Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Parish the Thought

If you've read half as much on motion picture and television history as I have over the years, you certainly know the name of author James Robert Parish. He's written so many fine books on show business history that it would be impractical to list them all, and if you added all the books in which other authors used and cited his research, you'd be crushed under the resulting avalanche. That's why I'm happy to see that several of his classic 1970s volumes are newly available in eBook form, as part of a series called "Encore Film Book Classics."

This includes such well-regarded volumes as The Funsters, in which Parish and his co-authors profile a slew of film comedians, The RKO Gals, which introduces you to everyone from Constance Bennett to Lupe Velez, and more. Personally, I treasure my well-worn copy of The Slapstick Queens, and hope it will be reissued as well. Kindle editions of these volumes are amazingly cheap, and well worth the price.

If you haven't yet explored Mr. Parish's books, what are you waiting for? Here's my rule of thumb: If you're browsing a book on classic movies and television, and you can't find Mr. Parish's name in the bibliography, it's probably no good anyway.

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