New book about RUBY KEELER

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busby1959

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New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 8:20 pm

I am very proud to share this news with my fellow NitrateVillians - Bear Manor has published my book "Too Marvelous For Words - the life and career of Ruby Keeler". The book chronicles the life of Ms. Keeler and contains three sections; one devoted to her films, one to her theater appearances, and the third a listing of her television work and short subjects. There are many photos, and many of them have never been featured in any previous publications...even a few taken by myself. I have written magazine articles before but this is my first book...it has taken me a while to complete it (sheer procrastination) but I'm delighted with the wonderful work and the cover design done by Bear Manor. It's already available for advance purchase on both amazon and Bear Manor's website.
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Harlowgold

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 3:26 pm

busby1959 wrote:I am very proud to share this news with my fellow NitrateVillians - Bear Manor has published my book "Too Marvelous For Words - the life and career of Ruby Keeler". The book chronicles the life of Ms. Keeler and contains three sections; one devoted to her films, one to her theater appearances, and the third a listing of her television work and short subjects. There are many photos, and many of them have never been featured in any previous publications...even a few taken by myself. I have written magazine articles before but this is my first book...it has taken me a while to complete it (sheer procrastination) but I'm delighted with the wonderful work and the cover design done by Bear Manor. It's already available for advance purchase on both amazon and Bear Manor's website.


Wow, congratulations Busby!! The book sounds great. While I won't be buying it since Ms. Keeler is not one of my personal favorites I will request my local library order a copy and look forward to reading it (My library is sensational about actually ORDERING copies of recently published books rather than just borrowing them from another library; they have at least a dozen Bearmanor Media titles thanks to my requests as well as pricier things from McFarland which is much appreciated by me.)
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smokey15

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 8:43 pm

I'm happy to see that someone has written a book about Ruby. She was a favorite of my Mom.
Does the book cover any of her life between the time she married her second husband and her theater return in "No No Nannette"? It seems she disappeared into private life once she married him and didn't resurface until his death in 1969.
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busby1959

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 10:32 am

smokey15 wrote:I'm happy to see that someone has written a book about Ruby. She was a favorite of my Mom.
Does the book cover any of her life between the time she married her second husband and her theater return in "No No Nannette"? It seems she disappeared into private life once she married him and didn't resurface until his death in 1969.


It does indeed cover her "retirement" period along with photographs and a listing a TV appearances she made during those 27 years.
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wingate

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 1:57 pm

I will buy because she was married to Jolson
As far as I am concerned she couldn't act dance or sing.Without jolson she would just have been another chorus girl
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oldposterho

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 5:04 pm

wingate wrote:As far as I am concerned she couldn't act dance or sing.


Actually, that's what I find so endearing about Ruby. She comes off like such a goof. A lucky, well connected goof, no doubt.
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Rick Lanham

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 5:22 pm

"Endearing" is a good word for her. I had thought of charming. She seems like a nice person and she sings, dances, and acts better than some and certainly better than me. There are plenty of famous people who aren't getting a book written about them.

Kudos to the author.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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smokey15

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 10:17 pm

There was something appealing about her even though she couldn't really sing or act that well. She had that cute " girl next door" quality about her that made her very likeable.
As for her dancing people have to understand that she did a very different type of tap from Gene Kelly or
Fred Astaire. There's a name for it although I don't remember what it's called. I enjoyed watching her tap dance.
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brendangcarroll

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 1:09 am

The name you are looking for is...Klunking!
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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westegg

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 5:54 am

I think it was a variation of a foot-heavy form of Irish clog dancing, which made her steps misunderstood in 42nd St. In later movies she had a much more graceful step, such as in COLLEEN. She was also quite nice in READY WILLING & ABLE.

On a total dopey note, when I was seventeen I saw Keeler backstage, during her tour of NO NO NANETTE. It was after the show, as she stood outside her dressing room. I ended up practically face to face. She gazed at me wondering who the hell I was. At least I was surrounded by other well wishers who she might have known.

On yet another note, her co-star in the show, the equally legendary Cyril Ritchard, sat for awhile in the same mostly empty role back row where I sat, (a theater in the round) awaiting his cue. Ah, memories.

:wink:
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wich2

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 7:52 am

wingate wrote:Without jolson she would just have been another chorus girl


But a happier one!
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wingate

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 10:59 am

Keeler and Berkeley appeared to give a talk at the NFT in 1964'I got her to autograph my programme note.I still have it somewhere.
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busby1959

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 12:41 pm

brendangcarroll wrote:The name you are looking for is...Klunking!


It was buck and wing dancing, also referred to simply as buck dancing. It's a style of folk dancing that was primarily influenced by Irish step dancing (or "clogging") and a style of dance performed by African American slaves. It was also influenced in varying ways by Scottish, Peruvian and West Indian folk dancing (and to a degree by the native dances of the Cherokee tribe and Germans). It was a precursor to what is referred to as classic tap, which incorporated more upper body movement and some ballet as well. Buck dancing is performed with buck, or clogging shoes, which have wooden soles rather than metal plates attached to the toes and heels. The shoes are used percussively with the toe, heel or both against the floor to produce audible rhythms, generally on the downbeat with the heels keeping rhythm. It requires a lot of strength and energy and was a popular form of show dancing; Marilyn Miller and Ann Pennington can be seen performing it their early sound musicals as well. It's far from easy to execute and requires not only an innate sense of rhythm but study and training.
As westegg mentioned, Ruby was also quite accomplished in classic tap as well, as screenings of COLLEEN, READY, WILLING & ABLE and, most of all, SWEETHEART OF THE CAMPUS will attest. SWEETHEART is available for viewing on amazon...I recommend watching her solo work in it.
I continue to hope, as I have for my entire life, that people would do a bit of thinking and researching before making preemptive put downs about not only performers but anything they care to share their opinions of with the rest of us. I think we may be getting a spillover from imdb, who mercifully shut down their message boards. Intelligence and manners were not required there.
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wich2

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 3:19 pm

"Busby," if you're taking a shot at me, feel free to do it directly.

I've been a member here for a good while, and I was never one at imdb.

I was indeed raised with what I think is a modicum of "intelligence and manners." And I was also taught that "honesty" was of as much value, and not mutually exclusive of the other two characteristics.

The facts about these two as a couple, and Jolson as an individual, are well attested to. And I for one, am glad we have grown beyond the era of press agent hagiography, were we can discuss our fellow human beings as such.

-Craig
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Harold Aherne

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSat Apr 08, 2017 4:44 pm

The negative reactions to Ruby Keeler that I've occasionally read have always puzzled me. A search of fan and trade publications from her main years of activity turned up references that were almost always complimentary (the only exception, in the April 1933 Movie Classsic, was Ruby talking about her own singing and acting). The only conclusion I can make is that viewers of later decades, when the Berkeley films were being revived, sometimes misinterpreted the musical styles on display and applied words like "quaint", "camp", &c.

The positive reviews of her dancing during the 30s can't *all* be laid down to the press being reluctant to critique. Actually, fan magazines weren't universally nice back then; Photoplay wrote some sneering commentary on Lillian Gish during the 20s, and around 1930 there was a lively debate about the merits of Alice White.

I'm sincerely looking forward to the Ruby bio.

-HA
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brendangcarroll

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Re: New book about RUBY KEELER

PostSun Apr 09, 2017 9:50 am

I think the shot was aimed at me....but if I gave offence, I apologise. Ruby has always endeared herself to me because of her own self deprecating assessment of her abilities many years after she retired, at an NFT tribute evening (mentioned by another contributor here) when she joined Busby Berkeley on stage.

She was a real Pro and was the last to claim she was a great dancer or singer (her vocal on 'By a Waterfall" proves this and how) but she was an indispensable part of the fabulous Warner musicals era and I too am looking forward to reading this biography very much indeed.
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)

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