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Recent Blanding Article

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  • keith2draw
    SPLENDOR OF POET WAS CANDOR By Bob Krauss Honolulu Advertiser Columnist Sunday, June 9, 2002 Bird-call guru Martin Denny owns an autographed first edition of
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 9, 2002
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      SPLENDOR OF POET WAS CANDOR

      By Bob Krauss
      Honolulu Advertiser Columnist
      Sunday, June 9, 2002

      Bird-call guru Martin Denny owns an autographed first edition of
      Don Blanding's poems, "Joy Is an Inside Job." Much more
      interesting is the letter from Blanding inside it, written a year
      before he died. That's the story we'll tell today.

      Before Denny made his bird-call records and was just a
      nightclub piano player, he used to take the sun with poet
      Blanding on Waikiki Beach between the Moana Hotel and the old
      Outrigger Canoe Club. Blanding was then Hawai'i's best-selling
      writer who had invented Lei Day.

      "This was about 1954," said Denny. "Don was a salty character,
      a virile looking man, tall and blond. He used to tell me stories,
      most of them not fit to print. Blanding traveled a lot on the lecture
      circuit. He also had bladder problems.

      "One time he was giving a talk to a women's club when he had to
      empty his bladder. He was behind a podium between two potted
      palms. Little by little, he inched a palm closer and, without
      dropping a comma, relieved himself during the lecture.

      "The only person who noticed was the custodian. Don said the
      custodian told him afterwards, 'I've never seen anybody do that
      with such finesse.'"

      This isn't the image that comes across in Blanding's
      sentimental, self-illustrated books of poetry, "Vagabond House,"
      "Hula Moon," "Songs of the Seven Seas," etc.

      A critic wrote, "He was not a great poet and artist in the sense of
      Michelangelo and Walt Whitman, yet he gave unique expression
      to life in Hawai'i as it was in the 1920s and 1930s."

      I was never sure that Blanding's vagabond adventures were real.
      The story goes that some were invented by a female publicist
      who fell in love with him in New York. She dropped items in
      gossip columns like: "Don Blanding met an old wartime pal with
      whom he had flown wing and wing until his friend went down in
      flames over France. ... The door knocker on Don Blanding's
      apartment was the stirrup of the saddle he used when he was a
      warlord in China."

      So I was delighted to see the true Don Blanding emerge in the
      letter that's tucked into Martin Denny's book. The letter is dated
      1956.

      That's when Denny made his first, blockbuster recording, titled
      "Exotica," that sold 300,000 long-play records. Until that time, of
      course, he was unknown. So he wrote and asked his friend, Don
      Blanding in Hollywood, to write the liner notes for the jacket.
      Blanding refused.

      "I can't do that kind of crap," he wrote, "but it's the only kind
      that's
      being used. The public taste is so numbed by shock and
      television sandpapering that the nerve ends have to be scraped
      with shark's teeth to get a reaction. I'm giving you serious advice
      even if frivolously presented."

      Denny's later albums bore liner notes by James Michener,
      Walter Winchell, Ferde Grofe, John Sturges and Louella
      Parsons.

      But not Blanding.
    • Bev Leinbach
      ... From: keith2draw Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 2:45 PM Recent Blanding Article SPLENDOR OF POET WAS CANDOR By Bob Krauss Honolulu Advertiser Columnist
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 12, 2002
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        -----Original Message-----
        From: keith2draw Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 2:45 PM
        Recent Blanding Article

        SPLENDOR OF POET WAS CANDOR

        By Bob Krauss
        Honolulu Advertiser Columnist
        Sunday, June 9, 2002

        Bird-call guru Martin Denny owns an autographed first edition of
        Don Blanding's poems, "Joy Is an Inside Job." Much more
        interesting is the letter from Blanding inside it, written a year
        before he died. That's the story we'll tell today.





        So Keith,

        If Martin Denny is still alive, how do we find him and learn more about this
        relationship with DB???????



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