Not sure why we never posted this particular video excerpt by itself but here it is. More details about Nelson’s 1935 Christmas letter to Jeanette can be read here.
“For Easter 1947, Nelson sent Jeanette a white satin prayer book of Psalms with passages marked for her to study and a custom-made hair clasp – a single purple violet on a green leaf with a large diamond center and a tiny diamond stem. The attached note read: ‘Darling, marriage is not always being together. It is this Life – Tenderness – Sympathy and Pity – through which we learn to accept this journey through the years – smiling through our tears. This is marriage. My Angel wife you will always be.'”
Excerpt from Sweethearts by Sharon Rich, c 1994, 2001, 2014. All rights reserved.
PS: Wonder what happened to the hair clasp?
This weekend marks both Easter and Passover. We wish you and yours a happy holiday!
Here are six mp3s (mostly from radio) for your listening pleasure:
Indeed, Nelson’s introduction to the Easter medley is as timely today as it was back then…
Effective January 1, 2018, our club disbanded the old membership and completely revamped our operating basis. Read on for details of this complete shake-up and rebirth for this digital age!
We ceased the $50/yearly (or $90 outside of the US) membership fee (or renewal fee) in which the person received two printed glossy magazines. Lifetime Memberships were similarly canceled and are no longer in effect. Again: ALL EXISTING MEMBERSHIPS WERE HEREBY ENDED AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2017. NO RENEWALS OR NEW PAID MEMBERSHIPS WERE ACCEPTED FOR 2018 ONWARD. THE GROUP AS IT WAS STRUCTURED BEFORE WAS DISBANDED.
Those who had memberships in 2017 received their last magazine under those subscriptions: Journal #76. Going forward, everyone can singly purchase magazines, calendars, event tickets or anything else purchased here on the website. No one needs a formal membership, nor has anyone ever needed a paid membership to purchase items from this website.
These days “membership” and “clubs” are all about social media groups which also are free. Therefore, I ask that you join our newsletter on this website, post comments here on the website blog posts and/or if you’re on Facebook, request to be added to our group there. However, please note that this is a “closed” group and the rules under our Terms and Conditions strictly apply.
As I’m now involved in a film project, I will continue to publish magazines as I can (there is much more research to present) and otherwise operate as normally as possible.
This website will post when new magazines become available and you may purchase them either as an amazing glossy magazine or as an e-book…which in particular would save people outside of the US the tremendous shipping fees – if that’s what they prefer. (Personally I still prefer the “feel” of a real magazine in my hands.)
For those in the US, if you still want print magazines they will cost $25 per magazine plus shipping (at this writing)…so it’s close to the $50 total folks used to pay per year. Those outside the US will pay the difference in their shipping costs. Others who prefer a digital magazine will have the option to buy and download them immediately thus pay no shipping at all. In this manner, our group can remain viable and we can continue our work of presenting photos, research, articles, interviews and other documentation surrounding the Jeanette-Nelson story.
Reality check: The New York Times announced that within ten years, they expect to no longer offer a print edition newspaper. New York Magazine went from weekly to twice monthly. Going into the new decade, USA Today may cease their print copy and Entertainment Weekly has gone monthly. Magazines still hanging in there offer very cheap deals or free subscriptions (if you know where to search for them) simply to keep up the subscriber base and be able to sell advertising. All print magazines have had to rethink their survival…or shut down. For the Mac/Eddy Club, ending the paid membership years and a new, revised structure seemed the most workable system after 2017.
A note about Lifetime Members: back in the day they received one of Nelson’s sculpture replicas as part of the their membership and the manufacturing+shipping cost accounted for most of what they paid. But still, they received free magazines, calendars and club meeting attendance. Our last Lifetime Membership was purchased in 2012; we removed that membership option shortly afterwards because the foundry we were using closed down. The majority of Lifetime Members go back many years earlier – some still from the 1980s. Bottom line, Lifetime Members have received far more in benefits than they paid – in most cases many times over – and we remain VERY GRATEFUL for their support. However, it was no longer viable to continue the club in this manner. As you know, we switched from traditional printing to print-on-demand some time ago to help keep printing expenses under control PLUS add the ability to use color inside the magazine. But at this writing, postage costs are about $35 to ship a single magazine global priority to members in Europe and Australia! That meant that for each Lifetime Member living overseas, the club paid close to $150/year per person to supply their magazines and calendar. In the US each magazine or calendar shipped at this writing cost $6.55 priority and in Canada it was over $20. We simply could not continue to absorb these costs. Event tickets at hotels have similarly risen in price and as of 2017 we fought, for example, to keep our LA luncheon meetings affordable in today’s world at $55/person.
For all these many years, we have concentrated on the QUALITY of the products we made available for you. Unlike other groups, we have never skimped on our beautiful glossy magazine, calendars or anything else. Yet we sought to keep the club affordable for the older fans, many of them on fixed budgets, or younger folks starting out in life who discovered Jeanette and Nelson wanting to know everything about them but couldn’t afford a membership or books or the items that they wanted. We have one elderly fan to whom I have sent club items for many years. She could never afford to pay but each Christmas sends us homemade cookies that she baked for us.
So…that’s how we’re moving forward effective January 1, 2018. Even if the magazines can finally be self-sufficient with the above guidelines, some have asked me about other club costs such as running the website. They want to donate or have some kind of basic membership plan anyway…We have been discussing and possibly in the future we can address this. Certainly this last year there has been added expense in having to hire a 24/7 security firm to keep watch on the website. In July 2017 we were viciously attacked and this plus other sites including my personal website, were hijacked. Most sites had to be rebuilt, component by component; some have not yet even been restored. The current plan is a workable system for now. If you have ideas or suggestions of what features you’d like to see on this website, do let me know.
As of 2018 I am finally tackling some projects that we have been waiting on…for too long. Have pulled back the reins, regrouped, shed some tears, squared my shoulders and gotten back to work. After all, I made a promise to Jeanette’s sister so many years ago…it’s time to once and for all to feel that I have achieved that for her, and for Jeanette and Nelson.
Finally, for those who asked whether we will ever offer the Nelson busts again, the answer is yes, I have been working with a new foundry and am dealing with the logistics of getting the molds to them…but we will be offering them again as a single purchase, not as part of a membership. If you are interested, please email.
Always feel free to email me with any questions or comments. We look forward to many more years of discovery with Jeanette and Nelson. It is still a thrill for me to today to get the mail, open a package and see a beautiful magazine cover with Jeanette and Nelson beaming off the page. I know that many of you feel that same thrill.
Thank you, as always, for your support!
Tick Tock’s Sticky Orange Rolls
1 (2 ¼ cup) biscuit mix recipe
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ cup butter
Prepare biscuit dough according to directions. Roll mixture into a rectangle approximately ¼-inch thick. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves. Spread the mixture evenly across the dough. Roll dough jellyroll-style and slice into 9 evenly sized pieces.
Meanwhile, heat undiluted orange juice concentrate, butter and ½ cup sugar and stir until completely blended. Pour juice mixture into 8-inch square or round baking dish. Place sliced dough rolls, cut sides down, across juice mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve while hot. Makes 9 rolls.
Backstory: in the early days of my research, I was taken to Tick Tock restaurant in Hollywood. It was a Hollywood landmark restaurant and I was introduced to Arthur Johnson, the owner. I interviewed him and he not only explained that Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy used to eat there fairly frequently in their heyday but he even showed me “their table.” The restaurant served homestyle, hearty food with huge portions. The restaurant was most famous for the basket of Sticky Orange Rolls placed on your table. Johnson said that Nelson in particular loved them.
Johnson pointed out that while Jeanette picked at her food, Nelson ate heartily and would happily finish up her food. In addition, anyone questioning their close relationship only had to watch them eating off the same fork and sharing food. Johnson remembered them generally in a happy mood with Jeanette giggling a lot and Nelson the jokester. One time he remembered they’d had a quarrel or discussed something serious (but no, he didn’t know what it was about). Sometimes, Johnson explained, they would order food-to-go which THEY picked up on their way to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The restaurant prepared to-go meals for the two of them on several occasions. Their relationship was no secret, in other words. When I first went to the restaurant and asked about Jeanette and Nelson, the family knew all about their relationship and insisted I speak with Arthur for more details.
When our club was formed, we had some early luncheons at the restaurant – where fans took turns eating at “their” table. As the attached article states, they served a tremendous amount of food! I remember that after you ate the Sticky Rolls and appetizers, they then brought out sherbet to cleanse your palette. (Believe me, you were already full!) Then onto your main course and delicious homemade desserts. The price was quite reasonable for what they served you.
Johnson died in 1980 and we at some point moved the LA meetings over to the USO (courtesy of Bob Hope) and had our luncheons catered in. The whole area around Tick Tock and Hollywood Blvd in general became very seedy and the restaurant suffered and ultimately closed.
The recipe and details of Tick Tock restaurant were found in Hollywood du Jour by Betty Goodwin c. 1993.
Remembering Nelson Eddy today on the 51st anniversary of his passing…a great singer…
Movie audiences knew what they were looking at, a great lover off-screen as well as on…
…and a man whose life despite his artistry, passion, compassion, capacity for love and basic gentle, trusting nature, was irreversibly affected by Hollywood…summed up in a nutshell in this 1965 interview. Listen carefully to all the dynamics…boyish love, hope, youth, pain, memories, bitterness and entrapment in that he could never be fully honest for “public consumption.”
Our 76th issue wrapping up 2017… rounding out our 40th anniversary with several tributes including celebrating Maytime‘s 80th anniversary; a comprehensive article by Darryl Winston including a look at the top movie star rankings during the ’30s and early ’40s (and where Jeanette and Nelson fit in); a study of newly received paintings by Nelson done in his “blue” period of 1951-2 as well as busts, drawings, doodles and his nude torsos of Jeanette; an eyewitness write-up of Jeanette’s live 1944 operas; and early diary entries of Jeanette’s mother, Anna MacDonald, which shed some light on both her character and personal events going on in her daughter’s life. Also featured is the top Hollywood story in the news today – the Harvey Weinstein (and other moguls/actors) scandal and comparisons to the trials some stars endured with Louie B. Mayer…including young Shirley Temple. We have well-documented the heartbreaking interference of Mayer in the lives of Jeanette and and Nelson over the years. In a letter to columnist Hedda Hopper, Jeanette herself admitted that Nelson was basically “blacklisted” when she returned to MGM in the later 1940s…forget their proposed “joint” projects (such as The Rosary) or what became Three Daring Daughters, the bottom line was that Nelson was out and Jose Iturbi was in…
Updated January 19, see below.
Gale Sherwood has died… We read an online posting from writer Laura Wagner (who is friends with someone in contact with Gale’s estate) that Gale Sherwood, Nelson Eddy’s nightclub singing partner of 14 years, passed away on December 31, 2017.
She was Canadian born on March 4, 1929 as Jacqueline Nutt. Her film debut was in 1939 in They Shall Have Music…see the adorable film clip above!
Under her stage name Gale Sherwood she also starred Blonde Savage (1947) which you can see here. Her greatest fame obviously stemmed from her association with Nelson in his nightclub act. She was also his co-star in the 1955 TV film of The Desert Song.
Above, an early shot of them together and below, arriving in Sydney, Australia for the final tour there in 1967 just weeks before Nelson’s death.
After her retirement, she lived quietly in Florida and kept her privacy out of the limelight by using her married last name. A widow, in recent years she had suffered with health and memory issues.
This news was originally posted on Facebook by Laura Wagner.
Update: part of the death certificate verifying this.
Auction alert! Saturday morning, November 18, 2017, 10 am Pacific Time!
Some amazing Jeanette MacDonald jewelry worn in her films are up for auction! She wore the first one in New Moon! (And the headdress Jeanette wears above can be down further down this page.)
Description of the necklace above:
A simulated diamond evening necklace with seven pear-shaped drops. The necklace is one of the most versatile and frequently used pieces in the Joseff collection. Worn by Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (MGM, 1938); Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon (MGM, 1940); worn by Ruth Warrick with an extender to create a wider fit in The Corsican Brothers (Edward Small Productions, 1941); Norma Drury in That Hamilton Woman (Alexander Korda Films, 1941); Betty Grable in Coney Island (20th Century, 1943); Heather Thatcher in Gaslight (MGM, 1944); Tallulah Bankhead in A Royal Scandal (20th Century, 1945); Anita Louise in The Fighting Guardsman (Columbia, 1946); Barbara Britton in The Return of Monte Cristo (Edward Small Productions, 1946), modified with large central stone drop; and Lucille Ball in a studio publicity portrait. Accompanied by a vintage German lobby card showing Louise, vintage sheet music for “Take It from Here” featuring an image of Grable, a vintage photograph of Bankhead wearing the necklace, and DVD copies of Gaslight and That Hamilton Woman. An online link to an image of Warrick wearing the necklace is available upon request. Length, 15 1/2 inches
The next one was also worn in New Moon:
A celestial hair ornament with two radiating suns with sprays of stars, all set with simulated diamonds. Worn by Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon (MGM,1940), and Mae West in The Heat’s On (Columbia,1943). Accompanied by a vintage photograph of West wearing the piece, and a DVD copy of New Moon. Length, 5 inches
A bracelet that Jeanette wore in New Moon:
A simulated diamond and pearl bracelet in floret pattern, box clasp closure. Worn by Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon (MGM, 1940). Accompanied by a DVD copy of the film. Length, 6 inches
The next item is a necklace worn by Jeanette in New Moon as a headdress; see the picture at the very top of this page for reference and the actual necklace below:
And the description:
A silver-plated, simulated diamond evening necklace composed of stars in graduated sizes. Worn by Greta Garbo in Camille (MGM, 1936) and Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon (MGM, 1940). Accompanied by a vintage photo still showing MacDonald wearing the necklace as a headpiece. Length, 17 1/2 inches
Next item is another bracelet from New Moon; check out the picture above with Nelson to see it in context…and the actual bracelet below.
A silver-plated bracelet in antique finish featuring simulated diamonds with foliate accents, box clasp closure. Signed with Joseff script logo. Worn by Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon (MGM, 1940). Circumference, 7 1/4 inches.
And finally, a jewelry set worn by Jeanette in The Firefly: necklace, earrings and two bracelets as seen below.
The necklace and its details:
A single-to double-strand tiered, simulated diamond evening necklace with central floret featuring diamond drops; spring clasp closure. Signed “Joseff Hollywood.” Worn by Fay Wray in The Affairs of Cellini (20th Century, 1934); Jeanette MacDonald in The Firefly (MGM, 1937); Anita Louise in Marie Antoinette (MGM, 1938); Ann Sheridan in a studio publicity portrait used to promote Dodge City (Warner Bros., 1939); Hedy Lamarr in Her Highness and the Bellboy (MGM, 1945); Lucille Bremer in a studio publicity portrait used to promote Ziegfeld Follies (MGM, 1945) that appeared on the cover of Life magazine; June Haver in I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now (20th Century, 1947); Ava Gardner as a hair ornament in The Great Sinner (MGM, 1949); and Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful (MGM, 1952). Accompanied by a lobby card showing Gardner wearing the necklace as a headpiece, a copy of the March 25, 1946, issue of Life magazine featuring Bremer wearing the necklace on the cover, a vintage photograph of Haver, and a DVD copy of The Great Sinner. An online link to an image of Lamarr wearing the necklace available upon request. Length, 13 1/2 inches
Below: a good shot of the earrings and bracelet from The Firefly:
A pair of clip-on gold-plated earrings, done using Joseff’s signature Russian plating technique, with simulated diamond florets and pear-shaped drops. Worn by Jeanette MacDonald in The Firefly (MGM, 1937); Ann Sheridan in a studio publicity portrait used to promote Dodge City (Warner Bros., 1939); Janis Paige in One Sunday Afternoon (Warner Bros., 1948); and Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful (MGM, 1952). Accompanied by a DVD copy of The Bad and the Beautiful. Length, 2 1/8 inches.
And the bracelets:
A pair of bracelets: the first a hinged metal bracelet, the second with accordion chain. Both feature florets of simulated diamonds, done using Joseff’s signature Russian plating technique. One of the bracelets was worn by Fay Wray in The Affairs of Cellini (20th Century Fox, 1934) and Jeanette MacDonald in The Firefly (MGM, 1937); both were worn by Ginger Rogers in a studio publicity photograph to promote Magnificent Doll (Universal, 1946); Janis Paige in One Sunday Afternoon (Warner Bros., 1948); and Rosemary Lane in a studio publicity portrait. Accompanied by a vintage photograph of MacDonald wearing one of the bracelets. Circumference, 6 1/2 inches
Here is the link to all the auction items. Good luck to anyone who bids and if you win, please share with us some photos of these “in person.”