Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029


Well, Burl Ives has been at my parents‘home one time, singing songs. We hated him because we couldn't sleep.


Oh, once he gets started... But with Gene taking over and singing, Burl would pick up the accompaniment for Gene. It was magic! It's one of the nights I'll always remember.


Are there times that you can remember that Phyllis might have given you advice that was contrary to what you thought and...?


Very often. Her judgment is in many ways impeccable. She doesn't pretend to know literature, said with a capital L. European moderns aren't Phyllis‘act. But on American novels and books and non-fiction, her judgment is excellent. I began to rely more and more on what she would say about manuscripts. When I was in doubt about something that I thought might interest her, I would very anxiously await her approval.

Elliot Paul was one of the people she couldn't stand. She refused to have him in the house. Elliot was a monster with his wife and his son and also unmannerly and slovenly, and Phyllis wouldn't have him around. Fortunately for me, he was an exception.

The next fellow who fell in love with Phyllis was Sinclair Lewis. He adored Phyllis.

Then Moss Hart. As I say, Phyllis became Moss‘great confidant. Moss would come to her with all of his troubles,

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help