city-to-city stage tours of American theatres, and Caribbean islands,
troop shows at US Army and Navy bases, wartime fund-raising tours; PLUS
appearances, guest appearances, and award ceremonies.
LAUREL and HARDY - The U.S. Tours is the story of two men who, in their formative solo years, struggled as unknown acts in American Vaudeville; rocketed to stardom as the world's favourite film comedians; then returned to the stage to eke out a living in their twilight years.
Although scores of books have been written about Laurel & Hardy, in this latest book, The US Tours, the reader will get to see, for only the second time, the real human beings behind the screen characters of "Stan and Ollie." (The first time being the author's first work: "LAUREL & HARDY - The British Tours.")
The reader will first meet the skinny English stage comic and the large American singer in 1910, and learn how they came to meet up at the Hal Roach Studios; where, through a process of almost "natural selection," they gradually metamorphose into the screen's funniest comedy couple.
But then the book takes an unexpected route. Instead of following the comedy double-act through the making of their films, we are led into a parallel world of public appearances, theatre tours, guest appearances, award ceremonies, wartime fund raising tours, and troop shows at Army and Navy bases.
The author totally blows away the accepted accounts that all Laurel and Hardy did during their filmmaking days was go from their homes, to the studio, and back again. Revealed for the first time ever are scores of previously unknown appearances; including numerous trips from the West to the East Coast; three junkets to Mexico, three major U.S. city-to-city stage tours, and even a tour of Caribbean islands, which finds the two comedians clocking up thousands of air miles as first-time flyers.
On the journey we meet a whole constellation of Hollywood stars who work with, or come to see, Laurel and Hardy - including Cary Grant, Judy Garland, James Cagney, Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Claudette Colbert, Olivia de Havilland, Merle Oberon, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and even Charlie Chaplin. These two humble men also befriend a future President of the U.S, and are invited to tea at the White House.
Along the way we are introduced to the comedians' many wives, and suffer with them through divorces before they finally find matrimonial harmony. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are shown to be extremely talented performers, but poor businessmen. But through their decline and failing fortunes we witness the vulnerability of these two men, for whom the love given them by the public is their only comfort after the media had turned its back on them.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy emerge as warm, lovable, gentle men, whose only mistake was to come into films in its infancy, and stay on past the decline of their format of film comedy. The reader will experience their every highlight and emotion throughout their long partnership.
LAUREL and HARDY - The US Tours
A5-size format. Paperback Total Word count = 126,000 Total Page Count = 432
Published December 2011
Illustrated with over 200 photographs of Laurel and Hardy on tour, all of them rare, many of them previously unpublished. Contains informative route maps, mileages, schedules, and modes of transport, which will take the reader along on the journey. Also contains lists of every act the Boys appeared with, along with the name of the show, the venue, and the date - and includes descriptions of the different sketches they performed.
The book LAUREL and HARDY - The US Tours takes us on a wonderful journey, which all readers will love to follow.
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