Daws Butler (continued)

(Download and listen to an eight minute audio segment, in which Daws Butler does his characters, from his cassette letter to me in March of 1974--mp3-1.45MB)

Then, promptly, he returned with a quick P.S. He told me, completely incredulous, that he had played, in my hometown of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, years ago, when he was part of a three-man comedy team called "The Three Short Waves". I too was surprised that his comedy act had played in a small, little town like Pottstown (especially back in the 1940s, when it had to be really tiny). Daws chuckled after he told me this and said: "So how do you like that?". Then, once again, very upbeat, and in a voice which suggested he was beaming with joy, he said: "Alright.......That's it for now.......See 'ya!..........."

There was a big portion of his tape, in which he told me "The Daws Butler Story". Much of what I will tell you here, has been documented before, by others, but not every single detail. Enjoy!:

Daws was a very shy boy, who, in high school, considered himself to be like a Peter Pan character, and a drifter. He was not proud, at all, that he as so withdrawn........and he seemed to be ashamed that he felt like he was going nowhere in life.

His first step was take public speaking, when he was a junior in high school (to force himself on his feet). He joked that the public speaking teacher was not really very thrilled with him, because he made a gag routine out of every speech that he gave (his fellow students, however, thought that he was very funny).

To further work on his insecurities and inhibitions, he next competed in amateur contests, by himself, during the great Depression. Eventually he hooked up with two other guys. Daws and the other two fellows all did impersonations and voices. Most of their imitations were related to radio stars. Because they were all short (Daws was about 5' 2") and because they focused mostly on radio voices, they called their act "The Three Short Waves".

Due to squabbles, among the three of them, and World War II, the act broke up (Daws' career was put on hold while he served in the Navy). After his discharge, he worked first in radio, then in theatrical cartoons, and later in a puppet show, on TV, Time For Beany. Time for Beany ran 5 years.

After Time for Beany, incredibly, none of the cartoon studios wanted to hire him because he was typed as a puppeteer. As little sense as this all makes, he had to prove himself all over again!

Daws said that he wrote letters, and sent records of his voices, to 100-200 organizations (and studios) there in Hollywood, stating that he had talent for voice work and he could also write commercials. (As far as the "records" were concerned, Daws said that there were no cassette tapes back then; that's why he had to send records.) As far as his letters were concerned, the amazing thing is that he actually wrote each and every one of those 100-200 letters, individually, because there was no such thing as xerox or mimeograph, back then!!!

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