Kirkus Star


Email this review


Autobiography of one of the country's topnotch entertainers of his day, and in contrast to most theatrical memoirs, it is of broader scope because of the man's breadth of interests outside theatre. A happy-go-lucky father who kept his family hop-scotching all over Colorado; Kansas and points north, south and west, gave the three Stone boys a kaleidoscopic childhood, and Fred and Eddie soon learned the joys and benefits of acrobatics, singing and dancing and early joined the traveling circuses of the day, leading a life not always glamorous. Fred discovered that he could make people laugh; he played many circuits, beer halls, honkytonks, and made his first success in minstrels, with David Montgomery, who for 22 years was his partner in vaudeville, and musical comedies. The Wizard of Oz and The Red Mill secured their fame -- they made their first trip to London (they never went to the Continent) -- Fred made a happy marriage and savored full joy in his three daughters. He went on trips to the north with his brother-in-law, Rex Beach, he developed a wide range of activities, -- hunting, racing, bicycling, boxing, baseball, photography, and -- in connection with his shows -- ice skating, bulldogging steers, Australian whicracking, work with the lariat, sharp-shooting. He writes of the people who taught him, of his delight in his daughters' careers, of his friendship with Will Rogers, of his enthusiasm over flying and the accident that almost cost him his career, of his work in radio and pictures and legitimate theatre. All of this in unassuming, direct telling, with definite appreciation of the joy of life. Very good reading.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1945
Publisher: Whittlesey