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Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who GotMe There Reviewed By Dr. Wesley Britton of Bookpleasures.com
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Dr. Wesley Britton

Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE

 
By Dr. Wesley Britton
Published on October 12, 2014
 

Author: Anson Williams

Publisher: Readers Digest (November 11, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1621452255

ISBN-13: 978-1621452256




Follow Here To Purchase Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There


Author: Anson Williams

Publisher: Readers Digest (November 11, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1621452255

ISBN-13: 978-1621452256


In the epilogue for his short, 155 page memoir, Anson Williams claims he was able to write his autobiography after he read Roberta Temes' How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days. Williams thought so much of that book he added an excerpt from it as an appendix in hopes it will inspire others to go forth and do likewise.

Well, Singing to a Bulldog indeed reads like it was written in a month. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Williams has a point to make in his life story, namely to praise the wisdom he learned from janitor Willie Turner during one of Williams' first jobs. In fact, Williams labels each chapter a "Lesson" in which he summarizes key moments in his life and how one pithy nugget or another from Turner gave him the impetus to succeed, grow, and learn from his mistakes.

According to Williams, Turner's mentorship was especially helpful to the young Williams as the gawky youth didn't get much encouragement at home, especially from his less than nurturing father. Turner seemed to spot something special in his protégée, certain "You gonna do somethin' great in life. Just a feelin' I got." For most of us, that something great was Williams' tenure as Potsie Webber on the long-running Happy Days. However, Williams' career behind the camera and in business after his acting days were just as important in his life if less visible to the public.

Fortunately, Williams knows most readers will want to see anecdotes and stories about the celebrities he worked with, and we get a liberal sprinkling of them throughout the book. We learn about how he worked his way into casting offices, how he almost missed out on starring in Happy Days, and of course we get descriptions of the rest of the program's cast and the public's reactions to them during the show's heyday.

We also hear about the discovery of Robin Williams, being directed by Steven Spielberg, an unusual date at the White House with Gerald Ford's daughter, subbing for Sammy Davis Jr. in Vegas, and meeting John and Julian Lennon on the Happy Days set. Did you know he's directed more than 300 hours of television including episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and The Secret Life of The American Teenager? But we also learn about Williams work with the disabled, his mixed success at entrepreneurship, and, through it all, how the words of one janitor remained the rudder of his life.

Singing to a Bulldog is an economically told tale that doesn't try to touch all the bases. For example, not until his final meeting with Turner in one of the later chapters do we learn Williams was married with five daughters. His personal life, for the most part, remains private. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Clearly, Williams is using his Potsie Webber fame as the means to draw readers into his account of how to succeed in life with positive and affirming messages of being strong, resilient, confident, resourceful, ethical, and moral. Sound a bit like a Happy Days sort of message? It shouldn't be surprising that his endorsers include the likes of Ron Howard and Dolly Parton. It won't take you 30 days to read this memoir, and if you want to pick up some entertaining pointers for enjoying your own happy days, well, find out what singing to a bulldog is all about.