This information about me will give you an idea of how I did some things which proved to be successful for my show business career. I will also give you some info that will illustrate my failures, which have been many. The entertainer's life is filled with ups and downs like a roller coaster.
My brother, Joe, and myself, about 1943. This photo was taken at one of the photo machines in a dime store. I am on the right with the floppy hair. The picture was taken at a dime store in a booth that took the picture and processed it while we waited about two minutes. It cost abot 25 cents for about four poses. The pictures were always good quality and they lasted for years.
My brother and I would sing on the city bus when we travelled somewhere with our mom. My very fist pay for entertaining was a nickel for singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas" on the bus with my brother. My brother and I each received a nickel from one passenger. I also heard applause for the first time in my pre school days.
I grew up in the midwest in the 40s and 50s. I listened to the radio programs of those days including; Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, The Grand Ol' Opry, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lone Ranger, Gangbusters and Don McNeill's Breakfast Club. There were comedy shows and music programs and news all on the same station. Today, most radio stations have a strict format. In those days the announcers were encouraged to use their personalities.
My first car was this black and yellow 1946 Packard with a radio that blasted the latest records of Frank Sinatra, Webb Pierce, Tony Bennett and even the early Sun recordings of Elvis Presley. We had a wind up Victrola phonograph and we would play 78rpm records. The platters cost about 29 cents in the forties. We went to movies. My brother and I liked the cowboy movies, especially Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. We also liked the scary movies with Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi. There were also comedy movies which we never missed. Laurel and Hardy, The Bowery Boys, Abbott and Costello and Danny Kaye just to name a few.
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I decided about 1954 that I wanted to be in show business. I was about 15. I did not know how to play a musical instrument. I didn't know any dance steps. I could not act. I did not know anyone in the business although there was one friend who played the guitar. He tried to show me some chords but at that time I thought it was much too complex for me. Some people could play music, but I would never be able to do it. That's what I thought.
These photos were taken at The Palomino Club in North Hollywood, Ca. in the early 90s. I performed there musically more than 100 times as a rockabilly artist. I made records in the 1960s which were recently rereleased in Holland.
Despite the belief that I could not play music, I actually taught myself to play piano while I was working in a furniture warehouse. There were pianos in the basement. I took my one hour lunch there and I kept playing around until I figured out which notes sounded good when played together.
My guess is my musical career might be the only one that began in the basement of a furniture warehouse.
Your show business or musical career could begin in front of your computer.