On this very date, back in 1936,
the first Yuletide Revue was pre
sented at 11 p.m. in the Masonic
theater. Thus, the stage of Ameri
ca’s oldest operating show house
became the birthplace of what was
destined to become America’s old
est Christmas charity show.
Little did the man who originat
ed the Revue dream that it would
serve as a springboard to national
stardom for talented youngsters
who were getting their start thous
ands of" miles from Broadway and
Nor could he visualize a time
when the top celebrities in show
business would stop in the midst of
their busy schedules to wish the
venture continued success. Yet, dis
playing the generosity of heart
that characterizes every truly great
trouper, they have sent many a
telegram expressing their warm
and affectionate sentiments.
Distinguished Tar Heels them
selves have sent similar telegrams,
including Gov. Luther H. Hodg
es, Senator Sam J. Ervin, the late
Senator W. Kerr Scott, Mayor Mar
shall C. Kurfees of Winston-Salem,
Mayor Phil Van Every of Char
lotte, Mayor J. M. Silverthorne of
Washington, Mayor George W. Dill
of Morehead City, Mayor M. A.
Cowell of Jacksonville and others
too numerous to mention by name.
It’s flattering to the Revue’s or
iginator to have it referred to as
the accomplishment o^ one individ
ual. However, no one knows better
than he that the Yuletide Revue
owes its long life to many persons
living and dead.
Any bows that he is privileged
to take are accepted not only for
the thousands who have appeared
on stage and assisted backstage,
but for the dozens who handled re
served seat sales so willingly and
efficiently at their respective
places of business.
Last but by no means least, the
Revue most certainty owes a tre
mendous debt of gratitude to the
audiences that have supported it
year after year for almost a quar
ter of a century.
The Yuletide Revue is a tradi
tional part of New Bern’s Christ
mas because the citizens have seen
fit to make it so. Revue audidences
radiate a Christmas spirit that per
formers feel across the footlights,
so more than the friendly folks
seated out front will ever realize,
they have made the show what it
is- . .
A multitude of memories will be
lurking in the wings tonight at the
High School Auditorium. The mem
ory of Mickey Gunnersen, as a tiny
tot, taking her first steps toward
a Broadway career that landed her
in the cast of shows like “Pink
Tights” and “Pajama Game.”
With it will be the memory of
Johnny Genolius, an unknown
Cherry Point Marine who was dis
covered by the Revue and went on
from there to a dancing role in the
Broadway hit, “Gentlemen Prefer
Kathy Young of Greenville, like
Mickey Gunnersen, was only so
high when she tapped her way in
to the hearts of a typical Revue au
dience. Eventually she journeyed
to Hollywood, became a Paramount
starlet, and played in films with
Bing Crosby and Cary Grant.
One of these movies was “Christ
mas Holiday.” Appearing in it was
a far cry from Kathy’s first Christ
mas production—the Yuletide Re
vue. Today she is a photographer’s
model, and has posed for covers on
the nation’s leading magazines.
All of the wonderful people con
nected with the Yuletide Revue
through the years haven’t been in
the spotlight, but all were very im
portant. For example, we cite O. A.
Kafer, manager of the Masonic,
who donated his theater for use in
the early years, and George R.
Fuller, who provided pianos and
(Continued on back page)
The NEW BERN
tN THE HEART OF
5 Per Copy
NEW BERN, N. C., FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1958
WELCOME TO THE FORCE—Chief J. E. Pearsall of the weather, and sleeting, when the ceremony took place.
New Bern police department hands Frosty the Snow Man Pearsall, a good sport about it, didn’t hesitate when The
a night stick to go with his badge and cap, after making Mirror asked him to pose with Frosty as a gag.—^Photo by
him an honorary member of the forcfe. It was sub-freezing Billy Benners.
NAME IT AND CLAIM IT — These two kids don’t, seem the
least bit terrified by the strange creature hauling them
away to parts unknown on their tiny sled. They know full
well that he isn’t a man from outer space, but their own
adoring Daddy, R. D. Baskervill. In fairness to Baskervill,
he usually looks much better, but dressed for the rigors of
the occasion he lost most of his charm. That smile he is
wearing tells you it was worth it.—Photo by Billy Benners.