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Mel Blanc Lecture Series Pass
Ethos at IFCC
Portland, OR
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Mel Blanc Lecture Series Pass
This pass entitles the owner to admission to all four evenings of the Mel Blanc Lecture Series. Lectures take place June 8, 15, 22, and 29. Details below.

MEL BLANC: THE PORTLAND YEARS

Lecture One

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7:00 PM

Ethos at IFCC, 5340 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR

"Now Cut That Out!": Portland Theaters Educate Mel Blanc

This lecture will introduce the world of downtown Portland theaters, a world inhabited by Mel Blanc first as a consumer and later as an entertainer. Because Portland was on the Orpheum and Pantages vaudeville circuits, Mel Blanc saw all the big name acts, live and on stage just as if he had been growing up in New York or Los Angeles.

Guest speakers: Local theater historians Steve Stone and Gary Lacher, co-authors of Theaters of Portland, talk about the Portland Mel Blanc grew up in, with downtown streets lined with vaudeville theaters and movie houses, and a mayor, George Baker, who was himself in show business. Stone and Lacher will describe the Portland audiences who patronized vaudeville, and give a quick overview of the intersection between vaudeville and Hollywood.

Films: Dennis Nyback will show films of some of the vaudeville performers (Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, Eddie Cantor) Mel Blanc would have seen perform live during his Portland years. Later Blanc would perform alongside these same stars on national radio.

Lecture Two

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

7:00 PM

Ethos at IFCC, 5340 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon

Admission: $10 ($9.00 for PSU students, Ethos Music Center students,

"I'm In The Market For You": Portland Pop Stars Inspire Mel Blanc

This lecture will introduce the audience to three Oregon performers whose ascent to stardom Mel Blanc directly witnessed. Portland born and raised George Olsen shot to national stardom when Fanny Brice heard him play at Portland Hotel and recruited him for the Ziegfeld Follies in New York. He became a Broadway star and sold millions of records  all in front of Mel Blanc's impressionable eyes. Lee Morse was a Portland born, Idaho raised singer who also sold tons of records, and was a big star on the radio. Del Porter was a friend of Mel Blanc's, a fellow musician, who as part of the singing group The Foursome, performed on Broadway and appeared behind Eleanor Powell in Born To Dance (1936). Porter was from Newburg.

Guest speakers: To be announced! Stay tuned.

Films: Dennis will show films of Portland bandleader turned national superstar George Olsen, Oregon born singer-songwriter Lee Morse,  and Del Porter, the Newberg born friend of Mel Blanc's who beat him to the Big Screen.

Lecture Three

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7:00 PM

Ethos at IFCC, 5340 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon

Eden's Melting Pot: South Portland Raises Mel Blanc

Portland is a city Jewish pioneers helped found and govern. Mel Blanc's family moved here from San Francisco  what drew them? What did it mean to be Jewish in Portland during Mel Blanc's growing years? Who else lived in South Portland? Mel Blanc ascribed his astounding ear for dialect and accent to the multi-lingual environment of South Portland. What was the neighborhood like?

Guest speakers: For this lecture we are partnering with the Oregon Jewish Museum. Judy Margles will bring to life the immigrant neighborhood in which Mel Blanc grew up, the Portland Public Schools he attended, the many languages he heard spoken around him, and the Neighborhood House, a building which still stands, where he first learned to play a musical instrument and began his career as a performer.

Films: To be chosen with the help of the speaker.

Lecture Four

Wednesday, June  29,  2011

7:30 PM

Lincoln Hall, 620 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon

Hoot Owls, Cobweb & Nuts: Portland Radio Nurtures Mel Blanc

"Today Is Yesterday & Tomorrow Is Today" was the motto for the KGW's "Honorable Order of Hoot Owls Roosting In The Oregonian Tower", the radio show which gave Mel Blanc his first paid employment as a voice artist. The Hoot Owls was a weekly hour and a half long show with more than one million listeners. It had been broadcasting for four years when Mel Blanc joined the cast in 1927. He moved to KEX, a KGW affiliate in 1933 to write, produce and star in his own hour long daily (Monday through Saturday) show, "Cobweb & Nuts". After two years of this exhausting schedule, he moved to Hollywood, well prepared for everything he found there.

Guest Speaker: Portland early radio historian Craig Adams will talk about Portland's "early adopters", who created radio stations here when radio was a brand new technology/artform. He'll talk about the radio Mel Blanc grew up with, and later came to help create. We hope Robyn Tenenbaum, producer of Live Wire radio show, will be able to provide an updated perspective of Portland radio.

Films:  Dennis will show a WWII Army/Navy Screen Magazine, one of a series of  music and comedy shorts made for soldiers. This one features Mel Blanc making a rare live performance as a voice artist. A very rare film! Also features Lucille Ball and Jerry Colonna. Dennis will also show I Wanna Singa (1936), a Warner Brothers cartoon spoofing The Jazz Singer which stars a young Owl Jolson making his radio debut.

Lecture Series Format:

Each lecture will use the following format.

1. Dennis and Anne introduce the evening's guest speaker(s).

2. Dennis screens two or three related shorts from his archive.

3. Dennis and Anne begin an interview/conversation with the guest speaker(s) which uses the films as a springboard for discussion about Mel Blanc's Portland years.

4. We open the floor to questions from the audience.

Discussion

Location

Ethos at IFCC
5340 North Interstate Avenue
Portland, OR 97217
United States


Categories

Film > Movies

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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