Posts by David Ouse

Jane Frazee

Jane Frazee was born Mary Jane Frehse on July 18, 1915, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her parents were Walter Carl Frehse and Olga (Smith) Frehse. Jane had an older sister, Ruth, who was born on September 8, 1913, in North Dakota. The Frehse family moved to Duluth around 1917 and first lived at 3506 West…

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Sammy Gallop

Americans growing up in the 1940s and 1950s are probably familiar with some of the popular songs written by composer/lyricist—and Duluth native—Sammy Gallop. He wrote the lyrics for the songs “Maybe You’ll Be There” (1947),  which was recorded by Gordon Jenkins and was on the Billboard Best Selling Retail Records chart for 30 weeks in…

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Roger Grimsby

Roger Grimsby was born on September 23, 1928, in Missoula, Montana. As an infant, he was adopted by the Grimsbys. Rev. Oscar M. Grimsby was a Lutheran minister in Missoula. He and his wife, Ragna E. Grimsby, both grew up in Wisconsin and both were graduates of Minnesota’s St. Olaf College, which was where they…

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Sadik Hakim

In 1982, the music world lost a legend with the death of Thelonious Monk. At Monk’s funeral, thousands gathered to pay their respects. One of Monk’s former colleagues sat at the piano and played, according to legendary jazz writer Ted Joans, “a sad but soulful” version of Monk’s own “’Round Midnight.” That pianist was Duluth-native…

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Elinor Harriot

In February of 1932, actress Dorothy Gish was starring on Broadway in a George M. Cohan production of The Bride the Sun Shines On. On Saturday, February 6, she became ill with influenza and couldn’t perform. Elinor Harriot, a 22-year-old actress from Duluth who had a small role in the play, went on in Dorothy’s…

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Raymond Kark

Raymond Kark was born Reijo Emil Karkkainen on November 3, 1937, in Duluth. His parents were Emil Karkkainen and Ina (Niemi) Karkkainen. Emil was born in Finland and came to the U.S. about 1913, along with his wife Matilda, who was then 21 years old. They settled in DeKalb, Illinois, with his brother David, and…

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David Khan

Nearly every baby boomer is familiar with the theme song to Leave it to Beaver, the still-popular television sitcom from the 1950s and 1960s, but few people know that the song was written by a Duluth native. Dave Kahn wrote that and other television theme music and probably hundreds of pieces of music used on…

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Peggy Knudsen

Growing up in Duluth, Peggy Knudsen dreamed of a life as an actress. After taking advantage of opportunities to learn her craft in amateur theater productions and local radio, she left the Zenith City and made a career for herself in radio, on the stage, and in movies and television. Peggy was born Margaret Ann…

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Don LaFontaine

In a world where…a few top voice-over actors have successful careers making movie trailers, Duluth-native Don LaFontaine was known as “The King, “Thunder Throat,” and “The Voice of God.” When he died in 2008, he had recorded over 5,000 movie trailers and as many as 350,000 television and radio spots, and he was recognized as…

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Don Marlowe

Don Marlowe was born Donald Paul Northrup in Duluth on October 23, 1919. His father, Fred Earl Northrup, was born in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, the Cheese Curd Capitol of Wisconsin, on October 21, 1888. By 1910, Fred had moved with his family to Cloquet, Minnesota. Fred first got into the grocery business and later became president…

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