what you will, 35,000 Chicago kiddies, many of their parents and
"much of their friends" voted unanimously Saturday at the Bud
Billiken picnic for the Chicago Defender, the L. Fish Furniture
company, Amos 'n' Andy, Duke Ellington and others who joined in
making the day the hugest fun day in the history of Chicago.
Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, otherwise known as "Amos
'n' Andy", took a big spot in the events of the day. Arriving
at the park incognito, accompanied by Assistant Attorney General
Nathan K. McGill, general manager of the Chicago Defender; Dr.
Herman K. Bundenden, coroner and city health commissioner, and
Alex Robb, assistant manager of the National Broadcasting Company,
Chicago, they sat in their car, in Washington Park, viewing the
parade and the thousands of happy Billiken kiddies as they scrambled
from cars and trucks over to the grandstand.
The party then walked slowly to the stand under police escort.
Some few recognized---perhaps by intuition---the radio funmakers,
but not many.
The party walked up the steps to the grandstand, where Duke Ellington
and his boys, Malcom Vineberg of the L. Fish Furniture Company,
Lucius Millinder and his Cotton Club orchestra and others were
Lucius Millinder Plays
Finally Bud Billiken introduced Millinder for a musical number.
And did those boys play! The air was hot with joy, but they made
it hotter. When they finished, the happy thousands yelled, whistled,
screamed and danced. Then Bud introduced Dr. Bundesen and Attorney
Bud then told the band to strike up "The Perfect Song", the signature
selection selection of "Amos 'n' Andy".You thought it was lively
before! You ain't heard nothin' yet! The crowd went wild---they
Amos 'n' Andy mounted chairs with megaphones, but you couldn't
hear your ears. The radio boys waved greetings, smiled, laughed,
tried to talk, but in vain. It couldn't be done.
Then Bud had a happy thought. "Band boys, play "Hail, Hail! the
Gang's All Here'".
They did. Amos 'n' Andy led the chorus, waving vigorously their
megaphones. It got so good toward the end that Andy jumped down
from his chair and danced a jig.
When it was over the crown let out a salvo of applause that could
be heard for miles.
Gosden and Correll, the men, were immensely interested and impressed.
They tarried beyond the time of other engagements, saying hello
and howdy-do to all they could reach out of the vast throng.
They saw a sight that opened their eyes wide in unaffected pleasure
and they will never forget the ovation given them.
That the event was on their mind was evinced when Correll (Andy)
remarked: "I am glad it is a beautiful day. I was thinking about
the picnic last night when I had my dog out for a walk, and I
hoped for a day just like this, so the children could enjoy themselves".
When the men were escorted tp their car for departure, hundreds
of children and many grownups followed them in the car and waved
them a cheering farewell. "We will never forget this day", said