On this fine day in 1933, J was preparing to appear in Victor Herbert's "Naughty Marietta" to be presented the following week at the Overton Park Amphitheatre in her hometown of Memphis, TN, for a run of six days. The operetta was, of course, produced by her husband R. She assisted as well as starred. … Continue reading J on This Day: 20 July 1933
Biography research is often serious and intense work. Sometimes it is nice to let loose, as I did here using my favorite photo of J as a starting point.
Here is a blurb from a newspaper review of The Student Prince. The date was 11-17-25. The place: Pennsylvania. "J, as Kathie, was a winsom (sic) miss with her charming manner and her fine soprano voice. Concert stars have often failed to measure up to the standard that she set last night." Without any extant … Continue reading A Winsome Miss
Today is a milestone! This is a bigger deal than my first wedding anniversary because book research is trickier than marriage. I'm using today to appreciate all I've accomplished instead of focusing on all there is left to do. Yay!
Why does having a project-specific business card design add gravitas to my research? I've no idea, but it does. Never mind that I have accumulated a year's worth of weighty, highly detailed information about J. Somehow, having a stack of 3.5" x 2" printed paper at my disposal makes everything feel real-real. I suppose this … Continue reading Business Cards
When J was born in 1900, film was still in its infancy. She grew up with the "new" medium. By the time she graduated high school (1918), it was a true cultural phenomenon. Since starting this project, I've often wondered about her attitude toward the movies. Her love affair with stage theatricals, especially operettas, was … Continue reading J’s Celluloid Dreams: Publicity or Reality?
You may have noticed the new Ko-fi button hanging out on the sidebar here or on A Small Press Life. First of all, let me assure you that it's truly a no-pressure thing. My content is free, always has been, always will be. I've been running ASPL for nearly ten years, to give some context. … Continue reading Why Ko-fi?
Researching J also means looking into the lives and careers of her producer-musician husband, R, and his first two wives (both singer-actresses). They're all links in the same chain, after all. Although I'm not to the point where supporting players in her life are the focus of my work, when that time comes I don't … Continue reading [Research Notes] Setting Up Google Alerts
And so I did... Let's back up. I've been cataloging the contents of J's main scrapbook for nearly a month. It's slow going and hard on the eyes, so it's not an everyday thing. Far from it, actually. There are plenty of other related tasks to do, meaning I'm almost always busy. New things crop … Continue reading Begin Anywhere
Recently on my main site, A Small Press Life, my blogger friend Ruth (of Silver Screenings) asked a few excellent questions regarding my feelings about J. The helpful exchange got me thinking about the relationship between biographers and their subjects, especially when those subjects are long-dead. (For context, I was born four years after J's … Continue reading Three Questions: January 2021