Uploaded on Dec 26, 2007
My arrangement of Avalon...supposedly written by singer Al Jolson in 1929, but there has been some dispute over this claim. The year is not in dispute.
I hope that you like my arrangement! Please feel free to comment, and to rate the video...thanks!!!
Some history of Santa Catalina Island:
Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is a rocky island off the coast of the U.S. State of California. The island is 22 miles (35 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) across at its greatest width. The island is located about 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of San Pedro, Los Angeles, California.
Prior to the modern era the island was inhabited by people of the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe, who also lived in the area of Los Angeles, had villages near present day San Pedro, and Playa Del Rey, and who regularly traveled back and forth to Catalina for trade. The Tongva called the island Pimu or Pimungna. The Gabrielino/Tongva are renowned for their mining, working and trade of soapstone which was found in great quantities and varieties on the island. This material was in great demand and was traded along the California coast.
The first European to set foot on the island was Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing for Spain. This happened on October 7, 1542. He claimed the island for Spain and christened it San Salvador. Another Spanish explorer, Sebastion Vizcaino, rediscovered the island on the eve of Saint Catherine's Day (November 24) in 1602. He renamed it Santa Catalina to honor the feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria. During the next 300 years, the island served as home or base of operation for many visitors, including Russian otter hunters, Yankee smugglers and itinerant fishermen, among others.
Franciscan monks considered building a mission there, but abandoned the idea due to the lack of fresh water on the island. By the 1830s, most of the island's native population had migrated to the mainland to work in the missions or as ranch hands for the many private land owners.
By the end of the 19th century, the island was almost uninhabited except for a few cattle herders. At that time, its location just 20 miles (30 km) from Los Angeles—the city that had reached the population of 50,000 in 1890 and was undergoing the period of enormous growth—was a major factor that contributed to the development of the island into a vacation destination.
The first owner to try to develop Avalon into a resort destination was George Shatto, a real estate speculator from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who purchased the Island for $200,000 at the height of the real estate boom in Southern California in 1887. Shatto created the settlement that would become Avalon, and can be credited with building the town's first hotel, the original Hotel Metropole, and pier. His sister-in-law Etta Whitney came up with the name Avalon, which was pulled as a reference from Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem "Idylls Of The King," which was about the legend of King Arthur. Despite Shatto's efforts, in a few years he had to default on his loan and the island went back to the previous owner, James Lick's estate.
The sons of Phineas Banning bought the island in 1891 from the estate of James Lick and established the Santa Catalina Island Company to develop it as a resort. They built a home at what is now Two Harbors, (isthmus) and is now that village's hotel. Their efforts were set back on November 29, 1915 when a fire burned half of Avalon's buildings, including six hotels and several clubs. World War 1also hampered tourism, and the Banning brothers were forced to sell the island in 1919 to chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.
From 1927 through 1937 pottery and tile were made on the island, and these items are now considered collectibles. The Chicago Cubs, also owned by Wrigley, used the island for the team's spring training from ca. 1921-1951, absent the war years of 1942-45.
Built in 1929, the Casino -- which is actually not a gambling hall but "place of entertainment" -- played host to dozens of Big Bands through the 1930s and 1940s. Guests came by steamship to Charleston and later jitterbug on the huge parquet floor. They danced the night away to the music of Glen Miller, Harry James, Kay Kyser, and many others over the years.
The largest number of dancers ever in the Casino was 6,200 people dancing to the music of Kay Kyser, on May 8, 1940. Virtually every Big Band of that era played in the Casino Ballroom. Live broadcasts were carried over CBS radio from 1934 into the 1950s.
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