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Actor Tom Bosley’s Wedding in New Haven while at the Shubert!

June 16th, 2015 by admin

In celebration of our 100th Anniversary this season, we are sharing stories from Edith Goodmaster. Edith worked at the Shubert for 25 years, as the private secretary of Maurice Bailey. Mr. Bailey operated the theatre during its Golden Era, and is credited with coining the phrase “Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits”. Edith_NEW2

As you can imagine, Edith has wonderful memories that she has been generous to share with us.

Please enjoy this series of stories, excerpted from a presentation Edith gave at the Annual Meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of New Haven.





In 1959, we had the premiere of FIORELLO starring Tom Bosley who, in case you don’t know, is also Jewish, and may be best known as the father on the hit television show Happy Days. Some years later Dick Rodgers wrote and produced a show called NO STRINGS. It seems that Tom Bosley was engaged to marry a young lady in the chorus of this show and the press agent thought it 20101019_tom-bosley_33would be a great idea to have the man who portrayed Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia married by the mayor of New Haven, Richard C. Lee.

Tom Bosley image 1Unfortunately, Dick Lee did not have marrying powers but Attorney Herman Levy, who represented the motion picture association, was a Justice of the Peace, agreed to perform the ceremony, and Dick Lee agreed to have it take place in his office. The details for a reception, refreshments, etc. fell to Dick’s secretary and me so I had the honor of arranging for Tom Bosley’s wedding and was, of course, one of the few non-cast members in attendance.




New Haven Register archives: JOHNNY CASH COMES FULL CIRCLE: Yale Whiffenpoofs flock to singer’s side for Toad’s show

June 8th, 2015 by admin

As the Shubert gets ready to rock out this week with Million Dollar Quartet (June 11-14)  — a show inspired by the famed 1956 recording session with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins, we thought we’d share this great article by columnist Fran Fried from an interview he did with Johnny Cash


New Haven Register archives: JOHNNY CASH COMES FULL CIRCLE: Yale Whiffenpoofs flock to singer’s side for Toad’s show

Johnny Cash played two sold-out shows at Toad’s Place on York Street in July of 1990.

(This story ran on Page 15, in the Living section, of the New Haven Register Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1992. It was the preview to a scheduled show that Thursday at Toad’s Place in New Haven by Johnny Cash. He was to have performed a couple of songs with Yale’s famed Whiffenpoofs, whose longtime home, the supper club Mory’s, stands next to Toad’s. Unfortunately, the shows were canceled, but I did get to see him that Saturday, sans Whiffs, at the Garde Arts Center in New London.johnny Cash

This tour came at the low point of his recording career. His late-’80s albums for Mercury went nowhere and he seemed to have fizzled out, and was trying to figure his next move. A year and a half later, he shocked us with the stark simplicity of the first of his Rick Rubin albums, which re-established him for good and sustained him the rest of his life.

Johnny called me one morning a few days before, just before he left for the funeral of his longtime agent, who died the same day as Johnny’s good buddy Roger Miller. I did apologize right off and tell him I felt badly that he called me at such a trying time. His response, in that voice: “Well, you got me.” I was eternally grateful that he took time to talk to a stranger, especially given the circumstances.)

By Fran Fried, Register Entertainment Editor

This is the type of trivia question that starts bar arguments: What was the first song Johnny Cash ever sang in public?

“Hey Porter”? “I Walk the Line”? Some Hank Williams number? A hymn? Don’t knock yourself out. You will never guess; I guarantee it. So let the man tell you himself:

“The first song I ever sang in public, in front of a large audience, was at commencement exercises at my high school when I was in 11th grade. It was ‘The Whiffenpoof Song,’“ he said last week.

Of all the songs.

Thus, Cash, on his return visit to Toad’s Thursday night — he played there in July 1990 — will open his new tour by singing at least that song on stage with another American musical institution — Yale’s Whiffenpoofs.

They’ll sing “The Whiffenpoof Song” and Cash’s timeless “Ring of Fire” at the second show, scheduled to start at 10:30. Whether they perform more depends on how quickly Cash can make it up to New Haven from Nashville after Wednesday’s memorial service for old friend Roger Miller.


Cash said Country Music magazine editor Russ Bernard, a Yale alumnus, was the one who lined up this seemingly unlikeliest of musical pairings.

“He called me up and said ‘You’re playing Toad’s, at Yale. Mory’s … (is next door),’ “ Cash said from Los Angeles, where he was preparing for the funeral of his agent, Marty Klein. “I said ‘You mean as in “From the tables at Mory’s to the place where Louie dwells?”‘

“He sent me a brochure on (the Whiffenpoofs). They began in 1909 and sang at some of the greatest occasions in history. I realized what a class act they are. To sing with them would be the ultimate kick for me.”

One of the Whiffs, Jody Gold, said the feeling is mutual.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “It’s really funny in a way. I don’t think I know too many people who listen to his music, but he’s a legend. Combining our kind of music with his is incredible.”

Whiffenpoofs aside, this is a period of returning to roots for Cash. He’s about to re-enter the recording studio, and save for a duet with wife June Carter Cash on Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” he plans to turn the clock back musically to 1955 – to the pre-country rockabilly days with the Tennessee Two, when he recorded for Sam Phillips at Sun Records.

This is a man whose multi-million-selling albums pre-date the much-hyped Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus by over two decades; in 1969 — at the heyday of the smash hit “A Boy Named Sue” and the “Live at San Quentin” album, Variety magazine estimated he was bringing in a quarter of the revenues at Columbia Records, the world’s largest label.

Yet Cash isn’t sure where he belongs in the scheme of present-day country music, with much of it sounding like adult top 40 with pedal steel. But he said he does like the idea of this latest country resurgence.

“I don’t know where I fit in,” he said. “But I’m gonna do the things I always have. I’m not gonna sound like anybody else.”

As if anyone will mistake one of the most recognizable voices in the English-speaking world for anyone else.

Back when he started this 37-year circle, Cash had a decidedly narrower view of fame: “Back then, my idea of stardom was to get to sing on the radio. I never thought past the range of the broadcasting stations in Memphis. Then one day I was turning the knob on my radio and heard my record (his first, “Hey Porter”/”Cry Cry Cry”) on a station in Shreveport, La. I couldn’t believe it.”

He’s a much smarter man than the first time around, having survived the pratfalls of drinking and drugs, finding the Lord, and becoming a beloved public figure.

And if the circle needed to close any tighter, the deaths of Miller and Klein, both on Oct. 25, have made Cash, who turned 60 Feb. 26, reflect a little more deeply about his own mortality.

“I get up every morning thinking just for today, because (life’s) so fleeting,” he said. “Everyone knew Roger’s time was coming (he had throat cancer), but my agent died suddenly of a massive heart attack. He was only 51 years old. It gave me reason for deep thought.”


Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet (June 11-14) may be purchased via or by contacting the Box Office at 203.562.5666.


“Fans Wild Over Elvis In Show At Coliseum” by Dick Conrad, New Haven Courier-Journal July 17, 1975

June 4th, 2015 by admin

Our upcoming show Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by the famed 1956 Memphis recording session that brought together Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.   In honor of Elvis, we share with you this concert review from his 1975 performance at the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Elvis in new haven 1975


“Elvis: I Love You,” said the sign hanging from the railing in back of the stage at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Wednesday night.


The signature of Debbie Persano, and the appropriate XOX, were at the bottom of the love note, but it became obvious later that many of the 10,000 plus in attendance would have been glad to add their names.


Gurgling in to the microphone, swaying like the Elvis of old and singing at least as well, Presley more than satisfied the faithful who paid $10, $7.50 and $5 to get in.

The crowd was a mixture of “teens and persons in the 20 to 35 age range. Everyone brought a camera.


Presley came on only after the audience endured a mel singing group and a comedian and enjoyed “Sweet Inspiration,” a female group.


The master of ceremonies patiently asked everyone to take his or her seat, and then, to the strains of the famous opening of the movie “Space Odyssey,” Elvis charged onto the stage.


So much for staying in the seats. The flash bulbs popped and thousands screamed. About a hundred charged the stage as Elvis went into “See See Rider.”


For many of the others who risked their ribs, there was a good supply of spare articles of clothing, which Presley distributed after a cursory wrap around the neck.


He accepted several bouquets of roses, but rejected a bottle of champagne.

“Amen” came next, and then some assorted gurgling that sent shock waves through the crowd.


“Play rock and roll” and “I love you , Elvis” came from everywhere in the house. But next was the popular “If You Love Me Let Me Know” before a lot of the old favorites.


Presley finally asked the throngs to sit down, just before a few persons almost managed to get on the stage.


The show was a success. Police reported little trouble despite the frenzy inside.

Courtesy of Scott


To purchase tickets for Million Dollar Quartet June 11th – 14th

visit or call the Shubert Box Office at 203.562.5666