Society & Culture:History
Beggars of Life - Kangaroo Court - Pgm 1
A highlight of the blog this week is an usual, previously lost audition for a syndicated program.
Jim Tully was an author and columnist who came to fame for “riding the rails” in the 1910s, turning his experiences into a popular book, “Beggars of Life” in the mid-1920s. The book was turned into a silent film of the same name with Louis Brooks. The movie was recently restored and released on blu-ray.
Tully was one of the first journalists to cover the film industry. As a free-lancer, unaccountable to the studios, he gained a reputation as “the most hated man in Hollywood” for his frank and open writing about Hollywood stars.
“Beggars of Life” was a series of dramatized incidents from his popular book. In this book, we hear “Kangaroo Court”, which is about a kind of initiation ceremony done by prisoners thrown in jail for vagrancy when someone new would arrive. Tully introduces the drama.
I haven’t been able to find any documentation on a broadcast run of this series, but would guess it dates from the mid to late 1930s.
Our program was transferred to digital direct from an original single-sided 16” shellac transcription pressed by Hollywood Recorders, matrix number HR-1007.
Next week, we’ll hear a series of five minute syndicated shows that Tully produced where he narrates stories about famous people he’s known.
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