Monthly Archives: Dec 2022
In 1835, Boston Massachusetts, Hallet and Davis founded a factory which started making high quality pianos. In 1867, during a Paris exposition, world famous composer Franz List played one of their pianos during a performance and they gained world-wide recognition. The company was so well known for their high-quality products that in 1911 Pope Pius X ordered a piano for the Vatican and awarded them a medal in recognition of their high-quality work produced.
In 1925, Hallet and Davis Company was sold to the Premiere Grand Corporation of New York. In 1926, when Valentino ordered his Hallet and Davis Piano with Angelus player, this musical instrument was considered advanced for its time. The Angelus was a brand of player piano mechanism built by the Wilcox & Piano & Organ Company and was an advanced version of the mechanical player system. In Dec 1926, the Valentino Estate held an auction and subsequently published an estate catalog listing all personal items to be sold, paying off massive debts. The Hallet and Davis, with Angelus player piano was item catalogue number 89. Many of Valentino’s friends would purchase his items in remembrance and one of these friends, Imogene “Bubbles” Wilson alias Mary Nolan, former silent film star and Ziegfeld follies girl bought this massive piano. Her later years were marred by drug problems and lived in obscurity. In 1947, Mary Nolan, moved to a newly built small stucco bungalow consisting of 3 bedrooms, 1932 square feet of space located on 1504 S. Mansfield Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. When she moved in, she brought minimal furniture and an extremely large grand piano with intricate carvings that had formerly belonged to Rudolph Valentino. Besides the piano Mary paid homage to the late actor by keeping a picture of him in a gaucho costume on the music rack. In 1948, Mary Nolan died of an accidental suicide. She was not married and had no children. On 7 Apr 1949, Hart Auctions announced due to her death Valentino’s piano would be auctioned off once again. Future owners include Frances Faye, Danny Kay’s second cousin who reported she found the item at a local antique shop. The status of the piano remains unknown by this author today.
“The loneliest ebb of my life came on that Christmas Eve, only one day after my arrival in New York. The abyss of loneliness. I ate a solitary dinner in a small cafe, and the food tasted better with my unshed tears. One doesn’t dare cry in America. It is unmanly here”. – Rudolph Valentino
The long-awaited movie “Babylon” by writer-director Damien Chazelle is a treat for both fans of silent films and Rudolph Valentino. This 3-hour movie gives viewers insight on the late 1920’s Hollywood movie industry during the transition from silent to talking pictures. The actors starring in this movie immersed themselves in early Hollywood history to give them a background for the character roles they would be portraying, and it truly paid off.
Margot Robbie her inspiration Clara Bow
Olivia Hamilton her inspiration Dorothy Arzner, Alice Guy Blache, Lois Weber
Jovan Adepo his inspiration Duke Ellington, Sidney Easton
Diego Calva his inspiration Dudley Murphey, Ramon Novarro
Li Jun Li her inspiration Anna May Wong
Brad Pitt his inspiration John Gilbert
Jean Smart her inspiration Adela Rogers St Johns, Elinor Glyn
The movie starts out with a debaucherously over the top party at a mansion in the Hollywoodland Hills and it makes one wonder how accurate this scene was. Each character’s storyline was filled with a sense of realism and showed their initial career filled with the brightest studio lights and a gradual decline in a long-forgotten ending. The movie industry had people who wanted to make an impact and it shows. Early Hollywood was a magical time for many who were lucky to experience this first-hand and this film gives viewers a glimpse into what it was like. This movie gives off a Sunset Boulevard Movie vibe and I recommend watching.
During the time of prohibition where drinking was conducting in the privacy of one’s home or in restaurants that paid its local police to look the other way. Rudolph Valentino was a man of the Jazz age that loved a good cocktail. I recently discovered that he enjoyed a drink called “Ramos Gin Fizz”.
- 1 1/2 ounces of gin
- 1/2-ounce lime juice
- 1/2-ounce lemon juice
- 1 1/4 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces cream
- 1 small egg white
- 2 dashes fleurs d’orange (orange flower water)
- 1 ounce club soda (more or less to taste)
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients grab an empty cocktail shaker and pour gin, lemon, lime, syrup, cream, egg white and orange flower water into the container and shake without ice for about 1 minute. Then open fill with ice and shake vigorously for about 10 minutes, to ensure egg and cream are well mixed and the drink is silky. Strain into a chilled highball glass and top with club soda.
We cited the case of Valentino in our last article but since then Rudolph is piling anguish upon anguish emotion upon emotion. Partings, reunions, long anguished shipboard good-byes, passionate cancellation of bride’s voyage —all triumphantly coincident with sumptuous rival bids for his dramatic services, demands for higher pay, better scripts and writers, and more publicity perfectly gorgeious staggering fights between producers for his affiliation. If Rudolph can only keep it up we can foresee an ebullient publicity agent desinating him the “highest-paid” actor in the world bar none before the year year sets in
Lila Lee is going to do a Western Picture called “Under Western Skies”. In it she must ride a horse. Despite all her years in pictures Miss Lee could not ride. So Lila treated herself up to William S. Hart’s ranch north of Hollywood and spent a couple of days getting pointers from the famouse two-gun man and practicing under his instructions.
Dr. Crandon well known spiritualist says spirit messages from Houdini the magician and Valentino the actor are fakes. “A person must be dead four or five years before he can communicate with us. We learn this from spirits with whom we have been in touch”. Physicists wonder where those spirits are when they talk. It they are on one of the distant stars, light with travels 186,000 miles a second would take a million years to get here; and sound, as we know travels more slowly than light, 331 meters a second against 186.000 miles a second. If Houdini and Valentino, on some distant star, began talking loud enough for their voices to reach us, their words wouldn’t reach the earth in time to be heard by our descendants 500,000,000 years from now.