The Los Angeles Times reported: “Comic Jackie Gleason, who reportedly gets $100,000 a year from CBS-TV whether he works or not, left for New York Thursday aboard a private train which will cost at least $80,000 for the 10-day jaunt.

Gleason made it clear that “I’m not going to pay for this trip.”

The Times Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper wrote:

“Jackie Gleason sure knows how to make an exit. Balloons, midgets, a band, beautiful girls – his choreographer, lovely June Taylor, leading lady Sue Ann Langdon, and his daughter Geraldine – director George Marshall and 210 freeloaders were present when he took off on his special train bound for New York. Forty-five went with him. It was show business in the manner of P.T. Barnum, which someday Jackie must put on screen. They had everything except an elephant.”

A ratings success, “Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine” – renamed “The Jackie Gleason Show” in 1966 – was on CBS until 1970. And yes, CBS paid for the train.

Don
Original Post
Jackie Gleason owned two private railcars. I believe they were both streamlined cars and one or both were observation cars. I had read somewhere that he frequently would venture into the train his car was attatched to, and would visit with fans in the lounge car, even buying drinks and cigars for patrons of the train.
My father grew up with Jackie in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Jackie, and also my aunt and uncle, once lived on Chauncey Street. Jackie was briefly the "hook man" in one of the local Vaudeville theatres, and he would pay my dad and his buddies a dollar apiece to be the claque (applause generators) when he hooked an act off the stage.

My dad also played pool with Jackie, who even then, was quite a hustler. He did most of his own shots in the movie by the same name.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

I saw Jackie one night talking with Johnny Carson (I think). Jackie was telling about one of his train trip/media blitzs. The buzz was that he was partying hardy and was drunk quite a lot. If what Jackie said was true then it was the media that was blitzed and Jackie was the one writing all of the copy for the drunk Hollywood columnists! It was a funny show!
Gleason had a terrific orchestra with Bobby Hackett on trumpet. He wrote and arranged "Melancholy Serenade", which became his theme song. His orchestra played many classic love songs by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, Jerome Kern, and many others.

Very relaxing music!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

quote:
Originally posted by Robert Snyder:
For some great music,go to Pandora and type in Jackie Gleason. His big band music was fabulous! Big Grin


After I read his bio, I went out & found his music. It was a tough to locate, but I have most of his stuff on CD & something like 75% on vinyl which I found in a thrift store in Gilman, IL while I was recording an album down there. The music is great & goes very well with postwar Lionel Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Tinplate Art:
Gleason had a terrific orchestra with Bobby Hackett on trumpet. He wrote and arranged "Melancholy Serenade", which became his theme song. His orchestra played many classic love songs by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, Jerome Kern, and many others.

Very relaxing music!


Also, "You are my Greatest Love" which he wrote (or co wrote, I don't remember) became the theme song for The Honeymooners
About 25 years ago there was a secret organization known as

Royal
Association for the
Longeviety and
Preservation of the
Honeymooners

It was a laugh riot, newsletters , conventions etc etc. It was a nationwide group started by 2 guys in CW Post College . They closed up shop when Gleason passed away.

RALPH
A few years ago they did a TV story about the life of Jackie Gleason. The tall actor Brad something who also played Ray Romano's brother on Everyone Loves Raymond played the lead role.

His early years were pretty painful for him personally and he was a difficult person to work with as he became more successful. He was notorious for micro managing everything in his shows. When they were interviewing actresses for the part of Alice Kramden for the Honeymooners he was doing the interviews. When Audrey Meadows showed up he took one look at her and said that she was to pretty and elegant to play Alice as a housewife and dismissed her.

Audrey went out and took off her makeup and fixed her hair in a more plain hairstyle and came back in to interview again. She immediately assumed the role of Alice and started bantering back and forth with Jackie as Ralph Kramden. They went back and forth without a script but still in their roles and finally Jackie told everyone I found my Alice.

In one of the Dean Martin Roasts of Jackie Gleason he made a comment about his drinking a partying by saying that he had been on the more more times than Johnson wax!

Steve Tapper
quote:
In one of the Dean Martin Roasts of Jackie Gleason he made a comment about his drinking a partying by saying that he had been on the more more times than Johnson wax!


Steve, I think you meant....he had been on the floor more times than Johnson's Wax.

quote:
Also, "You are my Greatest Love" which he wrote (or co wrote, I don't remember) became the theme song for The Honeymooners


Thanks Christopher! I never knew the name of that tune.

Skip  

TCA, LCCA

"On track, on time, and over budget!" 

Tinplate Art:

My father also lived on Chauncey Street in Bushwick. He lived at 330 Chauncey, which would have been next door to the Kramdens at 328!

My father was a few years older than Jackie, so he did know him, although they both attended the same schools.

My grandfather used to take my father to the nearby Halsey Theater to see vaudeville shows. The Halsey is where Jackie caught the showbiz bug when he attended with HIS father.

I know it has been documented here on the forum how Gleason used Lionel trains in at least one of his shows. He apparently liked real trains, too!

John Knapp
Erie, not Eerie

Jknapp

quote:
Originally posted by NYC Fan:
quote:
In one of the Dean Martin Roasts of Jackie Gleason he made a comment about his drinking a partying by saying that he had been on the more more times than Johnson wax!


Steve, I think you meant....he had been on the floor more times than Johnson's Wax.

quote:
Also, "You are my Greatest Love" which he wrote (or co wrote, I don't remember) became the theme song for The Honeymooners


Thanks Christopher! I never knew the name of that tune.


If you every get to hear the original album version, it's pretty cool. A lot slower than the one used on the TV show (longer too)
quote:
I know it has been documented here on the forum how Gleason used Lionel trains in at least one of his shows. He apparently liked real trains, too!


Jackie Gleason got a big laugh on his variety show by having his Reginald Van Gleason character exclaim, after taking a sip of a drink that a model train brought to him on the bar, "Booze goes swell with Lionel." Apparently, however, the executives at Lionel were not too pleased with the free publicity.

Skip  

TCA, LCCA

"On track, on time, and over budget!" 

Many years ago I had suggested to MTH to make 2 Honeymooners items

The Jackie Gleason Bus terminal in Brooklyn

The Art Carney sewage Treatment plant in Connecticut

and in the Same sentence I squeezed in the Frank Sinatra Post office in Hoboken.



rat

...still waiting
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