HOLLYWOOD REMEMBERED: An Oral History of Its Golden Age

Paul Zollo, Author . Cooper Square $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8154-1239-7

Hollywood resident Zollo, whose popular Songwriters on Songwriting surveyed dozens of practitioners of the craft, now turns his attention to the silver screen, asking, "What was real Hollywood all about?" The answer comes from 35 entertainment industry veterans, including comedians, writers, actors, producers and composers who recall Tinseltown from the 1920s through the '60s. As 90-year-old actor Karl Malden says, "Every city changes, but Hollywood has changed more. It's because it's a facade; they just build the front, the hell with the back." Here are nostalgia-drenched descriptions of long gone apartment buildings, trolleys, theaters, hotels, radio stations and movie studios. Broadcaster Bill Welsh, age 74, remembers, "The Broadway was the last of the great department stores in Hollywood." Musso & Frank's Grill, built in 1919, receives numerous mentions as "one of the only connections to Hollywood's past that remains relatively unchanged." These over-the-shoulder glances back at a bygone era serve as a springboard for personal memories, and funny, fascinating anecdotes abound. Actor Johnny Grant, the "Honorary Mayor of Hollywood," now 79, tells of a practical joke when Charlie Chaplin secretly entered a Chaplin look-alike contest and lost. "Hollywood never was glamorous," says Grant. "It was what happened here that was glamorous." With 50 pages tracing Hollywood's evolution, a map linked with a listing of historic locations, 43 b&w photos and the carefully edited interviews, Zollo has assembled a splendid package for anyone seeking the town behind the tinsel. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/07/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-58979-614-0
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-1-58979-603-4
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