Richman, Harry

Popular entertainer, famed for recording & film “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, co-piloted 1936 1st transatlantic round trip flight

Price: $50.00

Description:
Harry Richman (b. Harold Reichman, 1895-1972) Popular Jewish-American 1920s-30s singer, actor, dancer, pianist, songwriter, bandleader, night club performer, and aviator. Changed his name at 18, by which time he was already a professional vaudeville entertainer, piano accompanist to such stars as Mae West, the Dolly Sisters, and Nora Bayes. With Bayes made his Broadway debut 1922. He appeared in several 1920s editions of “George White's Scandals”; in 1926 edition, he introduced “The Birth of the Blues” and “Lucky Day”, Also appeared in “International Revue” (1930, performing “Exactly Like You” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”) and in the 1931 “Ziegfeld Follies”. 1930 Hollywood film debut with “Puttin' on the Ritz”, featuring Irving Berlin’s song of the same title, which gave him a hit record that year. Film career was short-lived but he remained a popular nightclub & stage performer. An accomplished amateur aviator, with "Dick" Merrill co-piloted 1936 1st round-trip transatlantic flight in his own single-engine ex-TWA Vultee transport, “Lady Peace”. Richman put it some $360,000 of his own money, along with Eastern Airlines assisting in modifying it and equipping it with a 1,000 HP Wright Cyclone G5 engine with a constant speed 2-blade prop on loan along with larger fuel tanks. He filled much of the aircraft’s empty space with 40,000 ping pong balls as flotation insurance if they were forced down in the Atlantic (he sold autographed ones until his death). The flight was nearly a disaster when Richman panicked, misunderstod Merrill and dumped nearly all their remaining fuel over the Atlantic on the return flight. “Lady Peace” ended up in a wooded mountain slope in Port Jervis, NY, 50 miles short of their Newark, NJ, destination. The crash caused relatively little damage, but took out several of Merrill's front teeth. Upon arriving on scene, Eastern’s Eddie Rickenbacker had to literally pull Merrill off Richman at the crash scene. Many of the 10 passengers on board praised Merrill's flying skill, unaware that the plane had crashed. 1930s radio star, largely retired in the 1940s, irregular appearances, including TV, into the 1950s. His autobiography "A Hell of a Life" pub. 1966. SP, 12 x 9 ½ undated sepia rotogravure bust portrait signed with sentiment.

Condition: Very good, slight left corner creases, slight fraying at right lower edge
Type:Photograph






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search