Days of Yore
 
as recounted by

Bill Day

 

 

"Show Business" in Haddonfield

When Haddonfield American Legon Post 38 was formed at the conclusion of World War I, one of its activities was to stage a musical comedy.

A Haddonfield boy named Charlie Sherman was a talented artistic individual.  He wrote and directed the show each year.

The popular tunes of the day were used amid the dialogue was original.  The productions were staged like George White's scandals were in later years.  The actors and actresses were local people.

The Legion Home was then the building at the corner of Ellis Street and East Kings Highwasy.  The floor was where the scenery for the show was built and painted.  The Legion members did all the work which would streach out for most of the year.

The shows were held at the Artisan's Hall, now the Haddon Fortnightly.  Tickers were all reserved seats, and the were held for a whole week with sellouts for every performance.  People were in attendance from all of South Jersey.

The music was Bobby Golden's Wanamaker's Tearoom orchestra which was the best known hotel in Philadelphia and a daily radio attraction.

The scenes were very well produced.  For example, the hit tune one year wss "April Showers/"  the showers were produced by overhead pipes sprinkling water with a gutter to carry off the water, while the cast carrying umbrellas sang the song.

The cast wss lead by Josephine Waliworth and Doris German, two well-known Haddonfield girls.

Another scene one year was a large upright Victrola which was popular in those days, and from it came a duet singing the popular tune, "Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Sheen."  At the end of one verse the Victrola's doors flew open and out sprang Bill Brice and Lew Shinn, two talented Haddonfield boys.

Haddonfield was really one big happy family in those days.


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