Bob Effros in 1929

Bob Effros in 1929
Bob Effros (left) with Vincent Lopez Orchestra

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Effros the Prankster

Below is an excerpt from Vincent Lopez's autobiography. In Lopez Speaking: An autobiography, the following passage entails one of the infamous pranks Bob Effros would often play on his pals. In this prank, Xavier Cugat the famous violinist, is the victim of one of Bob's practical jokes.

       "Cugie had developed quite a crush on a showgirl who often came into the Grill with her escort. Bob Effros, our first trumpeter, who knew her, persuaded her to give Cugie the ever-lovin' eye one evening. Then he fashioned a note which a waiter delivered to Cugat as the girl was leaving, giving a fictitious name and apartment number and saying she'd love to have him play the violin for her the next afternoon!
Cugie just couldn't keep the good news to himself.
"I know that girl quite well," Bob Effros confided. "The way to make a hit with her is bring her a strawberry shortcake. She's crazy about them."
So Cugat took both his violin and a big Lindy cake with him the following afternoon. The apartment the boys had picked for their joke was two flights up a dark stairway, on Tenth Avenue, in Hell's Kitchen! As Cugie stumbled up the last few steps, trying to see in the gloom, he suddenly heard a very angry masculine voice shout, "So you're the crumb who's been visitin' my wife I'm woikin!"
With that, prankster Effros smashed a couple of electric light bulbs, and the echoes in the narrow hall sounded like revolver shots. Cugat took the stairs three at a time as he reversed direction. He sprinted a full block before he realized that the footfalls and shouts following him belonged to Bob Effros and his practical joke pals."

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