Tarzan - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tarzan has been a famous character for over one hundred years.  His first appearance was in print, back in 1912, when Edgar Rice Burroughs published his stories in magazines.  Since then, he has been on radio, television and film - including somewhere around two hundred separate movies and starring many different actors as the king of the jungle.  Naturally, the American Treasure Tour honors actors who have appeared as Tarzan.  Today, we would like to tell you a little bit about Frank Merrill, who played Tarzan in three movies:  1921's The Adventures of Tarzan, Tarzan the Mighty (1928) and Tarzan the Tiger from 1929.

It is no surprise that Merrill's selection as the on-screen ape man was not the first time he had shown athletic prowess.  In fact, between 1916 and 1918, he had been awarded the national gymnastics championship three times.  In fact, he won fifty-eight awards before going into the movies for Roman rings, high bars, and rope climbing.  As Tarzan, he also has the distinction of being the first actor to swing on vines between trees and he created the now-famous Tarzan yell - which was played on a separate record during 'semi-sound' presentations of the film prior to the widespread advent of talkies.  But it was talkies that ended Merrill's career.  His voice was regarded as unsuitable, so he became the Park Commissioner and a recreation director for the City of Los Angeles after Tarzan the Tiger and lived happily ever after.  We hope.
QUESTION:  Which of the following actors did not perform the role of Tarzan?
A)  Buster Crabbe
B)  Johnny Weismuller
C)  Buster Keaton
D)  Elmo Lincoln

CREEP.  The presidential elections of 1972 were gearing up already, when something weird happened.  There was a break-in at the Democratic Party National Headquarters in Washington, DC during which five operatives were arrested.  It happened today, in fact.  The hq was located in the Watergate building, a complex of high-end apartments, offices, and a hotel.  And, although incumbent president Richard Milhous Nixon would win re-election in a landslide, his second term was not only smooth, but it was cut short when he was implicated in covering it up.  So yeah, not a good day for a president.   

YOU CAME AND YOU GAVE...  Barry Manilow, the voice of the 1970s, us turning 72 today.  The crooner has the distinction of being one of a very select group of performers to have five - count 'em, five - separate albums on the best-seller charts simultaneously.  This happened in 1978, when his voice was on pretty much every radio station you could find.  (Other illustrious members of this rare club include the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson.)  And Mr. Manilow is still going strong, performing in concert to adoring fans all over the country.  Next time you're at the Copacabana, make sure to get this man a drink!

QUOTE:  I was the Justin Bieber of the '7os.  Really, I was. - Barry Manilow

ANSWER:  C)  Buster Keaton