Thursday, July 2, 2015

Maybelline's, Yankee Doodle Dandy Girl, Joan Leslie, stars with James Cagney, in 1942 all time favorite 4th of July film

       Maybelline Joan Leslie, endorses Maybelline 

James Cagney and Joan Leslie, in 
Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) is one of Hollywood's greatest, grandest and slickest musicals. The nostalgic, shamelessly-patriotic, entertaining film also supported the war effort as it paid tribute in its mostly fictional story to a popular Irish/American entertainer and the grand American gentleman of the theatre in the early 20th century.

click video to see a trailer of Yankee Doodle Dandy.

James Cagney, spent several weeks touring the US, entertaining troops with vaudeville routines and scenes from Yankee Doodle Dandy

James Cagney with Joan Leslie, Lobby Card. In September 1942, Cagney, was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Joan Leslie has a star on the Hollywood
 Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.

James Cagney sings Yankee Doodle Dandy

Buy a signed copy of the Maybelline Story,
 or get it on your  Kendle.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Maybelline Family's, Car Guy Diaries

My dad, Bill Williams and his cousin, Bill Stroh,

 were born to be Car Guys.

The two little cousins were the children of Evelyn Williams, and her sister Verona Stroh.

The two Bills grew up together in Chicago, and loved anything that they could push, ride or burn rubber in.

Best of buddy's, The young Bill's lived together during some rough times in the 1920's, when Evelyn and Preston were working out their differences. 

The boy's were practically twins.  Born a few
 weeks apart, handsome little chaps with truck loads of enthusiasm for cars.

Even when Bill Williams moved away from Chicago,
 to California, Bill Stroh visited during the Summer months and their devotion for anything fast
 continued to grow.

Bill Williams in his first car.

Car Guy's Gone Wild.

Bill Williams and his cousin, Bill Stroh, continued their car crazy love, until the draft temporally stopped the obsession for a couple of years.

Bill Williams in his Army uniform, before being shipped to the Philippians, poses with Bill Stroh, who would soon enlist into the Navy.  However that didn't stop them from spending every available minute working on their cars.

Both Bill's learned how to rebuild an engine as teenagers, and could talk the talk with any mechanic, while their girl's sat patiently and waited.

Bill Stroh in the center with his cousin Bill Williams
 to his right, with the 
4-F Club Guys.

As Teenagers the cousin's formed a Car Club, called the 4-F Club and cruised for pretty girls.  It didn't take long before both guys had THE ONE.

Bill and Pauline Williams, with Baby Sharrie, sitting on the grass,
 and Mary and Bill Stroh.
After the War, the boy's returned home, married, had kids and built careers, however, when they reached their prime, the first thing they did was return to their first love.  Beautiful cars.

Car Guy's grow up!!!!

Bill Williams collected beautiful automobiles for the pleasure of being seen in them.  Bill Stroh raced fast cars for the pleasure of driving them. 

Ladies man, Bill Williams, became an avid car collector, in his late 40's, after the Maybelline Company sold in 1967. He bought Casa Guillermo, in Palm Springs in 1973, for it's 4 garages, and two acres of land, where stored several more cars.                                     

Man's manBill Stroh on the other hand, became a hands-on, race car driver for Porsche, in the 1960's, making quite a name for himself in Chicago's racing world.  

Mama drove a Hot Rod - Thanks to my cousin, race-car driver, Bill Stroh.

Bill Stroh's 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350, was the catalyst that inspired Bill Williams to build his car collection.

The 1965 GT350 had one purpose in life and that was to put the Ford Mustang in the winner’s circle in SCCA road racing.  Bill Stroh on the left, with his son and brother in law, raced this Cobra and I have to say, it made my dad, Bill Williams a little jealous.  In fact three years later my dad  trumped his cousin and bought a 1968 Ford Mustang
Shelby GT500 Convertible.

Here I am with Bill Strohs son, standing next to Bill's GT 350 Cobra.  It was the Summer of 1966, while I was in Chicago, getting to know my father's family.  I had no idea that five years later, I'd be the owner of a 1968 Shelby Mustang, GT 500 Cobra convertible when my father gave his car to me in 1971, for my 24th Birthday.

Here I am admiring Bill Stroh's racing Cobra.  I'm sure it was this car, that planted the seed in my father's mind, to begin his car collection, after the Maybelline Company sold, in December of 1967.  
1965–66 GT 350s were very successful racers, and had many production-class victories.

So I drove a Hot Rod with a baby seat, until I sold my Shelby GT 500 Mustang convertible in 1983. 

 My next Hot Rod, was a 1969 Completion Orange Camero, with white racing stripes, which I drove my daughter around in until she was 10 years old.  I have to give credit to Bill Stroh, for bringing racing stripes into our lives and spurring my dad on to collect 12 classic cars.  Today we still have his 1977 Clenet, Series 1, number 13. 

My dad's Shelby GT 500, crashed and was rebuilt, for my 24th Birthday. The front of the car actually lifted when I hit the gas and was the most fun car I ever drove.

Bill Stroh died unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1974.  He was only 50 years old.  Bill Williams lived to be 82 and grieved the loss of his cousin for 32 years.  It was like losing a brother. 

My Brother, William Preston Williams lll, remembers race car driver, Bill Stroh's 911 Porsche.

The 1969 Porsche 911E, was the car I loved the most, as boy's love fast cars, and this one was a rocket!!
I remember the day that big car hauler pulled through those big electric gates at Casa Guillermo.  It was 1976 and I was all of 16 and what do you know?  I had a license!!

The driver of the truck got out and came around to the end of the trailer to release the back door and attach the tracks that would allow the machine to roll down.  One of the two men hopped into the trailer and got into that sweet ride and started it up.  I never heard such an awesome sound.  It had a throaty roar, as he backed the car up and his partner guided him down the ramp. 

My Dad put his arm around me,  as he often did, and squeezed my bicep, "hey muskels."  (Dad always had such a fun way with words,)  "What do you think of this one!  This was my cousin Bill Stroh's car, I bought it from his wife, when he passed away.  You know he used to race cars, on the professional circuit.  The motor in this car is no ordinary motor." 

 I said, "really, why is that?"  and then he paused a moment as the car backed out, and the bright sunlight hit that burnt orange paint, with the cool racing stripe across the bottom, and the word PORSCHE in it and on the back hood, all in gold lettering and beneath it -Sportomatic, 911E.  

Gleaming in the sunshine it looked like a beautiful jewel, and Dad said, "isn't she beautiful!!"  

I said so what's up with the motor Pop?  Wanting to know every detail. 

"Bill had it specially built, by his Master Mechanics, all of the pistons and rings were forged by hand out of aluminum, as well as many other parts to be extra light weight, everything about this motor was designed for ultimate performance, this motor won him many races, when it was in his race car, so when Bill retired he had this motor put into his Wife's Porsche 911E, so you see this is no ordinary car" 

"Well Dad how is that possible? I mean a race engine?, that doesn't seem legal."

"Well Press,  it had to be tuned down a bit, to make it safe for the road, and as well the car has a specialized breaking system to support the high speeds, and they modified the suspension as well all to make it fast and safe, and best of all it looks original." 

"I said oh, you mean it doesn’t' have all of the fancy spoilers and air dams to make it look fast!!"

"Yep that's it, this is a serious machine!!." 

(You see my father liked style - not so much flash, he believed that a car should maintain the original look, the classic lines, as it was designed.)  With that my palms were itching, and you bet I could not wait to show this to my friends.

So once the moving men left and the car was placed in the car port, next to all of the other beautiful cars, we looked it over, and were so impressed with how clean it was.  It looked like new, Burnt Orange, with all black leather interior.  I knew this was going to be mine

Dad said, "what do you say we take her for a spin."

"Are you kidding?  You don’t' have to ask me twice," I said, and we hopped in.  Dad in the driver’s seat of course.  He turned the ignition on, and revved that throaty little beast!!  

The quick response was quite thrilling, the sportomatic transmission, was so unique, in that it had no clutch. You just let it idle, put it in 1st gear and go, and release the gas between gears, and I mean to tell you we went!! The response was amazing.   Dad just cruised at first, through the neighborhood, but he could not help himself wiping through the winding roads.   He said "she handles like a dream."   But I wanted one thing - to go fast !!!

"Hey Dad, let’s take her on to the Tram Way road."  This is a 10 mile road, with long stretches of straight ways, mixed with mountain terrain, it takes you to the base station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tram Way.  This was my favorite place to joy ride the cars and being the middle of summer in the desert, there would be no one around. 

So we made our way there, about a ten minute drive from the Casa.  Upon turning on to the tram road, off of Palm Canyon, Dad let it rip.  1st gear we hit 50 miles an hour, in what seemedlike 1.5 sec, it was like a rocket, I am telling you I have never felt G-Force ever, but that day I believe I understood the meaning, as I could barley, if at all, lean forward off of the seat, and then Dad hit second gear, and it pressed me back further into the seat and with in another second or two we were flying past 95, 3rd gear was over 120 in a second, and he shut her down, and we were blown away as this was a five speed transmission and the speedometer went from 0 to 160 and I am sure it would do all of that and more, but 120 was cool for now.

Dad did not let me drive that car for quite sometime, as he had already found out about some of my escapades, parties, and joy rides, and to think of that day, even amazes me that he was doing anything with me, because, during that period of my life, I seemed to be a loose cannon, but in any event that was a great day for us.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Two Generations of Maybelline cousin's, loved dressing up like Tom Mix and Roy Rogers - 1930s -1950s

Maybelline Cousins love Tom Mix in 193o's.

 The Cadillac Cowboy, Tom Mix, pulled in $17,000 a week in the 1920's and was every little boys, Western Hero.

 Bill Williams dressed like Tom Mix, with his new wheels, in 1930.

 Noel Allen Williams dressed like Tom Mix, with his famous white hat, 1930.

 Cowboy Noel, getting ready to shoot em up in the Old West with his cousin Bill, in 1930.

Maybelline cousin's, kid's,  love Roy Rogers in the 1950s.

 Maybelline Cousins in the 1950's - like their parents in the 1930's - loved to dress up like Cowboys and Cowgirls.

Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans were the King and Queen, of  Saturday morning TV, from 1951 - 1957,  most every girl and boy in America 
had their own cowboy or cowgirl costume.

Here I am at my 6th Birthday, sitting on my dad, Bill Williams lap - a little amped on sugar it looks like - with my little sister Donna, sitting quietly on our grandfather, Andy Mac Donald's lap, while my grandmother Elna - who never wore eye makeup - smiles for the camera.  Notice the Lucite coffee table, sofa and Hawaiian drapes.  They came from the Villa Valentino, after it was destroyed, when the Hollywood freeway took it in 1951. 

Trigger rides again, as Roy and Dale give a big Cowboy shout out, in the Old West.  In 1954, all I wanted was a baby sister and brother, while  Donna on the other hand,  wanted a horse, just like Trigger.

Sharrie and Donna, Cowgirls to the core.

My cousin's, Chuck, (aka, BB1,) and Nancy, Noel Allen Williams, kids,  were the little Roy and Dale, of the family, and like us, they were crazy about Saturday morning television, on those tiny TV sets in the early 1950's.

  During the early 1950's, Maybelline began showing Before and After, commercials, on network stations and it was a really big deal for our family when one came on.

Monday, June 22, 2015

How well do you know Maybelline? Here are some fun facts:

All eyes on Maybelline: Makeup maker marks 100 year

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to eye makeup.
Take the history of Maybelline. The global makeup brand is in the midst of its centennial celebration, complete with multiple star-studded parties this spring. But before all the blushes and BB creams, it was about a family company creating cosmetics for the eyes.
Sharrie Williams, an original descendant of the family that started the brand, detailed Maybelline’s rise to popularity and prosperity in her 2010 book “The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It” (Bettie Young Books, $18.95; She’s working on a second book to mark the brand’s centennial.
How well do you know Maybelline? Here are some fun facts:
■ How it started: In 1915, Mabel Williams singed her eyebrows and lashes. Unsure how long they would take to grow back, she burned a piece of cork, mixed the ashes with petroleum jelly and applied them. The jelly soothed the burn and the ash gave her brows and lashes definition. Her brother, Tom Lyle Williams, noticed how darkening them made her eyes pop, and it gave him an idea for a new kind of makeup.
■ Creating a category: At the turn of the 20th century, eye makeup was mainly worn by silent film stars to highlight their eyes on camera. For most women, options were limited to lipsticks, rouges, creams and powders. With a $500 loan, from his brother Noel J. Williams, Tom Lyle Williams launched a product called Lash-Brow-Ine for “beautifying lashes.” In those early days, it was a cake of black material in a little red box that women applied with a tiny brush. It sold for 25 cents.
■ What’s in a name?: Before Maybelline, there was no name for mascara. The company coined the term in the 1930s as a derivative of the French word mascaro, a product used to darken men’s facial hair. 
■ A makeup mainstay is born: In 1971, Maybelline debuted its Great Lash mascara — recognizable for its iconic pink-and-green packaging inspired by fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer’s vibrant hues and prints. It’s been a staple on drugstore shelves and in cosmetics bags ever since. In 2000, a tube was sold every 1.2 seconds, according to brand reports.
■ Advertising king: Quality and affordability aren’t the only reason Maybelline has made its mark. “My great-uncle wanted to be remembered as the king of advertising,” Ms. Williams says.
■ Branching out: By the 1970s, Maybelline was more than just eye makeup. There were lip glosses, blushes and much more. L’Oreal acquired the brand in 1996 and moved it to New York, where it continues to churn out new products and is a regular sponsor at New York Fashion Week.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Theda Bara, Silent Films "The Vamp," promoted Maybelline one hundred years ago

Theda Bara was one of the most popular Stars, of her era, and one of cinema's earliest sex symbols.

The word “vamp,” originated from Theda’s nickname while filming a sultry vampire, in A Fool There Was.    

A 1915 silent film, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Vampire." Theda's character simply known as “the Vampire."  was reduced to “vamp,” and the title stuck.

Just as Theda Bara, appeared as the Vamp, in
A Fool There Was in 1915 - Mabel Williams, inspired her brother, Tom Lyle Williams - to formulate an eye beautifying product, called Lash-Brow-Ine - that  became Maybelline, in 1916, and was named in her honor.

Lash-Brow-Ine and Maybelline, were the first eye beautifying products, in America, sold through mail order and eventually over the counter.  Silent Film Stars, like Theda Bara, made the public aware of the most forgotten feature on the face, "The Eyes."

Tom Lyle Williams, founder and owner of The Maybelline Company from 1915 - 1967.

Older brother Noel James Williams, also played a role in Maybelline's birth, when he loaned his brother Tom Lyle, $500. to launch Lash-Brow-Ine, in 1915.  He was Maybelline's Vice President from 1915 until his death in 1951.

Hollywood and Silent Films were a key ingredient in making Maybelline, a great success in the  20TH Century.