Posted ByGerry O. on February 16, 2003 at 22:55:14:
In Reply to: Jacks move to KFI LA posted byBobR on February 16, 2003 at 22:32:38:
: Did Jack make his permanent move to LA around spring of 1937? What was the reason for moving to LA from NYC (movies?).Also where was his first living quarters in LA? Johnny Green his second orchestra leader kind of disappeared from the scene and Phil enters,what caused this change? (fortunately Phil proved a great comedic asset.)
I believe that the permanent move to LA was around 1935. Jack's movie career certainly had something to do with the move, but there was also a lifestyle consideration.....Many of Jack and Mary's show business friends were also making the move from NY to LA....Burns & Allen, Eddie Cantor and others.
The most famous holdout was Fred Allen, who was sort of the Woody Allen of his day in his love of New York City...if he was going to make a film, he would travel to California, make his film and promptly return to NYC. Fred much preferred the NYC lifestyle.
The departure of Johnny Green from the Benny program was a mutual decision between Jack and Johnny. Both men knew that the on-air Green character was going nowhere (at least as a comedy character), although Jack and Johnny were very close friends in real life (and would remain so years after Johnny left Jack's show).
While he was still Jack's orchestra leader, Johnny had been offered a chance to be the conductor and arranger on the upcoming Fred Astaire variety hour for Packard automobiles. Johnny really wanted that job because it would offer him more challenging musical opportunities than Jack's show could offer....but he didn't know how to break it to good friend Jack.
At the same time, Jack knew that Johnny wasn't working out as a comedy character and should be replaced, but he didn't know how to break it to good friend Johnny.
Both men were having lunch together one day when they kind of blurted it out to each other....and had a sense of relief and a good laugh when they realized that each man's thought made the whole idea of Johnny leaving Jack's show a MUCH easier situation for everyone involved.