Posts Tagged ‘Fresno’
As WFMU’s Irwin Chusid pointed out in Songs in the Key of Z, Neil Armstrong was not the first earthling to stroll the lunar surface. To the contrary, the first feet to navigate that cheesy green orb were none other than those of former NorCal/SoCal denizen, Lucia Pamela, just a few months before Armstrong took one small step for man, an event documented in the 1969 album Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela.
“It was recorded on Moontown,” Ms. Pamela said of the album. “I was the only one from Earth there.” She also produced a coloring book, Into Outer Space with Lucia Pamela In The Year 2000.
Voted Miss St. Louis of 1926, Lady Pamela enjoyed a career that spanned nine decades, including a stint in Vaudeville with the Ziegfeld Follies where she led an all-gal band named Lucia Pamela and her Musical Pirates, and then later formed a vocal duo with her daughter Georgia known as The Pamela Sisters.
In the swingin’ 60’s, Lucia’s daughter and former singing partner, now known as Georgia Frontiere, married L.A. Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, her sixth husband. When Rosenbloom died in 1972, Georgia inherited the team and later drew the wrath of rabid L.A. fans when she moved the team to St. Louis.
During World War II, Lucia Pamela was awarded a Medal of Honor for her wartime service with the USO. Pamela later moved to Fresno, California, where she was renowned for cruising around in her custom Pink Cadillac. There she hosted several early radio and television shows, including “Gal about Town.” Afterwards, Lucia was the manager and host of Storyland Amusement Park, located in Fresno’s Roeding Park, appearing as Mother Goose.
As a wee lad I used to visit Roeding Park’s Storyland and Playland, and those memories still fill me with a sense of magical wonder, with visions of giant mushrooms and Mother Goose serenading me with songs about the man in the moon.
Lucia — who was honored by Ripley’s Believe It or Not for having memorized over 10,000 songs — performed in Las Vegas hotels in the 1980’s. She died in Hollywood on July 25th 2002 at the ripe old age of 98, survived by one son, 12 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. Her daughter Georgia died in 2008.
Currently, there is an unreleased documentary on Pamela’s life, which you can find out more about here:
Lucia Pamela’s obit: