Friday, July 24, 2015

The Rare Performances of Laurel and Hardy, 1942-1957

The cool thing about nostalgic movie stars is that -- regardless of who that star is -- every year something new is discovered. That is exactly what happened to author John Tefteller who did some research and ultimately unearthed some rare recordings that have never been heard since they were originally made. The most unique is a full 70 minute interview with Stan Laurel from 1957, done exactly one week after Oliver Hardy passed away. You hear Stan's thoughts and feelings about his good friend, as well as recollections and funny stories of his old days in vaudeville and being an understudy for Charlie Chaplin. Though his voice sounded older and his voice weaker than the glory days of filmmaking, it is still riveting to hear. New discoveries are indeed worth the price of admission.

About a year ago, John authored a large hardcover book, Laurel & Hardy On Stage! Rare and Unreleased Live Performances: 1942-1957. The book includes exclusive essays by Randy Skretvedt and Peter Mikkelsen, along with photos of the boys during the war (entertaining troops), a documentary about they stage tour and an exact reproduction of Stan Laurel's personal script (plus photos), a documentary regarding their days in Denmark (along with photos), Stan Laurel's scrapbook of his performance days at Copenhagen, and a lengthy essay about their work on radio. The best photo in the book are the boys at KFVD, playing the role of disc jockeys, moments after the Our Gang kids had their photo taken in the same room at the same microphone. 

The book isn't just a book. You get two audio CDs with recordings of the boys doing their stage routine in 1942, live performances of the Copenhagen performance (October 1947), the pilot episode of The Laurel & Hardy Show (NBC, recorded March 6, 1944), and that 1957 interview I mentioned prior. There are a number of connections between the 1944 unaired pilot and The Big Noise, which began filming March 28. But I won't spoil the fun here. It is better if you read the book and discover for yourself.

Because most major publishing companies prefer to cater to the mainstream market, this is not the kind of book you would expect to see on the shelves of Barnes and Noble so I suggest you visit John's website and order a copy direct. And ask him to autograph it for you.

or call 1-800-955-1326 
or email at

It is these kind of books that need our support. 

1 comment:

Ganesh Utsav said...

Laurel And Hardy best comedy actor. i have seen every movie of laurel and hardy.

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