Monday, July 28, 2008

Ted Lewis - "Is Everybody Happy?"

Ted Lewis was a bandleader-musician-singer-entertainer from about 1915 right through the 1950s. He was famous for introducing himself and his band with the direct question to the audience, "Is everybody happy?". Another of his famous trademarks was wearing a battered top hat.

During my early years of collecting 78rpm records, I'd acquired some of his records, including one of his most popular songs, "When My Baby Smiles at Me". I liked his band's style and his pleasant singing voice.

I wrote to Mr. Lewis in the late 1960s, requesting an autographed photo. He, or his secretary, misunderstood my request apparently, because I received an unsigned photo. I didn't write again, and Mr. Lewis died a few years later, in 1971.

Many years later, in 1989, I'd made contact with a reliable autograph dealer, who was selling pieces from collections. One that was offered, for a mere $3, was a signed album page, shown below.

Here is a clip of Ted Lewis and His Band:

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