1-4 of 4 results  for:

  • Media and performing arts x
  • Results with images only x
Clear all

Article

Lee, Canada (03 May 1907–09 May 1952), actor, theater producer, bandleader, and boxer, was born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata in New York City, the son of James Cornelius Canegata, a clerk, and Lydia Whaley. Lee’s father came from a wealthy and politically prominent family in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, whose ancestors had adopted a Danish surname. Lee’s grandfather owned a fleet of merchant ships; the family also raced horses. James Canegata shipped out as a cabin boy at eighteen, settled in Manhattan, married, and worked for National Fuel and Gas for thirty-one years. Lee grew up in the San Juan Hill section of Manhattan’s West Sixties and attended P.S. 5 in Harlem. An indifferent student, he devoted more energy to fisticuffs than to schoolwork. Lee studied violin from age seven with composer J. Rosamund Johnson, and at age eleven he was favorably reviewed at a student concert in Aeolian Hall; his parents hoped he would become a concert violinist....

Article

Monroe, Vaughn Wilton (07 October 1911–21 May 1973), bandleader, singer, and businessman, was born in Akron, Ohio, the son of Ira C. Monroe, a supervisor in a rubber tire factory, and Mable Louisa Maahs. Following World War I, the family moved to Monroe’s grandmother’s farm in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he grew up and went to school. The family also lived for a time in Kent, Ohio. Monroe’s musical career began when he was eleven and was given an old, beat-up trumpet. He soaked it in coal oil for a week to get the valves to work and then proceeded to teach himself to play....

Article

Vallee, Rudy (28 July 1901–03 July 1986), musician and actor, was born Hubert Pryor Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont, the son of Charles Alphonse Vallée, a pharmacist-owner of a drugstore, and Kathryn Lynch. The family moved to Westbrook, Maine, when he was a small child. He attended the Valentine Street School and, beginning at age nine, assisted his father at the drugstore. Very early he demonstrated a strong natural inclination to music, and in the sixth grade he taught himself to play the drums. He became deeply engrossed in all things pertaining to the entertainment business, his dream at this point being to perform in the pit of the local Star Theater, where silent movies were preceded and sometimes accompanied by live music....

Article

Welk, Lawrence (11 March 1903–17 May 1992), band leader and television personality, was born in Strasburg, North Dakota, the son of Ludwig Welk, a blacksmith and farmer, and Christine Schwab, both of whom had emigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine region of Germany in 1878. A variety of childhood illnesses kept Welk from attending school until he was seven, when he went to a parish school run by Ursuline nuns from Germany. Raised in this entirely German environment, he did not learn to speak English until he was twenty-one and never felt comfortable speaking in public. In 1914, when he was ten years old, a ruptured appendix left Welk bedridden for many months, and, once recovered, he and his family decided he had had enough schooling and would not return. It was during his year-long convalescence that Welk realized that he was meant not to be a farmer but a musician. He had always been interested in music—the family had a pump organ and his father taught him to play the accordion—and when he was still too weak to help on the farm, Welk would spend hours practicing his music. While still working on the farm, Welk began to play at barn dances and weddings, and eventually he left farming to become a musician full time....