Monday, January 24, 2022

Burns Theatre Vaudeville - Part One

 

Hey all! Over the weekend I attended the Denver Postcard and Paper Show, and scored and amazing cache of 1921-1923 Colorado Springs vaudeville programs and handbills, from my friend Susan Backer (Facebook link). This is one of the most amazing collections of Pikes Peak-area entertainment ephemera I have ever seen.

All are from the Burns Theatre, which was located at 21 – 23 East Pikes Peak Avenue. The venue was built in 1912, and remained a vaudeville staple until 1927, when it was converted into a movie house (and later known as the Chief Theatre). It was torn down in 1973. 

There are so many programs and handbills, I'm going to have to divide it into two posts. 

Most mention Pantages Vaudeville. The Burns Theatre was included in what was called the "Pantages Circuit," which included venues around the United States, which booked and rotated touring acts on long-term contracts. A few show some silent film titles.

(Click each to enlarge) 

March 1-2, 1921

Acts: "Private Property" (Musical Comedy), Walton & Bryant, Robert Swan, Mabel Blondell, Kennedy & Francis, International News, Burns Orchestra. Also mentions Chas. Ray in "19 and Phyllis."

September 12-13, 1921

Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, Baby June Hovick and Pals, Tim Whelan & Priscilla King, Sidney Stein & Billy Smith ("The Brazilian Diplomats"), A Japanese Romance (Nace Murray). Back of program mentions "The Scoffer" (Rhea Mitchell, James Kirkwood, Mary Thurman, and Philo McCullogh), and "Nobody" (Jewel Carmen).

January 30-31, 1922

Acts: General Pantages Vaudeville ad. Also includes Sessue Hayakawa ("Five Days to Live") and Norma Talmage in "The Wonderful Thing," and Ben Turpin in "Loves' Outcast."

February 6-7, 1922

Acts: Mlle. Paula - Aerial Gymnast, Roland & Ray, Neil McKinley, House of David Band, Grace Darmond, Joe Scheftell's Creole Fashion Revue NOTE: "Next week's vaudeville bill will include Ethel Barrymore" 
 

October 23-24, 1922 
 
Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, Page & Green, Ward & King, Crane Sisters, "Indoor Sports" (Warren Warren, Bonnie Beck, June Floodis, Billy Green), The Caledonia Four, Jarvis Revue (Will Jarvis), Serenade (George Walsh). Also mentions the Georgia Minstrels and "The Emperor Jones" (Charles Gilpin)
 

April 2-3, 1923
 
Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, The Artist's Dream (Lew Kessler, Joyce Lands, Florence McClurg), Catherine Van Digriffe Unger ("The Littlest Prima Dona), "Just in Time (Mr. Walter Law, Betty Marvin and Ray Gallagher), Mr. Cleveland Davis, Rinaldo Brothers, Helen Hamilton and Jack Barnes, Aleko, Panthea and Presco; Jack Goldie, Jack Patton and Loretta Mark

Stay tuned for eight additional programs, posted next Monday.

Monday, January 17, 2022

HELP WANTED: Unknown Band Box Singer

Hey all!

Found this record at an estate sale, right before Thanksgiving. The sale organizer didn't have any information for me. When I looked up the address of the departed individual, it didn't yield anything related to this find.

Listen to "Kool Man's Blues"

While there is lots of information on Band Box records, these songs are not mentioned anywhere. While the label released numerous commercial recordings, the Denver-area studio was also used for "single use," whereas an aspiring singer could go in and record a couple of songs for fun. I'm guessing that is the case with this find. Nothing noted in copyright archives, when I did a search on the titles.

I love the SSW folk vibe with these - just a guy and his guitar. 

Listen to "From The City to the Sea"

 If this sounds familiar to anyone, please drop me a line.

Monday, January 10, 2022

American National Bank of Denver

Hey all! I hope your new year is one of health, happiness and prosperity. Is your resolution to lose weight, run a marathon, or just survive until 2023? I completely get it, as it seems like lately I've been saying "I'm glad THAT year is over!"

I was reading that one of the biggest resolutions people attempt to do every year is save money. Of course these people probably don't scrounge for esoteric Colorado vinyl recordings (grin).

On that note, I wanted to feature this 1950 disc from KLZ radio, in Denver. It features two commercials for the American National Bank, and is added to the stash by my dear friend, Mike Stelk.

 
Herman Feucht
 
The spots are voiced by bank Vice President Herman Feucht (1898-1990), who was later named national vice chairman of the American Red Cross. The commercials don't include a music background, so it's possible there wasn't one, or it hadn't been added yet.
 
 

KLZ (560 AM) will be celebrating its 100th year on the air (it received its first broadcasting license on March 10, 1922), and is the oldest broadcasting station in the state of Colorado, and one of the oldest in the United States. In 1950, its station motto was "Pioneer of the West."

The American National Bank of Denver location, at 17th and Stout. was built in 1911. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The building is now the Magnolia Hotel.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Elizabeth Clare Prophet - The Colorado Springs Years

Elizabeth Clare and Mark Prophet in their Colorado Springs worship facility (date unknown)

In 1966, spiritual leaders Elizabeth Clare Prophet and her husband Mark moved to Colorado Springs, residing in a mansion at the corner of 60 1st St. and Broadmoor Ave., which was known as the Retreat of the Resurrection Spiral. 

NOTE: For more on Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet check Wikipedia. No need to repeat the extensive bio and history, as this post is about the recordings they produced, during their time in Colorado.

The Prophets immediately started publishing books and pamphlets, and soon The Colorado Springs-based Summit Lighthouse record label was added to their media empire.

In 1968 they released Watch with Me (AMR 6803), which included a series of talks given December 25, 1967 at La Tourelle, The Citadel of Freedom, Colorado Springs, CO., and "The Summoning of the Devotees" given July 26, 1968 at the International Resource Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

 Listen to a sample of "Sword of Blue Flame Over America" (1:23)

The follow-up album, also released in 1968, Voice of Angels (AMR 6804/5), a two-record LP set. The album promised that there would be a "series" of albums containing "Dictations by the Heavenly Hosts, SPOKEN FROM THE SUMMIT." It was recorded at The Citadel of Freedom, Colorado Springs (March 24, 1967, Oct. 12, 1967, April 13, 1968, and Oct. 11, 1968).

In 1971, the Prophets released Jesus Christ Star of New Hope (AMR 7101). The album included talks from that year. It credits the involvement of James G MacDermid, Pearl Curran, singer Claire DuBois, Alda Hudson on piano, and organist Sigrid Carlson. NOTE: Soprano DuBois released her own LP, This is My Garden (Dubco 1348).

In May 1972 the Prophets opened the Four Winds Organic Center, a health food store and restaurant, located at 108 S. Tejon. During that time, they became friends with lounge singer, Terry Canady (famed for the duo of Terry Canady and Rudy Perez). "At the time I met Mark, I was playing the nightclub circuit and traveling the country as an entertainer. I had a partner in my act, Rudy Perez. I played guitar and sang and he played conga drums. One of the spots at which we regularly performed [for three or four weeks at a time, usually] was the Piccadilly Bar in the beautiful Antlers Plaza Hotel, which was just a few blocks away from the Four Winds" (quote taken from the link above).

Mark Prophet died February 26, 1973. Upon his death, his widow Elizabeth took over the leadership of the organization, changing its name to Church Universal and Triumphant. Shortly after her husband's death, Prophet married Randall King, a staff member. This marriage lasted seven years.  The Four Winds Organic Center closed in 1975, and an auction was held to sell off the contents. There are references that Elizabeth Clare Prophet left Colorado Springs a short time later (although some reports say 1979-1980). She died in 2009.