So you see a child, particularly a girl in those days in the theater, there are two things to look at, you’re suppressed because you cannot play with kids your own age, which is a natural desire, and you are watched over so carefully that you feel like you’re doing something wrong… and you really just want to go rollerskating.
One of the great treasures I came across in researching entertainers who aided in the war effort for my film, The Little Girl with the Big Voice, was a recording Mary did with Jimmy Stewart. This clip comes from a bond rally show where Mary played an infatuated fan of Jimmy’s who didn’t realize he was standing right next to her. Mary spent not only the war years supporting the effort but continued her support afterwards so that our veterans could be funded as well as the country. They were both symbols of The Greatest Generation.
Here’s another rare gem from the Steel Pier shows of 1935 with Kay Fortez and Mary Small posing in front of the Mary Small’s Junior Revue banner. Amazing how these historic little photos keep percolating up….
Collectible Matchbooks of Radio Stars from the 1930’s
A surprise find on a random Google images search brings up these promotional matchbooks distributed by NBC in the late 1930’s. This is the second one (from 1938) I’ve found. A handful of stable stars were selected to appear on these and they probably lit a lot of cigarettes in the day.
The matchbook cover reads:
Sixteen year old singing star who astounded listeners when she appeared as a guest star with Rudy Vallee five years ago. Despite her youth, Mary is quite at home in front of a microphone. Can learn a song in five minutes, and adopts it to her own style. She was born in Baltimore on May 13* and has been singing since she celebrated her fifth birthday.
*Mary’s birthday is listed as May 10th on IMDB and May 13th in a Press Release on her 13th Birthday.
The matchbooks were made by the Diamond Match Company which you can read more about here.