Monday, January 26, 2015

"King of The White Rats"

many of you who follow my blog may be able to guess who this is by the title of the post, but for those who don't know, 
it's Fred. Hylands. 
I titled this post after the name of the actor's union that Hylands became an advocate for in the early teen's. So he was becoming a major performer and musical actor in the late naughts and early teen's. In 1909, he signed a deal with the White Rats Actors' union as they were called who were starting up a new experiment with showing some short films at their performances at the time that Hylands was signed off to them. Apparently, this small community of performers and theatre musicians hosted many of the shows that Fred. and his wife Marie were both performing in. This community must have loved Fred.'s ideas and likings in what should be performed, as they were the main people who kept him employed for the last few years of his rather short life. 
From what I've read, the White Rats Actor's union did the funeral services for him when he died in late 1913. I'm sure that Fred.'s old friends like Len Spencer and Vess L. Ossman probably attended the funeral as well, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. 
And speaking of this, my dear friend Marty Eggers(who is on tour at the moment) called me in the car last night and we started chatting about this whole Hylands thing, as he is one of the people who had helped me with all of this stuff, so we get to the cause of Hylands' death and so forth, and Marty says to me,
"Heh, you're probably going to set some flowers on his grave someday. Ha, and maybe play piano at the place." 
It was more of a joke, but that got me thinking...
I hope you enjoyed this! 

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