The Monk Watson Story - Limited Hardbound Edition
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Before Harry Blackstone and Percy Abbott made their mark in Colon, Michigan there was a man who entertained thousands - he was the epitome of the word 'entertainer'. Donald 'Monk' Watson was an accomplished band leader,magician,musician and humorist. Monk lived in Colon his entire life and traveled throughout the United States performing and amusing audiences with his special brand of entertainment.
He helped launch the careers of Jack Benny and Bob Hope. His 'conductor' and 'trapeze' routines are legendary.
In this book of 125 pages you will read the story - the entire story of Monk Watson - chocked full of never before seen photographs and fascinating stories tracing his early days as an entertainer all the way through his adult life and into his 'retirement' years.The memoirs of a true legendary performer.Monk knew and worked with many of the 'greats' of the vaudeville era including Benny,Hope,Charlie Chaplin and so many others. Thanks to Monk's son Bill, who gave us permission to delve into the background of this very unique performer. You will anecdotes from a man who survived World War I and conquered vaudeville as a variety entertainer. It is not only a fascinating account of a man's life but you get to look through his eyes from his own words on what it was like to be in show business for over 80 years.
Printed on 8" x 10" acid free paper and hardbound - this is a limited edition book - each one numbered -
You will read this book over and over again. Donald Watson (March 23, 1894 - March, 1981), was a vaudeville performer, acrobat, magician, radio personality, musician and emcee, started the career of the great Bob Hope and toured with Elsie Janis. He also performed during World War I.
Monk Watson fought on each of the five fronts in World War I. It was during his time as a soldier that he first met Elsie Janis while she was touring Europe, keeping up American morale. He describes this meeting in his autobiography.
- I wanted to do something for her so I asked my Colonel if I couldn't give her some roses from the men. He said, "Monk, if you can find some I'll give you permission to give them to her." I took up some money and with it I talked some of the French women into getting me twenty-four beautiful roses. i then got out the suit of tails......put on a red wig, and after Elsie's first number I walked up the stairs to the stage and said,"Miss Janis, these are for you." With that I fell flat on my face, but held the roses high above my head. She looked at me and said, "Well, where did this come from, and who are you?" I went into a little patter and bowed off to the edge of the stage, which was ten feet high, and turned the most beautiful back somersault to the ground. She was so thrilled that she asked me to come back on the stage and do a dance for her. I did and she said, "Monk, if you come out of this mess alive look me up, because I'd like to have you in a show with me."