Our annual June club event celebrating the June birthdays of both Nelson and Jeanette will be held on Sunday, June 25 in Studio City at our normal meeting place, Sportsmans’ Lodge. Tickets are available at this link; we need reservations soon to be able to give an accurate headcount to the catering department. As always, these LA meetings are not to be missed!
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Happy Valentine’s Day 2017!
And what a gift for you… I’m glad this is a secret no longer. At last you can watch a short clip of them on TV together. The film reel can is labeled that it was the 1957 Patti Page TV show, The Big Record. However, the actual clip looks to be from the previous year on The Lux Video Theater with Gordon MacRae. Either way… if you have read Sweethearts you understand what Jeanette and Nelson were like in public settings together where he got to “show her off.” Particularly in the 1940s when certain fans attended every radio show and scrutinized carefully every movement and catching of breath, every glance, every touch, Nelson’s attempts to kiss her in front of the fans. This tenderness and familiarity was obvious elsewhere, at parties or social engagements, when Nelson was giving a concert and pulled Jeanette on-stage with him, them just walking down the street together, or sneaking a kiss and embrace in a restaurant parking lot. Many eyewitness accounts are detailed in the book; now you have a chance to see for yourself what they were talking about.
And here I want to publicly give a HUGE shout out to Katie, Angela, Mary Lynn and Lynda who pulled off an amazing feat in obtaining this and whatever was left of the old Jeanette fan club holdings, including many personal items and record-keeping and files that had belonged to Jeanette. One has to wonder why Gene Raymond didn’t trash it all but shipped it instead to her fan club, presumably understanding that Clara Rhoades would bury any sensitive information forever that might have been overlooked. And he had already gone through it for “obvious” stuff that needed to be destroyed and done two rounds of purging from the storage units. I was told this by Clara Rhoades herself, when she asked my friend Diane Goodrich to secretly make copies of the 16 mm films Gene loaned her each year for their annual banquets. Gene was so ornery, Clara said, that she wanted back-ups in case Gene decided at the last minute not to let her screen Jeanette’s copies of her own films or other footage. And in the years I knew her, Clara particularly complained about The Big Record, which Gene held back despite her repeated requests to him to be allowed to show it. This was the case at least through 1977; after Mac/Eddy was founded Gene apparently had a change of heart about these TV shows because we were told by those still attending the Jeanette club meetings that the footage was screened at later events…but not frequently. If this indeed is Lux footage, it’s understandable why Gene held back with it and why Clara did not screen it very often. Just as with This is Your Life, you’d have to be totally oblivious not to see the electric current between them.
When these Jeanette auctions began, I saw quickly that there was much invaluable information to be had. We made a coordinated effort to obtain certain items since buying it all outright at the start seemed an impossible task. Some auction items looked innocent enough but stood out to me as necessary to win. This went on for many, many stressful months and was generally overseen for our group by Maria Escano. But many others helped safe-keep the collection and I am grateful to one and all who bid on and won auctions for our cause. There was only one item I learned of that I regret slipped past us, an outtake from Jeanette’s proposed autobiography in which she ‘fessed up to one failed pregnancy. But we have more than enough documentation about that and in the home stretch, Katie Gardner boldly pulled off a coup to seal the deal. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
I trust you appreciate the irony as once again, what others sought to cover up has come full circle and right back into the public eye where it belongs. Not hidden as though it’s something to be ashamed of, or to lie about. Once again it’s Nelson and Jeanette speaking from the grave, as it were. And those certain individuals who did loudly protest too much have had their legacy finally put into proper perspective. Yes, they were the keepers of the Jeanette-Gene, Nelson-Ann flame but maybe somewhere in the spiritual universe, even they – like criminals who willingly unburden by finally confessing their sins – are glad the charade is over. After all, they hoarded a house full of possessions so that in the end, the rest of the collection came into the hands of those who will properly care for it.
Katie posted the video and wrote her observations at this link. No reason to add more commentary; they say a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words then is a video worth, pray tell? Enjoy… you will want to watch it a few times… and bring kleenex!
Two new magazines are shipping next week! Plus important news:
For those of you who last year paid for membership through issue #74 (or are Lifetime Members), you will automatically receive these in the mail. Depending where you live on the planet, you can expect to receive them around the end of this month. However: If you are a member and prefer to receive a digital magazine instead that you can immediately read on your tablet, computer or phone, please go to the Contact Us page and email us; this is an alternative option.
Any non-members wanting to purchase these magazines can buy them individually (shipping costs apply); click here or on the pictures above to reach the links. Again, if you prefer a digital edition and want to save shipping costs, this may be an option for you. Note this in the ordering “order notes” section at checkout and the shipping charges will be manually deducted before your card is charged for them (no matter what the shopping cart shows). The cover price is $20 per magazine whether printed or digital. You will need a free Kindle app to read it.
People are asking when they should renew for 2017. The time is now; technically for this year, 2017, we will be later issuing two magazines: #75 and #76. Anyone wanting to receive those should use this link which will provide your membership or renewal. Again, please note in your ordering “order notes” section whether you prefer printed or digital editions. You do not have to be a member to order anything from this website. The benefit is that you receive these two magazines without having to pay shipping; additionally, we will be setting up a “members only” section on this website later in the spring with special member benefits. Please note that our publishing two magazines per yearly membership will allow us to continue the high quality publication despite rising printing rates and shipping rates, particularly for our members outside of the U.S. (For example, flat rate global priority to ship two magazines is currently over $35 in some countries!) To keep the club self-sustaining, that is barely viable since printing costs + shipping today just about break even with a membership – and only in the US. It doesn’t take into account rising postage costs or other operating expenses, including this website.
So this year is a test to see how many of our readers still want printed magazines as opposed to digital; I welcome your feedback, not only on the magazines but as we tweak our website/membership to finally catch up with 21st century technology! It may be that going forward, a membership will include two digital editions per year plus some other benefits or discounts, and people can order printed magazines if they wish. Again, I ask for your feedback as we sort out the best way to adjust. If you have problems with ordering or using the site or questions about any of the above, please email us with the Contact Us link above. Since I have been traveling, that is the most efficient way to reach us at the moment.
Enjoy the new magazines!