TWIN BROOKS ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES <B>NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES</B>

Newsletter #135

December8, 2000

Greetings Accumulators!

We're experiencing a snowy blowy day in The Big Apple. Which is why I am inside, warm and dry, typing to you. I don't envy He Who Is The Light Of My Life, who had to go out there this morning and drive to work.

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOW SOMETHING WINDS UP BEING RARE
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Christie's East held an auction of entertainment memorabilia (so what else is new?) this week, and among the items was a poster of Al Jolson in "The Jazz Singer". The film was special because it was one of the first talkies ever, and featured Jolson as the son of a cantor, who decided to buck family and religious tradition by becoming a jazz singer. Posters were issued to promote the movie, and theater owners, who order the promotional material to display out front and in their lobbies, were quite vocal about what they wanted. Some of the posters (they were half-sheets, just 22 inches by 28 inches) featured Jolson in blackface. The theater owners wouldn't touch them. They felt that posting the blackface images outside their theaters would give the public the idea that "The Jazz Singer" was about a minstrel show, instead of the groundbreaking drama it actually was. So, posters of Jolson's real face were produced, and that's what they used. The poster auctioned at Christie's this week is the blackface poster, and it's the only one known to exist. It fetched $26,000. Not bad for a reject!

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER DEPARTMENT
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No one ever accused Tennessee Williams of being a sane and simple human being. Apparently, his brother is no ordinary Joe either. Dakin Williams has been discreetly selling his brother's possessions and private papers to collectors. From what I hear, he's been cleaning up, especially on choice items like journals and unpublished works. He is also said to be interviewing friends of the late writer for a book of his own - a biography of his brother. So far, he's interviewed Gore Vidal, Eli Wallach, and Elia Kazan, among others. And, he claims his brother did not die accidentally (it was reported that he'd choked on a bottle cap), but was murdered. Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

YA KNOW, IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING...
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First it was corruption, food shortages, and rampant inflation. Now, it's a song no one can sing. Russian President Vladimir Putin, acknowledging that Russians have been national anthem-less since the fall of Soviet communism because no one can sing the new song Boris Yeltsen approved in 1990, has called for a return to the old one, but with new lyrics. Apparently, Putin was a little put out by the fact that Russian athletes at the Olympics in Sydney didn't know the words to their own national anthem. U.S. citizens and viewers of American baseball games on television can empathize. So, if you still have that recording of Ludmilla Kotchikovna singing the new song, hang on to it. It may be a rarity someday. At least you won't hear everyone humming it in the street.

Happy birthday to Nikki Ballard, my brother Arnie, and my cousins Jackie and Marge. The other half of the family were all born in April. Go figure. Artie and I will be doing The Great Paper Chase at Fairleigh Dickenson University in Hackensack, NJ on Sunday. If you're in the nabe, stop by and say "Hi!". And bring money. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

Best,
Judith

2000 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #135
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464

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2000 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.