Thursday, November 15, 2012

You Grew Up! The Life and Career of Paul Reed

About 5 years ago in this journal I wrote how I have been a big fan of Car 54 Where are You since the show was first on the air in 1961.  In fact I sang the theme song when I phoned into a now defunct radio show.  I won’t get into the details about that here.  The major stars of Car 54 were Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne who played Officers Gunther Toody and Francis Muldoon, respectively.  One of the other characters on the show was Captain Block played by Paul Reed.

A few days ago I found on the Car 54 page of Facebook reference to the following biography of Paul Reed:

Teed, Paul. You Grew Up!: The Life and Career of Paul Reed. Albany, Ga: BearManor Media, 2010. Print.

Of course, I just had to get the book so I ordered it through to find out more about Mr. Reed.  It turns out that the book was written by Paul Reed Jr. , his son

It turns out the Paul Reed was born Sydney Kahn, but changed his name when he got into show business.  He appeared in many Broadway shows including:

Guys and Dolls
The Music Man
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying
Here’s Love - Fred Gwynne also appeared in this show.
Promises Promises

An interesting tidbit was that Paul appeared in scenes in Car 54 in the morning and acted in How to Succeed in the evening.

I enjoyed the  numerous photographs that the author provides and the list of his appearances in various shows, movies and TV appearances.   Paul was also a very good singer.  I was very disappointed that very little was said about his two years in Car 54.  I was hoping to read many anecdotes about the many episodes where Captain Block was a major character.  There was no bibliography, so the author relied on his memory, and interviews with his  family and with some entertainers listed in the acknowledgement section.  He did interview Joe E. Ross, Fred Gwynne, Nipsey Russell, Al Lewis, and Hank Garrett of the Car 54 cast, but so little about this show was in the book.  I vaguely remember that Paul Reed appeared in several TV commercials during the 1980s.

Paul Reed lived to the ripe old age of 97.  I thank his son for writing this biography of his father which provided me much information about the man I didn’t know.  It must be difficult to write a biography of your father so I commend him for doing that.

Below is a clip from a Car 54 show featuring Captain Block

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