"Grandpa Had a Long One: Personal Notes on the Life, Career & Legacy of Benny Bell," by Joel Samberg (BearManor Media).
One of the most intriguing books about showbiz (and the sometimes odd family relationships that go along with it) has just been published.
Benny Bell was one of the funniest, quirkiest and hardest working entertainers ever to come out of the vaudeville and Borscht Belt eras—although national fame, often regarded as the true measure of success, eluded him. A genuine entrepreneur, Ben wrote, arranged, sung, recorded, packaged and promoted most of his music himself—over a hundred records, including such novelty and double-entendre song classics as “Shaving Cream,” “Everybody Wants My Fanny” “Pincus the Peddler” and “Take a Ship for Yourself.” To be a Ben Samberg meant to be spirited, witty confident and sometimes a little crazy—as well as obstinate, paranoid, suspicious and sometimes a little hasty. That is partially why his 70-year career saw more than its share of professional frustrations and misfortunes. Still, he persevered and made his mark in novelty music. His greatest popularity was in the 1940s and early 50s, though in the mid-1970s “Shaving Cream” was re-released and became a Top 40 hit. His grandson, journalist Joel Samberg, has written a book that is part biography and part memoir that serves as a fascinating exploration not just of what it meant to be a Benny Bell, but also what it meant to be a loving, admiring grandson who was both amazed and confounded by him at the same time.
Please go to the Photo Gallery to see many of the pictures that appear in the book, as well as an author's bio. Then visit the Testimonials page to see what some industry pros have said about Benny Bell and the new book that recounts his unusual career and some of his key personal relationships. And don't forget to check out the Links page, where you'll be introduced to a couple of talented and terrific business associates who know how to get the job done--and done well. There are also links to several online sites where you can purchase the book.