Country Music legend Hank Williams (1923 - 1953)
died just four and a half months after being kicked out of the Grand Ol' Opry for drunken and erratic behavior. He was at the peak of his fame, earning over $200,000 a year and enjoying the enthusiasm of ten million fans in the U.S. and five million abroad. He was 29 years old and known only for 35 songs. The attached article will let you in on the short and painful life of country music's fair haired boy.
Like many artists, his creativity was nurtured by an empty stomach. Hank Williams was raised under dreadfully impoverished conditions in Depression era Alabama; suffering from spinal bifida, the illness that eventually overcame him, he sought relief from the pain with liquor and drugs and died in the back of the Caddy that was ferrying him to a gig in Canton Ohio.
Barry Goldwater (1909 - 1998) was the Republican presidential candidate for 1964, and although he lost that contest by wide margins to Lyndon Johnson, his political philosophy has played a vital roll in shaping the direction of American conservative thought. William F. Buckley, Jr. explained why in this article.
Attached is a five page interview with the always demure and introverted pianist Liberace (b. Wladziu Valentino Liberace: 1919 - 1987). When this article first appeared on the pages of COLLIER'S MAGAZINE, no living performer was selling more records than he was, his television program was nearing its second year and American women had not yet figured out that he was gay. Life was good.
The attached article is disguised as a Hollywood fluff piece about actress Angela Lansbury (b. 1925), who at that time was about to earn her first and only Academy Award, but journalist Peter Churchill devoted the majority of column space to the life and career of her socialist grandfather George Lansbury (1859 – 1940), one time Member of Parliament and star of the British Labor Party:
"Old George was born, bred, lived and died among the poor of London, and never had any money, and yes, that goes for the time he was a member of His Britanic Majesty's Cabinet, too. But the folks down at the less desirable parts (we don't talk of slums) of the Bow and Bromley district of London where he lived could tell you what a difference it made to have a Cabinet Minister for a neighbor."
Click here to read George Lansbury's account of time he met Lenin...
Bernard Baruch (1870 - 1965) was a major player in President Franklin Roosevelt's "Brain Trust"; during World War Two he served that president as a respected adviser concerning economic matters. Not long after this interview, during the Truman Administration, he was appointed to serve as the first U.S. Representative on the U.N Atomic Energy Commission.
Click here to read a 1945 article about the funeral of FDR.
Artist Gilbert Wilson conducted this interview with American socialist cartoonist Art Young (1866 – 1943) which appeared in DIRECTION MAGAZINE during the summer of 1938. In the fullness of time, Art Young has come to be recognized as something of a demi-god in the American poison pen pantheon of graphic satirists and no study of Twentieth Century political cartoons is complete without him:
"Art Young has never adopted the policy of tearing into his foe (which is capitalism) with tooth and claw. It simply isn't his way. He just isn't capable of hating anyone or anything badly enough to get that angry."
"Isn't it rather the duty of a good radical, as Lenin said, 'Patiently to explain'?"