Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mary Lee Tucker Show – December 1956

For decades, the Morning Journal's Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child program has made sure that needy school-age children in Lorain County have warm winter clothing.
According to article in the MJ website archives, the Mary Lee Tucker program dates back to 1924 when the newspaper's society editor Rhea Soper Eddy initiated a campaign to raise money and collect clothes and food for families in need. The "Mary Lee Tucker" name was her charitable name (much like the fictional names Ann Landers and Betty Crocker).
While today the program consists of collecting money donations from readers, for many years there was an annual Mary Lee Tucker benefit show at the Palace Theater. Below is an article about the 1956 show, and the appearance of well-known Lorain musician Jimmy Dulio and his big band.
Frank Katrick, who I mentioned in yesterday's post, was the co-director of the 1956 show and is in the photo of the Dulio band accompanying the article. (He's sitting directly behind Gloria Dee, the female vocalist.)

****
Dulio Band Booked For Benefit Show

SHOW VETERAN – A Mary Lee Tucker show veteran, Jimmy Dulio,
seated front right, and his band will again appear on this year's Christmas
benefit December 5 in the Palace Theater. Gloria Dee is featured vocalist
with the band. Other members of the band are George Moseley,
Leonard Gerace, Jesse Gonzales, trumpets; Jack Becker, trombone;
Ed Smith, Jack Ruth, Charles Bisgrove, Vincent Perrier, Frank Katrick,
saxophone; Dick Reed, drums; Bob Gawne, bass; Dana Hague, pian
o
A veteran of many Mary Lee Tucker shows, Jimmy Dulio and his band, will again appear at this year's Christmas benefit scheduled for Dec. 5 in the Palace Theater. The show is sponsored by the Lorain City Club.

Engagement of Dulio's 14-piece band, including Gloria Dee as vocalist, was announced today by Frank Katrick, co-director of the show with Ted Reese.

Katrick also announced another well-known Lorain band, the Jolly Boys, would also have a part in the show.

The Dulio organization will be the stage band, furnishing accompaniment for the singers and dancers. It will also be one of the featured acts.

The Jolly Boys, whose leader is Mike Vidovich, specialize in nationality music. They have played in and around Lorain for the past 16 years.

At the benefit show next week they will furnish pre-show entertainment in the theater lobby, Katrick said.

Several acts of local talent have been selected for the program and one or two others are still being considered, Katrick said today. Complete list of local talent will be announced tomorrow.

Members of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will again serve as usherettes and members of the Alpha Iota Sorority will again assist candy butchers with candy sales before the show begins and during intermission.

Tickets are still available for the show, for which Bill Randle, voted the nation's No. 1 disc jockery, will be master of ceremonies.

Randle has been a Cleveland disc jockey for several years and until recently also had his own television varieties show over station WEWS.

Reservation of seats for the show will begin Monday in the lobby of The Journal building. Tickers may be exchanged for reserved seats from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Ben Fabrizio, ticket chairman, said today that in addition to various places in Lorain, tickets for the show may be purchased from drivers of Num Num potato chip trucks operated by Pete DeSantis.

4 comments:

-Alan D Hopewell said...

That was such a wonderful thing....do they still have Mary Lee Tucker?

Dan Brady said...

I don't know when they stopped doing the benefit show, but the Morning Journal does indeed still solicit donations from readers (which they publish in a list in the paper) and then volunteers take the kids out shopping.

Ken said...

Charlie Bisgrove on lead alto in the center front.

Joe Fortunato said...

Does anyone know what happened to Gloria Dee