Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sam Houston Allred
My path crossed Houston Allred's on the high seas, in a much entangled tale of transatlantic crossings, tea concerts, and fateful encounters with destiny.
Somewhere between New York and London I first heard him perform Jerome Kern songs to a room full of mostly wide eyed fading ingenues, older women on board in search of adventure and romance, or any combination of the above, and perfectly content to take it served up in piano keys and cabaret crooning. Not long after, the ship's entertainer was joining our dinner table as the guest of my travelling companion, and our eight-day passage read like a well cliched script of a 70's TV show.
I left my past on one shore and met my future on another. But in between there was caviar and champagne, laughter and dancing. There was even a birthday party, my 36th. Houston Allred was there.
We docked in Southampton. I went off to Surrey with friends. My travelling companion went off to London to meet my future husband. Houston Allred later came to our little community back home to perform a series of dinner concerts at the local social club.
Sam Houston Allred.
Named for the first president of the Texas Republic, the person born as Sam Houston Allred in 1937 began auspiciously enough, born in the Sam Houston bedroom of the Executive Mansion in Austin, Texas, where his father was serving his second term as governor. His first magazine spread was at the age of three days, gazing up at First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt from the arms of his mother on the pages of Life.
After a lifelong career as an entertainer, with featured roles on Broadway, in clubs and cabarets, and on cruise ships around the world, Houston can now be found most of the time in the sparkling city by the bay, where he is a popular entertainer in San Francisco nightclubs and cabarets.