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LUMBEE TAPE 8A
TAPE FIVE w
BY: LEf BARTON
-,,/'A^ PEMNEBRiOKE, NORTH CAROLINA
AUGUST 9, 1972
I: We are itrr-viewing in my home in Rennbreke, North Carolina. I have
with me today a very old friend of mine whom I esteem very highly. I
call him Bill Paul. But I am going to ask him to give you his full
name, where he was born, and his age too if he wants to give it Be-
cause, you see, Bill is an actor, and producer and has been interested
in theatrical things land it just may be that he may not give us his age.
I am kidding you, Bill. But we are going to see what he has to tell us
about himself, and we would like for him to tell it in his own way and
anything he tells us we will be very gratefulkAwo //' 1 (
S: My full name is William French Paul. Although-it sounds like it is not
an Indian name, but from our history and the research of our history, I
find that there is English blood mixed among the Indians. This, will no
doubt, account for the name Paul and the fact that I am Indian, Lumbee In-
dian. My age is 47, Mr. Barton.
I: Bill, thank you. You were born in the county, no doubt.
I: How long did you live here Bill, before. You are going to tell us about the
time left home as a boy. You were a mere boy when you left home and went
S: I was exactly 18 years old when I left -----. But I had studied in
the Pennebrooke State College for one year and a summer school and a
graduate of the Pene oke High School.
I: Where did you get your elementary education, Bill.
S: Here in Pcnebe ke in the elementary school.
I: Would you tell us who your parents are?
S: My father, A. Y. Paul; my mother, Ila May Paul.
I: How many of -you children were you in the family?
S: There's four children in the family.
I: Would you tell us their names?
S: My brother David Paul; my sister Mary Paul Frechette; my sister Edith Paul.
I: Well, your family is a well-known family in WeTborson County. I don't
know many people in Weiboaen they do not know about your family because
your family is very prominent. And your father was very well-known and very
much loved throughout the county, as you are today. Bill, tell us a little
something about your early experiences as a boy, anything that you would like
to tell. I do not want to be always interrupting you)9because just about
everything you say is fascinating to me. You know I have always been a
Bill Paul fan; I still am, very much so.
S: And of course I am a LelBarton fam, because when I first started out in this
area, I had two radio shows. One in Dillon, South Carolina and one in
Lumberton. That was my first experience in show business,and Mr. Barton
heard me on my radio show and wrote Arthur Godfrey about me hoping I would
be able to appear on his talent show, but I never did make it into New York
City. Instead of New York, I went out ifio the west coast to Hollywood.
I: I see. Bill, you were telling something. We will get back to that in a
minute because I am sure you have so much fascinating material you can
furnish us with about Hollywood. But tell us a little something more
about your early experiences. There was something you were telling me
just a little while ago about Burt Lowry, and Bill you--I am asking you
too many questions at once and I am not supposed to do that really. But
all those things fascinate me. Are you any relation to Henry rw Lowry,
the guerrilla warrior of reconstruction days?
S: Yes, I am Ler. My grandmother's maiden name was Lowry, Nora Sithus Lowry.
And she used to come into Pennee ke when I was very young to visit me
and we would go to what we call the Lowry settlement, near Lumber River.
Now in going to the Lowry Settlement, I met a very fascinating person who we
all call Aunt Pert. The word is an old Anglo-Saxon word, which means
perty. So Aunt Pert was a guest in our home many times and I sat on
the porch before I even went into California. I was aout 14 or 15 years
old, and I began to gather material from Aunt Pert. Now Aunt Pert was the
sister of Henry y Lowry.
I: I see. That is interesting.
S: So she told me many stories. And I gathered much material directly from
her and I feel the material must be authentic because this was Henry rr
I: You have written material--didn't you write some material yourself. Bill
is a playwriteraamong other things; he is an actor and a playwrite and a
producer He has had experience in all those fields. But I think he
likes to write too; I believe he is more occupied with writing than with
other things than producing. Is that right, Bill?
S: Ilave scads of material in which I have done research on our people
in this area, since I was fifteen years old, as I told you. I have
been gathering material, and adding material. And I have had this
material with me in Hollywood for many years. And people have asked me
why I have-never produced the story of the Lumbee Indians. At that
time, we were recognized as the nfI2J- 'Indians. So I did write a
book, or I want to call it a book, it was just a lot of material, something
like a thousand pages, which I call eyutan, but later I decided to
develop i-a into a screen play or a motion picture to be released in the
theatre. Several opportunities did arise to produce this particular film
but the capital available was so small that I felt it would be bastardizing
the story and the people's background in the story if we did it on a small
budget. So I returned the material back to our office very reluctantly
withdrew the offer of having the man back the film with a few hundred thousand
dollars. I feel they have been a production that would be outstanding. But
now, today, with the methods of making motion pictures and the motion picture
industry on the downgrade, a motion picture for this amount of money could
be produced. But out of the material again, I changed my mind and recon-
structed and have made two, ninety minute world premier specials, T.V. plays,
teleplays, from the materials. We hope that we will be able to produce these
two ninety minute specials.
I: Oh, that is fine Bill. Listen, will you tell us, uh, tell us what you re-
member about your Auntj because I have heard other people talk'-about her)
and she did play a part in the Henry Burry Lowry story. And if you would
tell us something about your boyhood, about you know--I could just sit and
listen to you for hours. And we will get back to the theatre, motion pictures,
and things later on. Because we don't want to miss anything as we go
S: Right. Well, as I remember Aunt Pert, she was a very small person in
stature. And so was my grandmother, iora Sithus Lowry. And the first
time I talked to Aunt Pert, I was around nine years old. That was at
a home, a new home, we had just built in front of the Pennebeoke State
College. As I sat on the porch, she told me and related many stories
about Henry irry Lowry, which would be too numerous to discuss at the
present time. But one I remembered was the facts of Hanes Lowry, which
later I was informed we owned the property where the house of Hanes Lowry
I; Uh um. Would you tells something about Hanes Lowry?
S: Well, in this property that we owned it was almost like a jungle as I
can remember. The house stood way back from the main house. It was an
old cabin. And in the agreement when my father bought the property,
Hane Lowry was to have a life-time right to this old cabin and the pro-
perty surrounding it. When I first met Hanes, I was terribly frightened.
My sister Mary, younger than myself went over to Hanes' house and some
other kids Wnro-i-tbh'e. Hanes almost looked like a wild man.
I: Uh. um. I understand that he was mentally ill. Bill, in those days we
had no ways of taking care of mental cases among the Indians to speak of.
Is that true.
S: That's true.
I: Usually people had.to take care of their own mental cases. Hanes, knew,
he could speak clearly and could relate a few things that he remembered.
But then this would be for only a moment and then he would go absolutely
nuts. And he would rave at his head and say there were snakes in his head.
I: Didn't that frighten you to death.
S: Yes. Hanes could remember Henry Burry Lowry because Hanes Lowry was a
known member of the Henry Barry Lowry gang. And the most fascinating
part of this house that Aunt Pert told me--Henry Barry Lowry was supposed
to have vanished from this cabin.
I: And this was where he was when he vanished and was never seen again.
S: Now the Indians tell this story and Aunt Pert tells thisstory herself.
That this was a well-planned thing in thie cabin--that there was animals'
brains blown out by a guneon the walls of this cabin to make it look
like a human being had been killed here. The thing that I was fascinated ..
I: A human being, being Henry B y Lowry and that enabled him to escape.
S: Now she had told me of a cave that was, that extended from his cabin. 'Now
that was the one thing I wanted to see, but I was saer-e of Hanes. Everytime
I would go over, he would get to raving about snakes in his head and he
would run we kids all over the place and to get any information of interest
from his was almost impossible. We caught him gone one day and we entered
I: What happened then?
S: This is what I saw. This is material I have not given to anyone before. I
am sure anyone is able to use this, we will be using it ourselves. In
entering this cabin, it has no floors whatever, it was strictly earth.
I: It didn't have any wood?
S: No wooden construction at all. A crudely constructed cabin. On the further
end of it, the very thing I was hunting I found.
I: What was that Bill?
S: This was a kind of wooden constructed lid and underneath this lid when you
pulled it back was a cave. And this cave did extend into the woods.
I: I have heard about that cave. Now could you tell us more about it?
S: Now to enter this cave would be impossible at this time because a lot
of it had caved in; you could just go just so far. And it has reached
the clay base, which made it at that time im-ee-b-e. So this to me did
con the fact that a person could have escaped out of this cabin without
having been seen, even if he had been surrounded.
I: The is really fascinating. Excuse me for interrupting, but this is fas-
S: HA! ha! Well this is what we found in the cabin. There is very little
more that I can say at the present time. There was more material which
I would rather hold-- at the present time.if I may.
I: I can see you can use that in your dramatic material.
S: Yes, the t.v. teleplay.
I: Bill, let me ask you something about your early childhood at this time.
I want to ask you how you got interested. Ever since I have known or
heard anything about you, you were always interested in motion pictures,
acting, and producing and anything theatrical. This has always been your
life, hasn't it?
ST Yes, that is correct.
I:. How in..why did you, have you always been like this or did you develop
this love for the theatre and the screen and for these other."'
S: I was always fascinated with the motion picture industry, plays, theatrical
things. When I entered high school, I produced my first musical and first
dramatic play. And then when I entered Paseedena Playhouse, pardon me, the
Eenneb-oice State College, I did several plays there. But before that
I: High school plays.
S: Yes, well and in then Penneberoke Btate College we did several plays.
S: But before that we did sort of a pageant, ike the lost colony pageant,
R47y on a smaller scale.
I: Was that back in 1940 and
S: 39 or something, it was before the war.
I: Just before World War II began.
S: That is correct.
I: And didn't Worl War II interrupt that pageant?
S: Yes it did.
I: The name of it was "' Story of a People".
S: I think that is correct. Well, I was a performer, my mother was a performer,
my cousins were performers. I think everybody in Penrebrooke was a per-
former in this particular play. Well, to make a long story short, the
governor came to this pageant and so did Paul Green.
I: Excuse me Bill, I heard Paul Green mention and he knows and everything and
he told me something about an experience of his. You know Paul Green is
considered America's foremost playwright. He is also of the Lost Colony
and other great outdoor dramas. He, too, has always been connected with
motion pictures. So how about telling us you experience between you and
Paul Green, because I always wanted to know what happened.
S: Well, Paul Green came to see this pageant and so did many people of known
as celebrities. Paul Green, to me, I had seen his Lost Colony pageant; I
think that was of the year '39 wasn't it, 39 or 38?
I: Something in t1ere. It has been the longest play in theatrical history,
S: I think so, one of the longest. "The Moment" in California probably ex-
I: It-is still a great honor, isn't it?
S: Yes, another Indian play.
I: Right, that's great.
S: Paul Green, I had heard was writing for i-f several of the major studios
of Hollywood. And when he came to see our pageant, I did everything within
my power to meet Paul Green. I did. I talked to him and told him about my
ambitions to go to Hollywood.and if he could help me. Paul Green did help
me later on; in fact, that was the first connection that I did,receivewas
through a beautiful letter that Paul Green wrote to the talent department
of MGM. And I did the Mardi Gras affair with LucilleBall, that was my first
I: That's great. I have always known him to be a great human being. And cer-
tainly this bears this out. Wouldn't you agree?
I: A great human being as well as a great artist and, oh, he was such a darling
S: Yes, that was my one and only connection when I left eanebooke State
College, I think in '44 and went into Hollywood. That was my one connection,
except that for the fact thafwas studying in the -.e da Playhouse and
the training eas excellent. And did lead into many other things. Paul Green
gave me my first breat, really.
I: Bill, you have done a lot of things in Hollywood. Maybe you would tell us
some more about that because this is always interesting.
S: Oh, there are a number of films I did do, even before I left the Bas&edena
I: Do you even know how many films you have been in?
S: Well, I imagine about twenty or thirty as an actor, and an associate producer
and producer. Maybe more.
I: Would you care to tell us some of those?
S: Well, in the earlier days, one of my first films. We were working on V.J.
day, on a kid from Brooklyn, Samueal Goldwin Studio. Danny Kaye was a star,
Vera Ellen was a star and Virginia Mayo and Steve ermckran.
I: That's interesting.
S: It was a huge set, a tremendous set, must have been a thousand extras on
the set. And I was doing a bit part with Virginia Mayo and Vera Ellen.
I: Oh, boy, I would have liked to have done that. HA. ha.
S: The reason I brought this particular picture up, the name of this picture
and the fact that we were doing it. V.J. day happened right in the middle
was announced right in the middle of this production. There was no possible
way that the producers and directors and the technical men could stop the
extras from tearing the set literally Q-a pieces. They were so happy
that was the end, part of the end, of the war.
I: Oh, yes, That was a happy time.
S: But after that, I went on t other films. I worked with Diana Durban, which
is an old home name at Universal, when there was no Universal International,
j.st Universal. And a film called "Can't Help Singing" was a musical. I
worked with Rita Hayworth in Columbia pictures and down to earth--you remember
all these old stars, don't you?
I: Oh, yes, I sure do. I used to walk all the way from here to Red Springs to
see those stars/ind to see those movies BJecause we didn't have a theatre
or -c / .
here in Pennebr-ek---we would walk all the way to town to see them.
S: We have an interruption.
I: Sorry about that interruption Bill. My son was out there doing some work
on his automobile and he didn't know we were in here recording, so excuse
it please. We will try to get on with the interview. There is something
I am just dying to ask you about. And that is my favorite, my very favorite
and that is Marilyn Monroe. Did you ever get to meet her or did you have any
nation at all with her /j/hile you were in Hollywood?
S: Yes, I did Lee- It was a very funny thing, ironic that you would ask.
The first time I met Marilyn Monroe was at a gas station.
I: A' gas station?
S: A gas station. And evidently, there was a man who owned a chain of
gas stations and this happened to be her boyfriend. I will never know
who this person was. I never met him but I did meet Marilyn Monroe.
Her hair was stringy; she t' t appear to be the very glamorous girl
that you see on the set.
I: Do you think she deliberately planned it that way?
S: Well, this was her way of living. She was very casual when she was off
the screen. But, a little bit later I was called in for a film called
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". mne Russell was the star. Of course, Marilyn
Monroe got first billing. And I managed to have a very small part in the
film and then I went into the rehearsel. We rehearsed for two weeks. I
had a dance sequence in this film)and I actually danced in this film.
I: Great. You didn't dance with her, did you?
S: Well, around her. Ha! ha!- Well, anyway the point that I would like to
put over, Le*i, is the fact that this woman who I had seen previously
with stringy hair was the most glamorous thing on the setI i-halever seen.
She photographed like a dream and in person the woman was a darling, a
darling person. But she was the most frightened human being I have ever
I: I have heard that she had many fears of a rough life. This was very tragic.
Tell us some more, Bill. I am crazy for even butting in.
S: The thing I wanted to bring out about Marilyn Monroe is the/fact that the
camera and the people surrounding her, the technicians literally frightened
her to death. And yet, this did not appear. She was overworked. It is
the habit of Hollywood. Once they find a person who is star material, and
they do make a hit, they are going to work them like a work horse until they
can get eery single penny that they can get out of that personality. Then
when the personality is through, they are gone, it doesn't matter whether
the income tax man has taken all of the person's salary and left them
penniless, the studio will desert them.
I: Oh, that's tragic. That is very sad Bill.
S: This happened in the industry and it will continue to happen, I am sure.
Of course, today, we will get down to the production of films today, LeW.
I: I wanted to ask you about that, go ahead.
S: It is a little bit different today because motion pictures are done by the
independent producer,and this was actually a break for me, it gave me an
opportunity to get into the production of motion pictures. Or if it had
been in the other case, I probably never would have gotten into the pro-
duction of movies because we had what they call bankable stars.
I: What does that mean Bill?/
S: A major studio could have a stable that had big names, they did not have to
put a single dime out, they could go to the Bank of America and buy whatever
they wanted to on a personality like Clark Gable, Betty Grable, Barbara
Stanwyck, Walter Pigeon, n of theA g star names years ago. So in borrowing
this money, they dih't need a independent motion picture producer to release
films through their organization. They could make their own movies and in
many cases, release the films in their own theatres, like MGM, Twentieth
Century Fox; they had changed and changed the theatres which the government
finally broke up as a monopoly. Now, today, United Artists is nothing but
a releasing organization; any major studio will be happy to release your
film, if it is done properly.
I: And this was unheard when you started, wasn't it?
S: That is correct. What did they need with an independent producer when they
didn't have to even use their money, they could borrow the money and release
the film themselves.
I: Bill, I know you have sung, you have acted, produced, you have done many
things. For example, when we spoke about your first time I came into
contact with you over at the radio station, you sang at that time and
a little while ago, you were telling me about dancing.
What other things have you done, Bill, in the movies besides produce them.
And we will hear more about the production of them a little later on.
S: A little bit back on my education. Now the Pasedena Playhouse taught you,
they had an all-around schedule; they taught you dancing; they taught you
singing; they taught you direction of motion pictures and stage plays.
Theytaught you fencing,' they taught horseback riding" they taught you
anything you would need to go in front of that camera. Of course, most
people are better at one thing that they are at another. I have danced
in films, I have acted in films, and I have sang in films. And in recent
years I have produced a few films and directed a few. And an associate
producer on my last film, which we will discuss later on; it was only done
about a month ago.
I: Well, that is great.
S: Would you like to know some of the films--I will let you ask the questions
I: No, you ask me, some of the films, yes.
S: That I produce?
I: Sure, that would be interesting.
S: Well, one of the first was done for American International and we used a
young man that we had previously under contract with Actors and Artists
Agency. Le/, I think I have failed up the point that after I left the
acting in the films I became an agent.
I: Oh, yeh, I wanted to ask you about that. Would you tell us about your
agency. I understand that you discovered some very great talent, es-
pecially two people I admire very much. I want you to tell us about it,
if you will.
S: Well, I don't know if you would consider tiem great talent or not, they are
very, very successful. It is so funny, Lee, in operating a small agency
you have to buck such big agencies as the William Morris Agency, Music
Corporation of America, which represents millions and millions. We did
have two personalities that we started out with. One was called, his name
was Michael Landon. And Mike worked with us in the"Teenage Werewol' which
we produced for American International Films. Then we had another party
that was successful and that was Donna Douglas.
I: Bill, for the sake of our listeners, who might not know who these great
personalities are, you are talking about an actress who is now appearing
in the'Beverly Hillbillies", the young lady you mentioned. And the other
actor appears in the television called "Bonaza", one of the most popular,
both dE those are so tremendously popular and well-known.
S: Yes, Mike is known as littlee Jod' in the series.
I: Right, and that's your discovery.
S: I started with Mike, but it seems as though when you mange to get someone
to climb to success, there is a method or way to-b-keak a contract with a
smaller agency. William Morris is Mike's agent, and you can well under-
stand and I cannot blame the personality for wanting a bigger agency.
I: Very tragic, nonetheless.
S: Now Donna Douglas became Elly Mae in ths overlyy Hillbillies.
I: Oh, man she is so beautiful and she acts beautifully.
S: Now Donna has done some motion pictures but she is more-or less known
for this one particular television series.
I: Aside from these unfortunate connections, you know, with the contracts
and so forth. What are they ,like as personalities? We are getting a
long way off from the Lumbee Indians, but I jst have to know this.
S: Well, I can just say sq much in regards to that; but I will put it this
way, when I first met Mike, he was around 19 or 20 years old. And we lived
on Tenmore Avenue; there was a building there, which I owned. I had the
upper part of it and Mike was the lower part of the building. Mike was
a very kind person at that time, very easy to get alomg with and we had
many nice parties and many nice people in the house. Then, as Mike began
to grow like many personalities, he sort of drifted into another category,
I will put it that way. So his friends are a little bit different from
my friends at the present time. I am considered now a low-budget producer,
or associate producer or director, whichever the case might be in regards
to putting the package together or putting the film package together.
And when I say package, that is when you line up your director, your producer,
your story, your release, and this that the other. In other words, putting
the whole thing together. And that is generally what the associate producer
does. Now would you like to know some of the films that I have ..
I: Tell me a little, weren't you going to tell me a little something more
about Donna Douglas.
S: Well, now Donna, do you want to know about her personality?
I: Well, she is so beautiful on the screen; I wonder if she is such a marvelous
personality as this in private life.
S: Donna is a very sweet and charming person at all times and I will assure
you, she will charm you to death, to the tune of not -.
I: She does that on television.
S: I started to bring up a certain personal --in regards to this matter,
but I don't think I had better-at this present time. HA!
I: Those are fascinating characters, Bill. But you do right ahead Bill
tell us something else about your production. Don't you have something
S: Well, LeV/we will get around to that later, but some of the pictures we
did in the past was "Vicky Baby," which I was the associate producer on;
didn't have any starring names and that was the first film I had eer been
connected with that there was nudity. And you will get a bang out of the
Lee, I hadn't done any acting in years, and we had one of our actors that
failed to show up, so we had to switch characters around to carry on. Out
of all of our technical men, I was the only one that had ever done any acting.
So it was, I don't know, maybe you would consider'a pleasure, maybe some
people would consider it sort of scandalous, but I worked in a scene where
a-girl was completely nude, and it was a rape scene.
I: They can get pretty horrible these days, can't they?
S: I thought you would have another comment in regards to that, Lo. Most
people I knio would consider that a pleasure. Don't you?
I: I am afraid so, Bill.
S: So one of theother films we did, which was quite gory. And it got to the
point where you just had to do anything you could do to shake the audience
up to get them to go out iAto the theatre. .
I: In order to survive, in order for the movie to survive, they did have to
resort to these moviewt-hat they wouldn't have done earlier.
S: That's true. So we did the "Undertaker and his Palaee", which I am not very
proud of. It was one of the bloodiest things that I have ever had the
experience of doing. At least it looked bloody on the screen in preparing
it, it, of course, was not too bloody, because the mannequins were used all
over the film to get the effect of human beings.
I: They look very realistic, though, don't they?
S: The blood was surely paint. So we did that one. And we did a comedy called
"Pushbottom Honeymoon". We did another thing called "Lucifer's Rose", just
a number of low budget things, I could keep naming them. But now we might
get down to something recent.
I: But you are more interested now in doing historical materials, do you think
historical material is coming into prominence now?
S: Lou., this particular script that I told you e are working on "The Gyeutan"
I call it, which I may change the title, because at this point or Lou might n,
be able to give you an idea what this means to the Indian person, the name
coyaan. They have some reason for resenting it. But I will have Lou give
you a statement in regards to that, thep I will continue.
I: We could have a little footnote here, Bill, and say this word really refers
to the island by that name. And it is just like saying PeRnebrok Indians
or Chicago Indians, or something like that. But the Indians are peculiar
about names. They like names of their own choosing. They are a little
fussy about their names, so we have had in the Indian community disagreement
as to names because these Indians referred to by you were of course, the//?
travel name was the -laderus Indians, as you know. The name referred to the
island. And you might think that people wouldn't worry about things like
that, but unfortunately they do. So tell us a little bit more about your
S: Well, Leu I wanted to maybe finish this particular subject a t-Gen.
The reason I did name it this is because the first episode or we consider
an episode because this 90-minute world premier special will be used as
a pilot film, hoping to sell a television series.
I: Do you hope to place this with a network Bill?
S: Well, now Lett, this is the kind of thing I could go on or hours and hours
telling you how to sell a pilot because Madison Avenue hasbecome very in-
terested because all of your big advertising agents, BBG, Danby Morris,
uh, you have dozens of big advertising agencies. If they are interested,
naturally then they go out and buy their network time. Now there is a
case like "Bonaza", which NBC owns it. That belongs to the network. But
we would have the problem of trying to sell pilot films to a big advertising
agency, the 'they would have the problem of buying the time on T.V. Ahd
many times this can be a problem/because you can buy time on CBS and NBC
would be playing something at the same time that would be more interesting
and your Neilson rating would be poor and you would be off the screen.
I: And so much depends on that.
S: So it is such a problem, but we are getting away from the story end of it.
It is historical and I did call it Geyatan for years because I believe that
we are descendants of Governor White's colony.
I: Oh, I am glad you believe.
S: I truly believe that. And I followed with the disappearance of the colony.
And with my research am able to obtain, I tell just about what I think
happened to te colony,atd I follow through with the struggle &vfT Henry
BBrry L!wry during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Period, where his
father was shot, Alan Lowry and his brother William was shot by the home
guard and William buried in a trench he was forced to dig and pushed down
into'the earth poured over the man while he was still alive in front of
Henry Barry Lowry who was only 18 years old.
I: This was way back during the period ..
S: The Civil War an the Reconstruction Period because he fought this war
for ten years. Now I am not going to expostulate or continue expostulating
on this subjedcbecause I could go on and on. We want to get back into the
production of film, if we might.
I: You do agree this is an ancient tradition of the Lumbee Indians, the tradition
of the lost colony that we are descendants of the lost colony. 7'5is a very
ancient tradition among our people. And of course there have been many
things written about it and I am certainly fascinated that you are planning
this film because who is better prepared and who is more able to do this
than Bill Paul? You know.
S: That certainly was a nice compliment.* But I am sure there are many people
who could do it. And more people in Hollywood who are more qualified than
I am. But, Lew, could I read you something from a little thing that was
written while we, at C0llvision Stee s, while we had the office there and
were going into preparation a a film?
I: Sure, Bill, help yourself.
S: I said in this "In preparing this book length story for publication and later
a motion picture, our research department has spent over five years in linking
Governor White's lost colony and the eqpedon Indians of North Carolina.
Just where these Gaeden Indians came from and who their ancestors were is
an unsettled question. For the past sixty years, these strang\have been
knocking at the door of the United States Congress, asking that their
family tree be straightened out. During the period of their history, they
have been designated by the state of North Carolina as Geye4en Indians.
Congress apparently recognized them as Goyeden Indians, but never did
recognize them as Cherokees, with the belief that they are direct
descendents of Governor White's lost colony. Now, Lew, I would like
to interrupt here. We are recognized now as Lumbee Indians ..
I: d Of North Carolina.
S: We are recognized as Goyedon Indians. Right?
I: Right, that's right.
S: Whether or not these strange people are descendants of Governor White's
lost colony will probably remain unknown forever. I myself, and many
of the writers of the history of North Carolina are thoroughly convinced
that if the lost colony does exist today, the-Goyedon Indians of North
Carolina are direct descendants of White's colony. The findings of
ethnology, anthropology, sociology reenforces historical possibility
of the fate of the lost colony to wch an extent that I cannot believe
in anything else Lew.
I: I am so glad you agree on that, because you know I have often said that
with all which to me proves Pause. Bill, we were interrupted again and
this time w4h the tape running out. And so could you tell me a little
something about the more recent things you have been doing. One thing
that fascinating me was that you mentioned briefly something you are
planning and that you are working on it currently right here in berten
S: Well, Lew, in regards to our recent production on the St. John's River in
Florida, throw out the anchor I*CI. ?
INTERVIEW WITH BILL PAUL
S: Starring Richard Etar and Dina Merrill, I was the associate producer.
We were shooting this about six weeks on the river. It was a fascinating
film. We used six houseboats in it. We had a weird old riverboat captain.
It was based on a real estate swindle; it was quite a comedy where they are
trying to drain a side of the St. John's River. There was an old cob's corner
where the old riverboat last lived)and they decided to run a road through
cob's corner. This disrupted the riverboat rats so they decided to go out
and highjack dredging machhe. So it just develops into quite a comedy,
quite a situation; finally, the law gets' in there and stops the real estate
swindle and they can't continue to build a road so as to develop the property.
The film will be released by Universal International Pictures. It will have
a release September 15; it will have its world premier special, in Orlando,
I: That is great. I certainly congratulate you.
S: Well, it was a ball. And we worked also in Dlbaeeontaries and the shamrock
c-ar of Winter Park. You mentioned something, what was that about something
I: Yes, this idea of something you are organizing id-here in Rober-son County,
which was of immediate interest to our people locally. I understand you
are going to make you experiences available in a way of the organization
you are organizing. Bill, tell us about that. You know when you came
along you had to do all kinds of juggling, working hard, and sacrificing,
and getting youlfoot in the door so to speak. Well, you told me many times
it wasn't easy. Of course, I know it wasn't. But you seem to be
determined that other people will have a better wa breaking into
show business than you had, Bill. You didn't have the guidance. You
are hoping, through this organization to set up a means by which you
can promote the talent among our people. And this is very commendable.
You have rh benefit of your experiences and so on. Tell us more about
S: Lew, the name of the organization is "Fine Arts and Sciences and Crafts
of the Motion Picture T.V., and Recording Industry."
I: It is going to take into all that territory?
I: That is wonderful.
S: This is supposed-' to be a non-profit organization. It will seven directors.
I want d this time y directors, Lew, because there might be some
I: You have actually gone to the extent of naming some of the directors.
S: Yes, we do have seven directors. And if it doesn't change, these are the
seven that will remain on the board. But this ..
I: You go right ahead; I am always interrupting you.
S: Icbn't mind at all, Lew. And this kind of organization, after a person
is trained and we feel that they are qualified, I will be able to, in one
way or another, get them into the doors where they can get into the
motion picture business, if that is what they are trained for, into
T.V., or into the recording business.
I: And are you going to actually give them any training in that field?
S: Yes, this will be a training program, Lew. That is what it is for, a
training program to develop talent and people who we feel is talented.
And those people, when we get to the point that we they are professional,
I will be able to get them into the right spot.
I: Oh, that's great. If anybody in this world can do it, Bill Paul can.
S: Well, when I started out, it was pretty rough. The only connection I
A '?,e -/-o / s ti 'Xe
had was Paul Green. And I am telling you, I would get offices tha didn't
want me to let me in, I would stick my foot in the door. I used every
conceivable trick +e appointments with producers. And in one way or the
4lother, I was able to get to the producer. Now, generally, in the motion
picture industry, they have a fleet of secretaries to keep you away from
the producer so that he isn't disturbed. They have casting directors that
they want you to see and many times the casting director will cast his
personal friend or somebody he likes or somebody that has done him a favor,
and give them the part, even though this person can't act as well as the
one who deserves the part.
I: I am sure that happens many times. But you know all the devices; you have
some connections; you have a good many connections. And you can use all those)
and you can advise the people how to apply. The same thing is true in the
recording industry, too, I would imagine. Isn't that true, Bill?
S: Yes, they have had in= the recording industry. At one time I am
sure, there was lots and lots of money paid out to play a certain record
by a certain disc jockey. And I imagine they still do it to some extent
but they make it in such a way that it is not detectable as it was before,
because of d4 indictments that at one time did occur in gegards to this
I: Well, would you say, do you believe that talented people today have a
better opportunity for breaking into show business, whatever the phase
is, than they ever had before?
S: Yes, to a certain extent, Lew. But that doesn't mean, especially in
the motion picture industry, that you are going to be there as long
as the cid star' system, where they build up a name and that name was
there for ten years. A person can appear in a film today or maybe
do a couple of films, vanish, and never be seen again on the screen.
Of course, your recording industry is a big industry. And many times,
even a simple child,next door, or a teenager, pardon me, fifteenyears
old may have a certain sound that makes a hit. He really doesn't have
to be an artist at all; he doesn't have to write music or even know
anything about music,just a sound and a guitar.
I: It is just a lucky combination, isn't it? Something that catches on
with the fancy of the general public
S: Right, because your market today in the record business is your young
teenager. They are ones that save up their money and get the money from
the parents and buy -bykes of records. And they are the ones that run
the industry, almost, because adults are not buying records.
I: Most of the records which are being produced, then are the records which
are being produced by the young people and for the young people. Right?
S: More or less, Lew. Because now some of your better classics and what have
you, those classic album series do not make the money. They are not the
money makers. And like I said before, if we find someone that has that
talented sound, it wouldn't take very long to have this person to a
professional to get a professional quality from his voice. And to get
him into the position where he could be a money maker.
I: In other words, you could take this talent and polish it up and make it
presentable and also offer advice as to how and where to apply and when
and take all these factors together. You would actually be promoting
local talent, wouldn't you?
S: Correct, Lew.
I: Well, that is great. This is something we have needed very desperately
because we do have a lot of talent that needs developing, and we have
talent that has developed to the point where it is now ready. But we
don't have, we just haven't had this sort of expert advice. We have
lacked the expertise in this particular field. And I am very happy,
Bill, that you are doing this. This will be a great service, I am sure.
S: Thank you, Lew.
I: We are sort of wandering here.
S: Lew, I think I have covered most of the focal points in regards to this
organization we are organizing. And I don't know exactly what subject
you would like to fall on now.
I: Well, I imagine you are getting a little bit tired and we have been going
for quite a while. I want you to know that this has been a fascinating
interview and you have helped so tremendously in so many areas. It has
certainly been fascinating to me. It has been a great pleasure to sit
down with my old friend and I am greatly honored that you are my friend.
You are so very kind to give me your time, Bill, and to give your time
to this very worthy program which is seeking to better acquaint the nation
with the Indian people, whole as you know, as had so little change in the
past. The door now seems to be opened wider than ever before and we join
hearts in wishing this program Godspeed and encouraging this sort of thing
all over the nation.
S: Thank you Lew.