Andrews, Lloyd (“Arkansas Slim”, “Slim”)
Tex Ritter, Tom Keene, Red Barry, Gene Autry and Clayton Moore sidekicks in 34 1940-52 B-Westerns
Description: (1906–1992) Arkansas-born actor, played sidekick to western stars in the 1940s-early 50s, later a host of children’s TV shows. Before his move to Hollywood, he had been a comedian and musician in mid-South tent shows.
As a boy, he learned to play fiddle from his father and picked up rudiments of guitar from his mother, but never learned to read music. He taught himself to play piano. At 17, a slender 6’8″ now called “Slim,” caught the attention of Watso the Musical Wizard, a traveling showman. Andrews had purchased a 1923 Model T Ford and customized the car by lengthening the body and adding 10 horns and 11 lights, the horns rigged to play “Pretty, Little Blue-Eyed Sally,” popular song of the time. Watso needed transport and an assistant and Andrews’s unique car was a way to promote his shows. Watso developed Andrews’s comedic talents into a country boy act, also taught him to play handsaw and banjo and how to be a one-man band. Leaving Watso after 2 years, Andrews had a successful solo touring act, then was a comedian with a larger itinerant tent shows, an early 20th century form of rural vaudeville centered around Toby, a slapstick comic with a red wig, freckles, blacked-out teeth, bare feet, and baggy clothes.
Andrews, proficient on with conventional instruments, could make music on funnels, tire pumps, rubber gloves, fishing poles, and other such objects, reputed to have played 100+ different instruments. He appeared as a one-man band, simultaneously playing 4 instruments, in Rhythm of the Rio Grande, his 1st Hollywood film, with Tex Ritter in 1940. Ritter discovered Andrews on a 1939 tour when both played competing shows in Monticello, Arkansas. Learning that the Toby show drew a larger audience, Ritter found Andrews to be the main attraction resulting in an invitation to Hollywood. Andrews was in 10 1940-41 Ritter westerns, playing his sidekick in 8 films. He basically played his Toby role in western garb, astraddle a mule, ad-libbing lines, and repeating signature phrases such as “Hi Ho Josephine” and “Great gobs of goose grease.” When Ritter left Monogram, their film partnership ended but they remained friends and toured together for nearly 10 years. Andrews played sidekick to Tom Keene in his next 4 films before moving to Republic Pictures, where, in 1942, he appeared in 2 films with Don “Red” Berry and in Cowboy Serenade with Gene Autry. Over a 15-year period, he was in 34 films, including musical shorts, and had a major supporting role in Clayton Moore’s 1952 film Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory, receiving 2nd billing for his role of “Cactus”.
In 1950, as B-westerns were on the decline, Andrews found a niche in children’s television, working 3 years in LA before moving to Fresno, where, as “The Forty Niner”, he hosted weekday afternoon shows. After 10 years he landed at KOAM in Pittsburg, Kansas, and hosted The Fun Club Saturday mornings 1963-84.
Andrews also had a 10-month tour as a comedian-musician with Bob Wills in 1947; played harmonica, accordion, and other instruments with a Wills satellite band led by Harley Huggins in 1948; nearly 10,000 TV appearances; and a speaking role as the ferryman in the TV miniseries The Blue and the Gray (1982). He received composer credits in the 1940 Ritter film Arizona Frontier for the song “Wastin’ Time.”
6 x 4 ½ pale yellow autograph album page (in person signature) dated 1986 by him, identification and date in other hand at bottom
Condition: Very Good