Here Comes The Showboat! (Ohio River Valley Series)

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9780813129679: Here Comes The Showboat! (Ohio River Valley Series)
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"I was born at the tail end of a unique and delightful era and raised on one of the last showboats to struggle for survival against the devastating crunch of progress. . . . Our showboat's express purpose was carrying entertainment to hundreds of thousands of river-bottom farmers along our water-bordered frontier." ―from the book

Betty Bryant was a river rat. The Floating Theater was her home, and the river was her back yard. While other children were learning to walk, she was learning to swim. She knew how to set a trotline, gig a frog, catch a crawdad, and strip the mud vein out of a carp by the time she was four. In this colorful memoir, Betty shares her own piece of Americana, the small, family-owned showboat of the early twentieth century. Billy Bryant's Showboat plied the inland waterways of the Ohio River watershed from before the First World War until 1942, bringing a blend of melodrama and vaudeville, laughter and therapeutic tears, into the lives of isolated people in rural communities along the way. Betty made her first professional appearance at the age of six weeks when she played a baby in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." In her twenty years of touring, she acted, danced, and grew up in the tradition of "family entertainment, by families, for families." Here Comes the Showboat! is told with the ageless wonder of a child who loved the showboat and the eager audiences its uniquely American entertainment touched. It is a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes, touching remembrances, and delightful photographs of Betty, the three generations who ran the family showboat, miners, musselers, shantyboaters, farmers, merchants, and actors whose lives intersected along the Ohio River.

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From the Back Cover:

Betty Bryant was a river rat. The Floating Theater was her home, and the river was her back yard. While other children were learning how to walk, she was learning how to swim. She knew how to set a trotline, gig a frog, catch a crawdad, and strip the mud vein out of a carp by the time she was four. In this colorful memoir, Betty shares her own piece of Americana, the small, family-owned showboat of the early twentieth century. Billy Bryant's Showboat plied the inland waterways of the Ohio River watershed from before the First World War until 1942, bringing a blend of melodrama and vaudeville, laughter and therapeutic tears, into the lives of isolated people in rural communities along the way. Betty made her first professional appearance at the age of six weeks when she played the baby in Uncle Tom's Cabin. In her twenty years of touring, she acted, sang, danced, and grew up in the tradition of "family entertainment, by families, for families". Here Comes the Showboat! is told with the ageless wonder of a child who loved the showboat and the eager audiences its uniquely American entertainment touched. It is a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes, touching remembrances, and delightful photographs of Betty, the three generations who ran the family showboat, and the miners, musselers, shantyboaters, farmers, merchants, and actors whose lives intersected along the Ohio River. Part of the Ohio River Valley Series, this book chronicles the navigation of a floating playhouse in a simpler time.

From Publishers Weekly:

Three generations of Bryants who plied the Ohio River as showboat entertainers are the subject of this memoir. The author, a "river rat" who made her acting debut when she was six weeks old playing the baby in Uncle Tom's Cabin , recounts the vaudeville acts and melodramas that entertained audiences from the riverbank communities. Rich in anecdotes and character sketches, Bryant's delightful book recalls that last-minute substitutions were easily made, since all members of the troupe knew all the lines of every play; the crew also helped out in emergencies. The author's father sold his showboat in 1943 during the waning days of this sort of entertainment; a scale model of Bryant's Showboat is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780813118628: Here Comes The Showboat! (Ohio River Valley Series)

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ISBN 10:  081311862X ISBN 13:  9780813118628
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky, 1994
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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "I was born at the tail end of a unique and delightful era and raised on one of the last showboats to struggle for survival against the devastating crunch of progress. . . . Our showboat's express purpose was carrying entertainment to hundreds of thousands of river-bottom farmers along our water-bordered frontier." -from the book Betty Bryant was a river rat. The Floating Theatre was her home, and the river was her back yard. While other children were learning to walk, she was learning to swim. She knew how to set a trotline, gig a frog, catch a crawdad, and strip the mud vein out of a carp by the time she was four. In this colourful memoir, Betty shares her own piece of Americana, the small, family owned showboat of the early twentieth century. Billy Bryant's Showboat plied the inland waterways of the Ohio River watershed from before the First World War until 1942, bringing a blend of melodrama and vaudeville, laughter and therapeutic tears, into the lives of isolated people in rural communities along the way. Betty made her first professional appearance at the age of six weeks when she played a baby in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." In her twenty years of touring, she acted, danced, and grew up in the tradition of "family entertainment, by families, for families." Here Comes the Showboat! is told with the ageless wonder of a child who loved the showboat and the eager audiences its uniquely American entertainment touched. It is a treasure trove of humorous anecdotes, touching remembrances, and delightful photographs of Betty, the three generations who ran the family showboat, miners, musselers, shantyboaters, farmers, merchants, and actors whose lives intersected along the Ohio River. Seller Inventory # AAV9780813129679

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