File puptcrit/puptcrit.0705, message 256

Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 16:40:17 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Velma Dawson, sculptor of Howdy Doody marionette

Thanks, Michael, for the posting on Velma Dawson's 95th Birthday May 30.

Howdy Doody figures prominently in USA TV history, for sure!

After all the legal battles, first ones fought over the ownership of the FIRST Howdy puppet made by Frank Paris (settled out of court, but resulting in the destruction in lawyers offices of that original puppet and thus destroying important early TV artifact which I think was criminal even if legal), then more legal hassles over who owned the  original puppet of the second version of Howdy made by Velma, it is interesting to note that Velma earned about $350 for her puppet---the one we knew from watching TV on the West Coast of the USA, the one in all the print ads, etc. She told Frank Paris that he had made more money off the character than she did A touch of irony, no?

I love that Velma Dawson, Frank Paris and Bob Jones had operated Russell Patterson's marionettes for RKO'd "Artists & Models"  film (1937?) and were  mutual admirers for a lifetime. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bob made tons of money off the Howdy Doody puppet as did NBC. And in one in-print interview, Buffalo Bob credited "Velma Thomas" as the creator of the famous Howdy Doody. I guess it is left to US to give Velma the proper recognition.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to VELMA DAWSON, creator of the famous HOWDY DOODY puppet!


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