Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 9.15.56 AM

By Nancy Thorner – 

Burt Prelutsky describes The Story Of My Life not as a memoir, but as “the saga of one man’s 50-year, often hilarious, journey through a life filled with assorted notables and nut cases, celebrated friends and, yes, even a few famous fiends” that might be of some interest to others. That’s especially true given the many occasions when Burt’s life intersected with the lives of many well-known Hollywood personalities such as Groucho Marx, Oscar Levant, George C. Scott, Jack Webb, Tiny Tim, Ginger Rogers, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Jimmy Stewart, and Dick Van Dyke. 

Within the book’s 180 pages with its short, easy-to-read chapters, you will be introduced to many film stars, producers, screen writers, composers, and other famous individuals with ties to Hollywood whose names might only be known to you in passing, or not at all, unless you are a committed movie aficionado. 

But to those of you who have not been dedicated movie goers over many years, that shouldn’t in any way diminish your curiosity or interest in reading Prelutsky’s book. For humor runs throughout all that Mr. Prelutsky writes, adding zest to his fun-filled interview accounts of Hollywood celebrities in which information is revealed that is sure to be tantalizing to readers.

Because of the many interviews conducted by Burt, one would have had to be a cave dweller for years not to recognize and be interested in the off-the-cuff remarks and Burt’s personal observations of Hollywood’s elite. Who hasn’t heard of Dick Van Dyke, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Stan Laurel, Burt Reynolds, Ginger Rogers, Mae West, and W. C. Fields?

In Every Life Some Rain Must Fall

Some might be prompted to conclude that Burt must have lived an extraordinary life because of his interactions with so many celebrities that others could only dream of meeting, but would they really wish to change places with Burt, if this were even possible? Burt’s life in Hollywood wasn’t always a bowl of cherries, especially when he turned 50 and discovered that the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s had been reincarnated as the gray list of the 1990s.

As The Story of My Life makes clear, Burt, despite his obvious talent, has experienced his share of hard times.  One thing he has fortunately avoided is writer’s block, the bugaboo that has afflicted so many others.  Although he concentrates on those occasions when his life intersected the lives of celebrities, he does briefly touch upon his early life, which is essential to understanding what motivated Burt to pursue a writing career in the first place.

Making a Case for Purchasing The Story of My Life

Why should you purchase Burt Prelutsky’s book?  Aside from the humor and insights that permeate the pages of this very delightful book, he is that rarest of birds — an individual who spent decades in Hollywood, and yet managed to survive, his political conservatism intact.

Unlike the usual book of Hollywood nostalgia, Prelutsky didn’t simply interview his subjects.  In many cases, he worked alongside them, befriended them and even dated them.

I don’t want to give too much away, but did you know: 

  • Art Linkletter had been an orphan baby in a small town in Canada when adopted by a minister and his wife from San Diego.
  • George Burns was written off initially by Burt after having to sit through one of his patter songs at a Groucho Marx dinner party.
  • Acclaimed dancers Gene Kelly and Ginger Rodgers wound up crippled in later life, because those beautiful shiny floors they danced on were made of cement.
  • Comedian Jackie Gleason had a very nasty side to him.  Booze was the potion that could turn him from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in a matter of minutes.
  • Jimmy Steward really was the person we all came to regard as the idealized version of ourselves.
  •  Jack Webb, The-Just-The-Facts-Guy, provided the break for Burt to write for TV, leading to a career that included writing episodes of McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder, as well as a number of award-winning TV movies. 

Ordering your copy of Prelutsky’s The Story of My Life

But there is more to learn about the celebrities listed above, as well as insight into the scores of lives that have touched Prelutsky’s and made his life the hilarious rollercoaster ride you’ll encounter in The Story of My Life, which can be ordered at this website.  

While ordering Prelutsky’s book at Amazon, why not check out seven other outstanding books published by Mr. Prelutsky? All in all, a rather amazing output for someone who didn’t get around to writing his first book until he was 66-years-old!

Before I forget, in Sixty Seven Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die, published in 2012, among those interviewed by Burt were Kellyanne Conway and Tucker Carlson.

Subscribing to Weekly Doses of Burt’s Humorous Political Commentary

Burt Prelutsky started writing humorous political commentary in 2001. For years, Burt’s commentaries were carried by Breitbart, WorldnetDaily, the Patriot Post and Bernard Goldberg.com and on his own website.  But, as he came to realize, even maintaining a website costs money.  So, as of Sept., 2015, he began a subscription service.

Presently, Burt writes 3-4 commentaries every week that are generously leavened with humor.  As he says, “If you take politics too seriously, you’ll soon go mad.”  Anyone who might be interested in reading the man Bernard Goldberg refers to as the modern Mark Twain can contact him at Burtprelutsky@aol.com for guidelines to subscribing.

To whet your appetite, consider these two samples:

Submitted  by the North Suburban Symphony by Nancy Thorner:

Nick Arden

Nikolas Arden

The North Suburban Symphony, a community orchestra based in Lake Forest and sponsored by the Lake Bluff Park District, will hold its final concert of the 2012 – 2013 concert season, ITALIAN PASSION, on Sunday, May 5th at 4 p.m. at Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL, its 6th season with Ron Arden as Music Director.

What better way to celebrate the upcoming summer season as thoughts of travel enter your mind, either real or imagined, than to hear music by Italian composers.

Featured first on the program will be Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Four Violins.” Nicknamed “The Red Priest” because of his red hair and his priesthood in the Catholic Church, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded of Baroque composers. First Prize Concerto Competition Winner, Aidan Perreault, a freshman at Niles North High School, will assume a leading role as a violinist in the Vivaldi selection.

Skipping 200 years in times, we recognize Italian composer Ottorino Respighi who was born July 9, 1869. It was his Respighi’s musicological interest that led him to compose music based on the music of the 16th, 17th, and 18th century. To be performed, “Ancient Airs and Dances Suite 1,” has four delightful movements based on Renaissance lute pieces by the father of Galilei and other anonymous composers.

Since Italy and opera seem to go together, no program would be complete without including familiar operatic selection. For this purpose four very talented vocalists were enlisted for your listening delight. Andrea Hanchey Pokrefke, soprano, is a native to Richmond, Virginia; Carol Carpenter, mezzo soprano, hails from Ann Arbor; lyric tenor Cole Seaton is an Idaho native; and Nikolas Arden, baritone, is the son of music director Ron Arden and concertmaster, Cynthia Arden who currently resides in Chicago.

Opera arias featuring a trio of noted operatic composers will be performed, Verdi, Rossini, Mozart. At first glance Mozart might seem like the “black sheep” as he lacks Italian heritage as do both Verdi and Rossini. It was, however, between 1769 and 1773 that the young Mozart and his father Leopold Mozart made three journeys to Italy.

All four soloists will join voices to sing, accompanied by the North Suburban Symphony, Rossini’s “Offertorio”; “Bella figlia” by Verdi; and the famous No. 12 Quartett from “Rigoletto.” The fourth operatic selection, Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” will feature mezzo soprano Carol Carpenter and baritone Nikolas Arden

A Complimentary Wine and Cheese Reception will immediately follow the concert in recognition and in celebration of the NSS’s upcoming 2013 – 2014 25th Anniversary Concert Season. Stay tuned for some exciting happening!

Tickets: Adults $18; Seniors/Students $10; Children under 12, Free with adult ticket purchase. Tickets available at the door. Call for information: (847) 234-4150. Website: northsuburbansymphony.org