Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What I found and didn't find

Returned to the library today. I looked at some microfilm of the Commercial Appeal, and dug out some good material (an article, a review, and some advertisements) relating to the November, 1922 Denishawn performance in Memphis, Tennessee. While looking for later film reviews, I stumbled upon a review of a personal appearance Fay Lanphier made in Memphis in June, 1926. (Lanphier, who was crowned Miss America in 1925, appeared along with Louise Brooks in The American Venus. That film, which screened in Memphis in late February, 1926, was the high point of Lanphier's career. She would appear in only one other film, a Laurel and Hardy short from 1928.) Here is a nifty advertisement promoting Lanphier's appearance.



Along with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, I also looked at microfilm of the Wellington Daily News. This small Kansas town hosted Denishawn in 1924, but before that, in 1921, a 14 year old Louise Brooks danced there. According to the Barry Paris biography, "In September there was a five-night engagement at the Wheat Show in Wellington." I decided to scour the September issues of the Wellington newspaper in hopes of finding some reference to Brooks. But nothing turned up.

What I found was that at the beginning of September, 1921 - starting on Labor Day, Wellington hosted a Golden Jubilee and Home Coming. People came from all over for the celebrations, which featured various entertainments and pageants. It was at this event that  Brooks likely danced. (A 1924 article in the Wellington paper, which appeared around the time of the Denishawn performance, mentions Brooks having given "a balloon dance at the Kansas Pageant at the Wellington Fall Festival a number of years ago.") A Wheat Festival did take place, but not until the end of September in Wichita.

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin