post How Manolito Learned Fear

September 29th, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:19 am

Translation of a vintage Swedish article

The American cowboy was used to the speed of his horse. Europe’s jets, cars and trains moved too fast for his taste. But a more leisurely pace was not possible because Henry “Manolito” Darrow had only seven days for his concert tour through Scandinavia.

“I liked every minute of it, although it was exhausting and I was dog-tired sometimes. I had to be on thirteen different stages in one week. I raced from town to town, from one folkpark to the next. Some days I did not even know where I was.”

So far, his German fans only know Henry Darrow as an actor. The Swedes and Danes now also got to know the laughing cowboy as a singer. “It was a secret. But now it is in the open. Justz like Billy Blue Mark Slade, I also wanted to develop my other talent. Being just an actor is not enough.”

Manolito is pleased with the success of his Sweden tour. “The people were very kind to me. Europeans are a great audience. That is why I liked my first trip to Europe so much. If possible, I will come back next year. And then I will also visit Germany. Mark Slade told me a lot about his visit. He was very enthusiastic about your [i.e. the interviewer’s] country.

At the moment they are shooting the location scenes for the new “High Chaparral” episodes. In the desert of Arizona, Henry reminisces about the friendly European climate. “Only now do I notice just how hot it is around here.”

He starts to tell me about his tour. “It was a great experience for me. At first I was concerned because of all those people in the folkparks who came to see me. But over time I got used to it. When you meet those people individually, they are all very nice and charming, but when you encouter them as a mass, they can teach you fear. I have to admit there were moments where I did not want to sign any more autographs and did not want to see any more fans.”

“Just once I want to be Henry Darrow again”

“Masses of people can seem almost inhuman at times. But such things are simply a part of show business. Press conferences can seem threatening as well. Especially when they take place just a few minutes before the show starts. I am always nervous before a performance. In such a situation it is difficult to answer questions about the war in Vietnam or about racial discrimination in America.

After my first five days in Sweden, I had not yet seen much of the country, except of course streets, hotels and folkparks. In Copenhagen I had been able to visit the Tivoli Gardens and some nice restaurants. But in Sweden I had to move on to the next town so fast that I did not find the time for this. Maybe one day I can come back as Henry Darrow and not as “Manolito”.

During my stay in Stockholm, the Swedish manager of the tour arranged a chess game for me with Soviet chess grandmaster Boris Spassky.

The game took place on the stage of the “Kungsträdgarden” [The king’s garden], a public park. I had already seen Spassky in Los Angeles when he had come to America for a championship game. But I would have never believed that I would ever meet him in person.

I felt like a child that meets a famous sports star: proud and excited. Of course, Spassky won the game, but to this day I am overjoyed that he thought me a strong opponent.”

“That was the biggest shock of my life”

In the folkpark of Vargarda I got the biggest shock of my life. I met a man who looked exactly like me. He could have been my twin brother. At first I thought he was a relative whom I just had not met yet. But it turned out he was from Yugoslavia. His name was Kosta Petrovic and, like me, he was on a tour through Sweden.

In the folkpark Kosta sat down in the first row, right in front of the stage. The audience thought he was me and badgered him for autographs until I started my show. Then we went to a restaurant and had dinner together. And the fans could not tell who was Kosta and who was Manolito. It was an unbelievable coincidence.

In Stockholm I got a sore throat. One of my managers took me to Dr. Leanderson in the Karolinska University Hospital. I must have looked very anxious because the doctor tried to convince me that he knew everything about sore throats and knew the right therapy. He was the physician of the royal opera of Stockholm.

“I learned this from the High Chaparral”

“I answered him that I had sung at the Metropolitan Opera of New York. However, I neglected to mention that I had sung with fifty others in the choir. Dr. Leanderson was very impressed. He told me to rest my voice and refrain from talking between my shows. I found that very difficult because I love to talk.

But I managed to keep my mouth shut and communicated with my managers and musicians in the Apache sign language. I had learned some of it for my role as Manolito. It really worked. And: my voice came back. The next evening I was already able to sing again.

On TV he is a cowboy. On stage, his fans heard him for the first time as a singer. “As Manolito I have to be able to ride. That is why I am riding a pony also in my leisure time.”

Henry loves being a father: “During the week I am Manolito. That is the basis for my happiness with my wife Lucy, my daughter Denise (12) and my son Tommy (7).”

“My daughter Denise is very interested in music. At home she is my most appreciative audience when I sing and strum the guitar.”

“Son Tommy wants from his father what all sons want from their fathers: I have to be able to repair all broken toys.”

“I had to perform in my Manolito costume. But I got away with a lot more mischief than on TV.”

“The Swedes liked my song “Little Green Apples” best. I even produced a record with this song on it. I want to develop all my talents, not just my acting skills.””

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