Tag Archives: Giveaway

Which Stew are You?

We’re giving away a copy of Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon this week and it inspired our Publicity Manager to reminisce about community stews and the gatherings where they were prepared. Enjoy a guest post that may make you hungry for more foodways history!


Burgoo’s Place in the Constellation of Community Stews

By Mack McCormick, Publicity Manager

Growing up in Alabama, Brunswick Stew was ubiquitous. You didn’t see many people make it at home, but it and barbecue were staples of community fundraisers. It was cooked outside in huge cast-iron pots and stirred with boat paddles. My parents still have the 30-gallon pot that my great-uncle used to make it. You could count on him having a batch almost every Saturday in the summer before he closed the country store in Suttle.

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Brunswick Stew being prepared in cast iron pots

Growing up close to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, I was also very familiar with Gumbos, whether file or okra, but I had never heard of Burgoo before moving to Kentucky in the mid 1990s. The first I sampled was at Mark’s Feed Store in Louisville, followed shortly after by Keeneland’s and many others since. It wasn’t until I began to work on Albert W. A. Schmid’s new book, Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon: A Kentucky Culinary Trinity, however, that I started to consider it within the larger tradition of regional community stews. Here are the highlights:

Irish Stew

Common wherever Irish settled, it can be nearly any variety of meat and root vegetable stew, but typically includes lamb or mutton.

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Irish Stew (Source: foodnetwork.com)

Mulligan Stew

A variation on Irish Stew that was made from any ingredients on hand, it became a common dish among hobos during the Great Depression.

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Cowboy Stew (Source: Pinterest)

Cowboy Stew

A variation on Mulligan Stew popularized in the West, it traditionally includes the internal organs of calves.

Burgoo

Kentucky’s contribution to community stews, Vice President of the United States Alben Barkley of Paducah said, “A ‘burgoo’ is a cross between a soup and a stew, and into the big iron cooking kettles go, as we sometimes say in Kentucky, a ‘numerosity’ of things—meat, chicken, vegetables, and lots of seasoning.”

Clam Chowder

Generally containing clams, broth, diced potatoes, onions, and celery, numerous regional varieties of chowder can be found along Atlantic seaboard. Delaware clam chowder includes pre-fried salt pork. Hatteras clam chowder is a spicier version from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Manhattan clam chowder uses a tomato-based broth. New England (or Boston) clam chowder uses milk or cream.

Gumbo

Composed of a meat or shellfish, stock, a thickener (roux, okra, or filé powder), and the “holy trinity” of onion, celery, and bell peppers, it is most closely associated with southern Louisiana. The two main varieties are creole, which is thinner and has a tomato base, and Cajun, which is thicker and uses a roux.

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Booyah (Source: Wikipedia)

Booyah

Probably Belgian in origin and common in Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, and Michigan, it traditionally can require up to two days and multiple cooks to prepare. Like Burgoo, Booyah can also refer to a social event surrounding the meal.

Let me know which ones I missed, and I’m also curious to hear from others about their memories of similar stews.

 


Stay tuned for burgoo recipes and don’t forget to sign up for our weekly giveaway of Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon by Friday, May 27 at 1 pm!

A Father’s Day Giveaway: Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon

Schmid Cover for blogYes, Father’s Day is still about a month away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what you might get dad. (He deserves it, right?) Luckily, we’re here to help you out with a Father’s Day giveaway!

This week, enter to win one of three available copies of Albert W. A. Schmid’s brand new Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon: A Kentucky Culinary Trinity. Use the form at the end of this blog post to sign up by Friday, May 26 at 1:00 pm Eastern time for your chance to win!

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About the book

Burgoo, barbecue, and bourbon have long been acknowledged as a trinity of good taste in Kentucky. Known as the gumbo of the Bluegrass, burgoo is a savory stew that includes meat—usually smoked—from at least one “bird of the air,” at least one “beast of the field,” and as many vegetables as the cook wants to add. Often you’ll find this dish paired with one of the Commonwealth’s other favorite exports, bourbon, and the state’s distinctive barbecue.

Award-winning author and chef Albert W. A. Schmid serves up a feast for readers in Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon, sharing recipes and lore surrounding these storied culinary traditions. He introduces readers to new and forgotten versions of favorite regional dishes from the time of Daniel Boone to today and uncovers many lost recipes, such as Mush Biscuits, Kentucky Tombstone Pudding, and the Original Kentucky Whiskey Cake. He also highlights classic bourbon drinks that pair well with burgoo and barbecue, including Moon Glow, Bourbaree, and the Hot Tom and Jerry. Featuring cuisine from the early American frontier to the present day, this entertaining book is filled with fascinating tidbits and innovative recipes for the modern cook.

Enter to Win!

Gems of the Backlist: ‘Here Comes the Showboat!’

Here at the University Press of Kentucky, we recently completed an initiative to digitize all of the books that we’ve published since our founding in 1943. It was a lot of work going through more than 1300 books, but it’s been a process full of fun surprises and astounding discoveries. Best of all, every now and then, there was a book that we just couldn’t put down—a book so good we just can’t resist sharing it with you again:

Except for a pause during the Civil War, showboats traveled America’s inland waterways for over a hundred years, and the months between the spring thaw and the first frost were their province. They came into existence to meet early settlers’ demand for formal entertainment, reached their zenith a little after the turn of the Twentieth Century, and disappeared when the need was gone.

9780813118628Betty Bryant grew up on her father’s showboat, which plied the many branches of the Ohio River watershed from before the First World War until 1942. In her memoir,  Here Comes the Showboat! she tells her story with the ageless wonder of a child. It is a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes, touching remembrances, and delightful photographs of Betty, the three generations who ran the family showboat, miners, musselers, shantyboaters, farmers, merchants, and actors whose lives intersected along the Ohio River.

Enjoy an adapted excerpt from this charming book below and enter here for a chance to win a copy of Here Comes the Showboat!:


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Captain Billy Bryant

My father was Captain Billy Bryant and I was raised on his showboat. The floating theater was my home and the river was my backyard.

While other children were learning how to walk, I was learning how to swim, and I knew how to set a trotline, gig a frog, catch a crawfish, and strip the mud vein out of a carp by the time I was four.

Dad called me a river rat.

I always become homesick whenever I hear the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” for that’s where I used to live. And it was a place where troubles melted like lemon drops, and where “dreams that you dared to dream” really did come true!

I was born at the tail end of a unique and delightful era and raised on one of the last showboats to struggle for survival against the devastating crunch of progress.

Showboats came formally into being in 1831 when the Chapman family from England launched their first Floating Theater at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their heyday was in the first decade of the twentieth century when, along with a dozen or more smaller craft, huge boats like the New Grand Floating Palace with a thousand seats, the Sunny South with twelve hundred seats and the Goldenrod with a capacity of fourteen hundred were plying the inland streams.

Featuring a medley of melodrama and vaudeville, they brought laughter and therapeutic tears into the humdrum lives of isolated people who looked forward to their annual arrival as an excuse for an undeclared holiday. As one of the too few bits of indigenous Americana that we have in this country, it’s a pity that the showboat’s image has become so distorted. When thought of at all, it seems to be remembered as a near mythical craft which is part packet, part excursion, and part ferry boat.

It’s surprising to many people that a typical showboat had no power of its own, no stern wheel, side wheel, motor, or engine. It was pushed from town to town by a steamboat tied to the stern. Equally surprising is the fact that it carried no paying passengers or freight. The only people who traveled on board were members of the family, cast, and crew.

A showboat was exactly what its name implies: a theater, built on a flat-bottomed barge for the express purpose of carrying entertainment to hundreds of thousands of river-bottom farmers along our water-bordered frontier. The larger municipalities had theaters, opera houses, and music halls, but between the cities were long stretches of rolling hills and deep green valleys, dotted with little hamlets and surrounding farms where the only social events were barn raisings, quilting bees, and corn huskings. These affairs, which in reality were merely difficult chores made lighter by sharing, were widely separated by weeks of back-breaking labor. Every day, each member of the family rose before the sun and went to bed soon after its last rays left the sky, often to dream, not surprisingly, of the showboat. These lighted giants were glorious interruptions in the monotony of their work-filled lives, and sometimes farmers and their families followed them up or down the river for two or three performances, loath to have the magic slip away.

Eventually, nearly a dozen gigantic, ornate, and costly showboats were in serious competition with each other, and their mad scramble for choice locations and larger audiences resembled nothing as much as a feeding frenzy of sharks. In trying to best each other, they had outpriced themselves. Some of them began playing larger towns to meet their soaring operational costs, but when they met with only modest financial improvement, many of their owners thought the showboat era was over.

They had forgotten one very important fact. The showboat was originally intended for the hinterland, and the smaller ones, like ours, would continue for many more years, floating along at a leisurely pace totally out of tempo with the rest of the world.

Even when radio and motion pictures would begin to compete for audiences, the little boats, being a good ten years behind the times, would continue to exist. They would draw back, like forest creatures, deeper into the sanctuary of weeds and willows that lined the banks of the cool, comforting backwaters.

Mainly family-operated, with low overheads and modest prices, they would go on for some time delivering the wholesome product that they advertised as

“Family entertainment, BY families, FOR families!”

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The auditorium in Bryant’s New Showboat filled to capacity

Until the end of the nineteenth century, showboat programs consisted mainly of vaudeville offerings which included singers, dancers, comics, and novelty acts. Occasionally, a short sketch would be added, but the pattern of a three-act drama with specialties instead of intermissions was not established until 1900 when E.E. Eisenbarth, at the insistence of his wife, presented two plays on board the Modern Temple of Amusement.

The new policy proved to be such a success that by the end of the year most of the showboats were presenting full-length plays. Sometimes scripts were purchased but more often they were borrowed and copied by hand. Others came from performers. An actor applying for work might write: “Have complete wardrobe for drawing room, western, Rube and Tom. Also have scripts for The Plunger, A Builder of Bridges, and Girl of the Golden West.”

The scripts were usually written on legal size paper, bound in oilcloth with the rough side out and with the title printed in bold letters on the front of the cover.

Most scripts called for a cast of five men and three women. The male parts consisted of a heavy, or villain, a juvenile lead, a comic, a character man, and “General Business,” a heading that covered such parts as partner to the villain, pal to the lead, or brother to the heroine. The women’s parts were leads, ingenues, a soubrette who played opposite the comic, a villainess, and sometimes a character woman. Anything beyond these limits was handled by doubling. That is, one actor doing one part in the first act, then donning a wig and mustache for another character in the second act, and sometimes another in the last act as well.

The plays were extremely moral. Good was good and bad was bad and there were no gray areas. The leading man, after being falsely accused of murder, might temporarily drop from sight at the end of the first act, but he would invariably return with proof of his innocence in time for the final curtain.

In the true spirit of the old ballad “She’s More to Be Pitied Than Censured,” good women were allowed to fall, even so far as to produce an illegitimate child, but only in supporting roles.

The heroine was often forced to struggle through the bulk of the seemingly under a cloud of guilt, but she must eventually be proven pure as the driven snow. Periodically, she would face her accusers and the audience and deliver lines such as,

“I’d rather DIE than say ‘yes’!”

“You would not say that, sir, if JACK were only here!”

“If this be aristocracy, thank GOD I’m a country girl!” and my favorite,

“Rags are royal raiment when worn for virtue’s sake!”

Villains were either city bankers who wore mustaches and carried mortgages or unshaven, brutish clods with uncombed hair and heavy eyebrows.

The leading man was either a parson or a country boy with a slow drawl and broad shoulders bulging under a blue flannel shirt worn open at the throat. Known to actors as a “blue shirt lead,” he would, at the drop of a villain’s sneer, flex his pectoral muscles, draw himself up to his full height, and say, “Sir, you are speaking of the woman I love!” [ . . . ]

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The sawmill scene in “Jack Dalton’s Revenge”

Most of the showboats tied up for three months during the winter at various protective landings. Point Pleasant, West Virginia, was a favorite spot, as was Paducah, Kentucky. Until 1931, we wintered at West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, and then moved to Point Pleasant.

In November, at the end of the season, the actors would bid us a reluctant farewell with promises to return in the spring. They would go by train to various towns or cities to join stock companies or tab shows. The crew would stay on board long enough to take the boats to winter quarters and then they too would go their separate ways. The family would stay a few weeks and then head for New York or Chicago. Only a watchman remained on board. After a sabbatical of three months, the members of the steamboat crew, last to leave in the fall, were the first to come aboard in the spring. Scrub and paint brushes were brought out, decks were caulked and the roof freshly tarred. Then the actors began to arrive.

They would scramble down the riverbank a week before the opening, waving and shouting. After exchanging greetings with everyone on board they’d head for the steamboat to select their staterooms and unpack. Then, they would gather in the galley to drink the strong, hot coffee that was always available and to talk excitedly of the season ahead.

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A visiting relative learning to use the draw bucket

We carried, besides the family, a leading man, a villain, a juvenile, a character man, and occasionally a man and wife general business team. Single actors lived on the Valley Belle in tiny staterooms. Each room was furnished with a bunk, a washstand, and a mirror. On top of the washstand sat a pitcher and bowl and beneath it was a bucket with a long rope attached to the handle. This “draw bucket” could be thrown over the side and brought up filled with cool, clear and, at that time, unpolluted water for washing. A coal oil lamp was bracketed to one wall, for while a generator furnished electricity for the evening’s performance, it was turned off after the show.

By today’s standards, their accommodations were practically primitive, but the actors were a happy lot. Compared to their lives on shore a showboat season had much to offer. While their contemporaries on land struggled on and off trains carrying props, scenery, and baggage, made sleeper jumps while sitting up in a day coach, and did two to ten shows a day in damp, dirty theaters, showboat performers, by comparison, lived the life of Riley. With no thought to packing or catching a train, they ate, slept, and traveled on board, gliding dreamlike between willow-lined shores to wake each day in a different town, with their theater a stone’s throw from their sleeping quarters.

An actor on the road lived with the ever-present fear of finding himself stranded a thousand miles from nowhere as the result of a show being canceled or an unscrupulous manager absconding with the funds. The showboat actor gloried in the guarantee of a full “play or pay” season, secure in the knowledge that his salary would be waiting in the box office each Saturday with the regularity of a Swiss watch.

Fifteen dollars a week sounds ludicrous, but with no agents’ fees to pay, no traveling or living expenses, in fact, no place to spend money if you wanted to, it was not unusual for an actor at the end of a season to head home with six hundred dollars in his grouch bag, or twelve hundred for a man and wife team. The overland thespian who received much more than that per week rarely found it possible to save anything near that amount.

In addition, the showboat actor enjoyed a minimum of labor and a maximum of love from his adoring fans. One performance a night, never on Sunday and no matinees, a week’s rehearsal in the spring, another in the summer, and the rest of the time was his own.

Afternoons were often spent strolling through the village where they were warmly greeted by the friendly farmers and their families. Other long, lazy days were filled with writing letters and reading. Some went exploring and others swam, but it was a rare actor who didn’t take advantage of the ever-present privilege of casting a fish line off the fantail of the steamboat, over the protective guardrail that ran the full length of the outside of the showboat, or even from the end of a long, cane pole, right out through the door of his stateroom. [ . . . ]

Unlike the actors, cabin boys and deckhands were expendable breeds who seldom stayed for a whole season. They were young, fast-growing farm or shantyboat boys with appetites that prompted Dad to declare, “I’d rather pay ’em than keep ’em.”

One season we were doing a Civil War play which, in one scene, called for a brief and silent appearance by Abe Lincoln. Our deckhand was tall and slender and had high hopes of becoming an actor, so Dad assigned him the part.

The young man became so involved with his first role he spent the entire season perfecting his character. He grew a beard, scrounged a tall hat, foulard tie, and shawl from country stores, and kept old envelopes and a pencil stub in his pocket.

In the afternoon, when his chores were done and any sensible deckhand would curl up for a well-earned nap, our hero would change from his overalls into his costume and stroll up the riverbank and into the village, where he created quite a stir.

One day he left the boat, climbed the riverbank and paused at the top. He took out an envelope and made a notation on it. My grandfather was on the front deck with Dad. He watched in silence as the deckhand strolled toward town. Then he turned to Dad and said, “Billy, that boy isn’t going to be satisfied until somebody assassinates him!”

One summer, Dad bought a trained bucking mule named January from a circus. January was a big gray beast with a short bristly mane and a disposition to match. His tail looked like a rope that was coming unraveled, and, according to his mood, his remarkably long ears stood up like a rabbit’s, drooped like a bloodhound’s, or laid back flat against his skeletal head.

Dad offered a five-dollar prize for anyone who would come up on stage and ride him for thirty seconds. We always held the contest at the end of the show, and Mother, at the piano, would pound out some lively music while the actors struck the set. Props and set pieces were hurriedly taken off to the greenroom, the backdrop was folded, and the wings were leaned against the bare back wall.

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January, the bucking mule

First, our deckhand would demonstrate how gentle the animal was. After unobtrusively giving January’s left ear a twist as a cue to behave, he would mount and ride him around the stage, docile as a lamb. Then, members of the audience would be invited to do the same. Young men, anxious to show off for their ladies, would rush up through the box seats and wait in line. When their turn came, they would leap onto January’s back, only to be tossed high and wide. Sometimes, a particularly lightweight boy would sail clear across the orchestra pit into the first row of seats.

No one ever finished the ride, until we took him up the Monongahela River. Dad had forgotten that mules were used in the mines. The first night seven contenders held on for the full time. It cost Dad thirty-five dollars in prize money. January did his best and he knew a lot of tricks. He bucked and kicked, twisted and turned, sat down, shook his head, bared his teeth and hee-hawed all the way through. He rolled his eyes, spun in circles, tried to bite their legs, and got down on his front knees. But those boys stuck on his back like cockleburs. After that we never held the contest in the coalfields. Those miners sure knew their mules.

As we came off the Monongahela onto the Ohio and headed downstream we moved between walls of apple-green willows, broken occasionally by stretches of pebbled beach. By now, the play was running the actors were settled in their staterooms, and life had taken on the lovely, lazy pattern that could be found only on board a showboat in the spring.

For me, the day began before dawn as I woke to the sounds of shouted orders, running feet, and the creaks and groans of the stage plank, a gangplank that was rolled out to shore at each landing, being hauled aboard. I leaped out of bed, gave my face a token splash of cold water and struggled into my clothes. Then I walked quickly around the guard that ran the full length of the outside of the boat.

The cook always had a doughnut or a hot buttered biscuit ready for me and a little enamel bucket with a lid filled with coffee for my Dad, already in the pilot house. Clasping the handle of the bucket in one hand and wolfing the pastry as I ran, I retraced my steps to the showboat, hurried up the back stairs to the second deck, and gingerly climbed the ladder to the roof.

The pilot house sat close to the front of the boat, and the 120-foot walk over the tar paper roof was always a bit frightening. I never got close to the edge but stayed right in the middle with my eyes glued to Dad’s back where he stood at the wheel.

Seemingly in response to my gaze, Dad·would turn and wave, and as I climbed the four steps leading into the pilot house he would tie down the rudder by slipping a loop of rope, which was anchored to the floor, over one of the spokes of the pilot wheel. Then he would lift me up and set me on the high pilot stool. Putting his captain’s hat on my head, he would take the coffee bucket. Then he would free the rudder and turn the wheel over to me with instructions to “keep ‘er nose right on that point.”

He would turn away with a false air of confidence, to pour his coffee into a mug while I kept a death grip on the wheel and trembled with delight. Then he would turn back to me and “She’s driftin’, honey. Pull’er down right.” He’d walk to the other side of the wheel and with one hand, help me move the giant four-cornered swan.

On the right front corner of the roof, with a flag at its tip, a long pole called a jack-staff stood tall and slender. It was used as a guide in steering. By spotting a landmark on shore, and lining up the jack-staff with it, you could plainly see when you were moving to the right or left. My spine always tingled when I saw the mammoth boat respond to the wheel.

Our trips usually took from two to three hours, but the time spent in that pilot house was never long enough for me. It was my very own magic carpet, my castle, my playhouse, my school. It was there that I first came to grips with arithmetic, learning to count the buoys that floated in the river to mark the outline of the channel and the government beacon lights along the bank. Every now and then Dad would slip me a dose of history, sweetened with a teaspoon of legend. there,” he’d say. “That’s where Chief Blackbird is buried, sittin’ straight up on the back of his horse!” or “We’re comin’ into Ripley, Ohio. That was one of the most important stations of the Underground Railway during the Civil War.”

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The Bryant Family (left to right): Josephine, Violet, Sam, Florence, Billy and Betty

Of course, my favorite subject was the river itself. Dad knew every creek, crossing, slough, and sandbar from the head of the Alleghany to the upper Mississippi. He could even read the ripples in the water and tell by its color and waves its depth and rate of speed. Just above Dog Island, at the mouth of the Cumberland River, he’d say, “Now watch, honey. You put your jack-staff on that big sycamore tree and keep your stern on that little red schoolhouse, and it’ll take you right through this Old Maid’s Crossing.” My head swam with names of sandbars and gravel bars like Petticoat Ripple, Sunfish Bar, and Owl Hollow Run.

Twice year we passed Bryant’s Landing, just below Manchester Island, and though I knew it wasn’t named in my personal honor, just having Dad point it out was enough to set my dreamer’s mind afloat and make me beg for stories about our family and how we came to the rivers.


For more delightful tales of a life spent performing on the waterways of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, pick up a copy of Here Comes the Showboat! by Betty Bryant.

A Rose by Any Other Name: The Surprising Stories Behind Kentucky Weeds

Weeds of KentuckyHere at the University Press of Kentucky, we recently finished digitizing over 1000 books dating back to our founding in 1943. It’s a lot of work going through all those books, but it’s been a process full of fun surprises and astounding discoveries. Best of all, every now and then, there’s a book that we can’t put down—a book so good we just can’t resist sharing it with you again:

As Shakespeare’s Juliet once said, “[T]hat which we call a rose/
By any other name would smell as sweet,” and no book in our catalog demonstrates what’s really in a name as beautifully as Patricia Haragan’s Weeds of Kentucky and Adjacent States: A Field Guide.

In Kentucky, where commercial agriculture is so important, some of the plants that were prized by our ancestors are considered nuisances today due to the harm they inflict on crops and livestock. In this informative and surprising book, Patricia Haragan not only provides a guide for identifying these plants, but reveals the cultural and natural history behind each. Here are some of our favorites—from the poisonous weed that allegedly killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother to the ivy that was once indispensable to brewmasters. Click on the illustrations below for longer descriptions:

The next time you go out to weed your garden or yard, maybe you’ll recognize some of these plants from their mug shots. Pick up a copy of Weeds of Kentucky and Adjacent States to learn about other interesting plants you may have overlooked.

Golden Galley Awards: Day Two

Day 2 No Rules

The Golden Galley Awards start back up again today, featuring another photo from Conversations with Classic Film Stars by James Bawden and Ron Miller. Did you identify from where this scene took place? Featuring one of classic Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs, Cary Grant, and the iconic Katharine Hepburn in 1940’s The Philadelphia Story (image courtesy of MGM and TV station KTVU of Oakland, CA). Here’s what Grant had to say about The Philadelphia Story and working with Miss Hepburn in his interview with James Bawden:

“Grant: [Hepburn is a] real character. She’ll try anything. I taught her acrobatics and she even does a turn in Holiday. She was always standing on my shoulders and heaving into a rolling fall. In Bringing Up Baby, we had the sweetest leopard to work with, very adorable, always purring when petted. When they substituted the nasty leopard, Kate got scratched up. So in the scene when she’s dragging the leopard into the police station, they double-printed the leopard in later. Look closely and you’ll see the strands of rope don’t match.

In the final scene, we had one chance at doing it on top of the dinosaur skeleton or somebody could get hurt. I trained Kate myself. She was fearless. There was no mattress on the floor. I had her let me grab her, not by her hands because her arms would pop out of the sockets. I grabbed her by her wrists and we’re up there tossing back and forth as the skeleton crashes. Scariest thing I’d ever done, but Kate said it was wonderful and talked
about deserting acting for acrobatics!

I tried to get out of Philadelphia Story because my part was small. So in the movie version Hepburn doesn’t have a brother. I got all those lines. But it still didn’t flow. On the last day of shooting, Cukor came up with the visual gag that opens the movie: Dexter is moving out and she comes behind him and breaks all his golf clubs over her knee. Then I push her violently backwards, using her face to push her away. Of course, there was a mattress out of camera range, but most big stars would have hollered. On the second take Kate merely said, “Push harder, if you like.”

Of the four stars—Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Ruth Hussey all got Oscar nominations and Jimmy won. How do you think that made me feel?”

If you want to see more interviews like this one, be sure to sign up for our Golden Galleys Contest! All submissions are due by midnight tonight. To enter, just click here.

Day One of the Golden Galleys

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Today is the first official day of our Golden Galleys Award competition, where you can receive an advanced reading copy of Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era by James Bawden and Ron Miller completely free of charge! During this competition, we will be giving away three copies on three separate days. To participate in the competition, all you have to do is come up with something witty for the featured actors to say and submit it to the email address listed above.

Today’s Golden Galley image shows Rory Calhoun coming onto Marilyn Monroe in 1954’s River of No Return (image courtesy of 20th Century Fox). In Calhoun’s interview with Ron Miller, he discusses the excitement of working with some of Hollywood’s greatest leading actresses of the time:

Miller: Once you were back at Fox, you really started to get career momentum after your romantic role opposite Susan Hayward in With a Song in My Heart. How was she to work with?

Calhoun: She was marvelous—a real pro. God, what a pleasure to work with that lady!

Miller: And of course the studio put you into two of its big Cinema-Scope pictures with Marilyn Monroe—How to Marry a Millionaire and River of No Return. Your memory of Marilyn?

Calhoun: She was a phenomenon that I doubt like hell this town will ever see the likes of again. There have been a lot of people trying to copy her one way or another—and to me, they’re third stringers.

Miller: In River of No Return, you lost her to Robert Mitchum. Like you, he’s an actor who had his hard times in the tabloids. What do you think of him?

Calhoun: He’s one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet in your whole life. I’m very fond of Bob. He’s a hell of a guy. I guess we could have swapped roles [in that picture], but he was right for that and I was right for what I was doing because I was more greasy, more slick. Well, let’s face it: that’s where it is. I had this shitty look. That’s what they wanted and that’s what I gave ’em. There wasn’t a hell of a lot of effort involved.”

Conversations with Classic Film Stars is set to release this coming April. If you can’t wait that long, be sure to enter into our contest. For more information on the book, click here.

The Golden Galley Awards

In honor of awards show season, UPK has decided to host a competition of its own…

The First Annual UPK Golden Galley Awards.jpg

Presenting the Golden Galley Awards! For those of you who don’t know, a galley is an advanced reading copy of a book that is soon to be in print. These copies are usually mailed off for advertisement purposes, but we have reserved three copies of an upcoming book, Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews with Hollywood’s Golden Era by James Bawden and Ron Miller which was featured on our blog yesterday, for our devoted social media followers.

Here’s how the competition is going to work. We will be giving away one galley a day on February 24, 26, and 28, and you may enter to win by participating in a speech bubble competition. We will be posting photos from Classic Film Stars on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts on these days (just one photo per day), which will feature a classic actor/actress or combination of the two who need some help determining what they could be saying in the photo. It will look something like this:

The Rules

When you see the picture come up on one of our social media accounts, the first step is to retweet, like, or share the photo. This step is crucial to the competition–we will be verifying that you have completed this step before selecting a winner. Step two is to take a nice, long look at the featured photo and muster up the wittiest, cleverest thing you think of to create a creative and hilarious picture. Once you have determined this, email your response to kentuckypress@gmail.com in order to be considered a contender for the day.

If you are selected as a winner, we will contact you by email to congratulate you personally and discuss the details of sending you your Golden Galley. Additionally, we will also display the image complete with your captions on various forms of social media to show off the creative mastermind that you are. We wish the best of luck to everyone! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the first opportunity to win your own 2016 Golden Galley Award.