Browsing articles in "Podcast"
Jul 27, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #034 – Joseph Weil: The Yellow Kid

Joseph Weil The Yellow Kid - The Noir Factory“Who’s going to believe a con artist? Everyone if she’s good.” – Andy Griffith

Joseph Weil was born in Chicago in 1875 to Mr. and Mrs. Otto Weil. The couple owned a small neighborhood grocery store and made a decent income. Their boy, Joseph, helped out after school by sweeping up and stocking shelves.

And then he discovered racehorses.

He quit school at seventeen to work as a debt collector, and while he was successful at collections, it was observations that were really his specialty. At the end of the day, when he turned in his collections, he noticed that his fellow collectors were a little short. These collections went to book keepers who, in turn, were a little short on their offerings.

Weil let his fellow workers know that he had noticed their “inconsistencies” and hinted that others might be interested as well. Soon he was the recipient of 10% of those said “inconsistencies.”
Continue reading »

Jul 16, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #033 – The Black Sox – Baseball’s Most Notorious Scandal

The Black Sox - Baseballs Most Notorious ScandalI’m forever blowing ballgames,
pretty ballgames in the air.
I come from Chi, I hardly try,
just go to bat and fade and die.
Fortune’s coming my way,
that’s why I don’t care.
I’m forever blowing ballgames,
and the gamblers treat us fair.

-Ring Lardner

You could say that it started with Charlie Comiskey, because a lot of things started with Charlie Comiskey in Chicago in 1919. Comiskey owned the Chicago White Sox, a serious contender in any year, and he enjoyed the reputation as a tightwad and a fierce negotiator.

I want to go on record by saying that although Comiskey fostered the reputation as a hard-guy and a tightwad, the payroll of the Chicago White Sox was one of the best in the league. The team was filled with solid players and had two bona fide stars on its roster; outfielder Joe Jackson and third baseman Buck Weaver. They each made over $6000 a year in 1919 and a lot of the other name players on the team made around half that. And that was about what they would have made on any other roster in the Bigs, so while money was a factor in the Black Sox Scandal, it wasn’t the only factor.
Continue reading »

Jul 10, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #032 – Alan Ladd and Box 13

Alan Ladd and Box 13 - The Noir Factory“I’m the most insecure guy in Hollywood. If you had it good all your life, you figure it can’t ever be bad, but when you’ve had it bad, you wonder how long a thing like this will last.” – Alan Ladd

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born on September 3rd, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was the only child of Ina Raleigh and Alan Ladd. Like most of the characters Ladd went onto play, his upbringing was rough and growing up was a constant struggle.

The family lost Alan’s father, a freelance accountant, to a heart attack when Alan was only four. Shortly afterwards the family apartment was lost when Alan accidentally burned it down playing with matches.

After they lost their home, Alan and his mother moved to Oklahoma City where she remarried. Afterwards they went to Pasadena, in a Grapes of Wrath-like journey, where his stepfather found short-time work painting movie sets. Later in life, Ladd said they existed for long periods of time on nothing but potato soup.

Throughout Alan Ladd’s childhood he and his mother battled times of homelessness and sever hunger. Alan, who was always undersized, was said to have suffered from malnutrition. Growing up, he was labeled with the nickname “Tiny,’ a nickname he hated.
Continue reading »

Jun 17, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #031 – The Batman

The Batman“He’s clearly a man with a mission, but it’s not one of vengeance. Bruce is not after personal revenge … He’s much bigger than that; he’s much more noble than that. He wants the world to be a better place, where a young Bruce Wayne would not be a victim… In a way, he’s out to make himself unnecessary. Batman is a hero who wishes he didn’t have to exist.” – Frank Miller

In 1939 detectives and vigilantes ruled the popular literary landscape. They were hard men who handed out justice at the end of a gun. Even the heroes that appeared in pulps, the early Super Heroes, such as The Shadow and The Spider, handed out death sentences with regularity, and whenever justice didn’t come from them, it usually came in another fatal form, and no one seemed really broken up over it.

But suddenly comics and comic books were picking up steam with the public, serving as moral compasses for the kids of America, and that brand of quick justice would no longer do.
Continue reading »

Jun 7, 2017
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Noir Factory Podcast #030: Billie Holiday – Jazz Legend

Billie Holiday“Behind me, Billie was on her last song. I picked up the refrain, humming a few bars. Her voice sounded different to me now. Beneath the layers of hurt, beneath the ragged laughter, I heard a willingness to endure. Endure- and make music that wasn’t there before.” – Barack Obama

The woman who would be Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia on April 7th, 1915. In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, written with William Duffy, Billie said that her parents were “just a couple of kids” when they were married. She said that her father was eighteen at the time, her mother was sixteen, and that she was three.

In reality her mother and father were never married, never lived under the same roof, and her mother nineteen when she met Billie’s father, who was himself only seventeen.

Lady Sings the Blues is littered with inaccuracies and misquotes. The book was written quickly, from conversations between the two writers, Billie telling William Duffy stories of her life. He was interested in getting her story, what she felt, and was less interested in fact checking.

And in this case, that’s fine. We may slip over a lyric or two, but the melody of the song, the voice, IS clear and true, and it really tells us everything we need to know about Billie Holiday, the immortal Lady Day.
Continue reading »

Pages:1234567»

The owner of this website, Steven Gomez, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking The Noir Factory to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon Services LLC. This content is provided 'as is' and is subject to change or removal at any time.