Al Fike The Modern Minstrel Man 1912 - 1996

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AuthorHouse, Nov 27, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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Life in the early 1900’s was quite different from today. The pace was slower (or so we believe in retrospect). The music was sweeter. And, one learned life by the living. Then came the roaring Twenties. The pace quickened. The music became more upbeat, spiked with heady mixtures of jazz, ragtime and blues. By the early 1930’s the entire country had metamorphosed. Entertainers like Al Jolson, Jimmy Durante and Sophie Tucker were the rage, and country and western was just beginning to come into its own.

 

Sitting back in his Missouri home and absorbing it all was a young man named Al Fike. Born in 1912, and a schoolteacher by trade, he listened to the sounds of the country growing around him, absorbed them, and made them his own. This “collection period” continued until the late 1940’s when, to the surprise of family and friends, he announced a career change, and the legend of Al Fike the Entertainer was born!

 

After that, Al Fike, The Modern Minstrel Man, regaled audiences from coast to coast. Whether dressed in candy-striped jacket and straw hit reprising the classics of George M. Cohan or mimicking such greats as Ted Lewis, Durante and Jolson, Al Fike single-handedly kept the traditions of vaudeville alive in this country. He also introduced new music and new stars to his routines so that his show was a virtual “performance library” of American music, idioms, composers, and styles.

 

In short, Al Fike was a living legend, preserving and enhancing the traditions of the American musical stage as no other performer has ever done. Seeing The Al Fike Show was a rare opportunity to see an entertainer’s entertainer perform.

 

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Contents

CHAPTER ONE
1
CHAPTER TWO
15
CHAPTER THREE
35
CHAPTER FOUR
83
CHAPTER FIVE
111
CHAPTER SIX
125
CHAPTER SEVEN
143
Back Cover
153
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Page xiii - Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, everimproving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
Page 7 - Since January, February, June or July, Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon, So, shine on, shine on, harvest moon, For me and my gal.
Page xxi - I'm working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you're working, you stay young. When I'm in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age.
Page 1 - What good is sitting alone in your room, come hear the music play; life is a cabaret old chum, only a cabaret.' MAUREEN. 'Come to.' JULIE. What? MAUREEN. 'Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret.

About the author (2006)

Life in the early 1900?s was quite different from today. The pace was slower (or so we believe in retrospect). The music was sweeter. And, one learned life by the living. Then came the roaring Twenties. The pace quickened. The music became more upbeat, spiked with heady mixtures of jazz, ragtime and blues. By the early 1930?s the entire country had metamorphosed. Entertainers like Al Jolson, Jimmy Durante and Sophie Tucker were the rage, and country and western was just beginning to come into its own.

 

Sitting back in his Missouri home and absorbing it all was a young man named Al Fike. Born in 1912, and a schoolteacher by trade, he listened to the sounds of the country growing around him, absorbed them, and made them his own. This ?collection period? continued until the late 1940?s when, to the surprise of family and friends, he announced a career change, and the legend of Al Fike the Entertainer was born!

 

After that, Al Fike, The Modern Minstrel Man, regaled audiences from coast to coast. Whether dressed in candy-striped jacket and straw hit reprising the classics of George M. Cohan or mimicking such greats as Ted Lewis, Durante and Jolson, Al Fike single-handedly kept the traditions of vaudeville alive in this country. He also introduced new music and new stars to his routines so that his show was a virtual ?performance library? of American music, idioms, composers, and styles.

 

In short, Al Fike was a living legend, preserving and enhancing the traditions of the American musical stage as no other performer has ever done. Seeing The Al Fike Show was a rare opportunity to see an entertainer?s entertainer perform.

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