All About Amos 'N Andy And Their Creators,

Correll & Gosden, 1930

Forward From Book

By Bill Hay

So Amos 'n" Andy are publishing a book. Well, well, or perhaps, as Amos would say, "Ain't dat sumpin'?" I am glad, indeed, that I am permitted to preface their story with a few remarks, for I intend to say some things about them that I know the boys would never say about themselves.

I have known Charles J. Correll and Freeman F. Gosden for many years. As announcer for their nightly episode and as a personal friend, I have become intimately acquainted with them, both in and out of character, and to my mind they are two of the finest boys I have ever met.

Modest and shy they are. Prosperity hasn't hurt them. Their rise has been rapid. They are known wherever radio broadcasting is a means of entertainment. Their fan mail is enormous. Yet they are as natural and unspoiled as on the first day they walked into the studio

They are excellent showmen, both of them, and shrewd businessmen. They know the secret of public favor and it's value. They drive a good bargain, yet they never hesitate to refuse anything which might lower the high standard of the entertainment they present, or jeopardize the friendship of the hundreds of thousands of radio listeners who depend upon their clean, human fun. But the most important of their characteristics, and the one, in my opinion, which has had more to do with their success than any other, is their devotion to their work. They take their job seriously. They put their heart and soul into it, not only as they write it but as they deliver it.

It has been my privilege for several years to sit in the studio with the boys as they broadcast their nightly episode. I have seen them almost overcome with laughter at the antics of their characters; I have seen them broadcasting a pathetic episode with tears in their eyes, drying them as fast as they came so that they might see to read the next lines of the script. Many times I have seen them so shaken by a pathetic episode that it took them almost half an hour to "come to" sufficiently to be able to leave their private studio to meet people. They "live" the characters they portray. That's why the characters are so real and human.

Correll and Gosden have an enviable sense of humor- not the wise-cracking type, but the kind of fun that grows out of a healthy, happy outlook on life. For that's the kind of boys they are. They love play and enjoy golfing, swimming, riding, and most outdoor sports winter and summer. They like people. They are at home with influential businessmen; but they are equally at home with the man on the street. And their following the country over is just as democratic, just as inclusive. Nearly everyone, high or low, in city or on the isolated farm, black or white, who follows the antics of Amos 'n" Andy, enjoys them wholeheartedly.

I say "black or white" advisedly, for one of the remarkable things about their work is their large following among the colored people themselves. This is undoubtedly because, although they portray the lives of two ignorant, struggling colored boys, they treat them sympathetically. They have never once ridiculed the race. Their fun is always without offense. The best indication of what the race thinks of them is the fact that they have frequently been called upon to speak and perform at meetings of colored people both in the North and the South, and they are personally acquainted with many of the leading colored business and professional men in Chicago.

My association with them these three years has been a pleasure. My hope for this book of theirs is that it will enable many thousands of radio fans to know the Correll and Gosden behind the Amos 'n" Andy as well and as favorably as I have come to know them.