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Otay! - The Billy Buckwheat Thomas Story Paperback – February 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

     William Thomas, Jr. is the real life son of Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas.
     David W. Menefee is an American author. His writing career began as a writer and marketing representative for the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News. David struck out on his own as a freelance writer, succeeding with Sarah Bernhardt: In the Theater, Film and Sound Recordings, The First Female Stars: Women of the Silent Era, and The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era. 
     As an esteemed film historian, his Richard Barthelmess: A Life in Pictures was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by the San Francisco Examiner. In 2010, George O'Brien: A Man's Man in Hollywood, and "Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story were popular hits. In 2011 his Wally: The True Wallace Reid Story was nominated for a 2011 Pulitzer Prize.  
David's other popular literary works include The Remarkable Mr. Messing, Brothers of the Storm, Charlie O'Doone's Second Chance and Other Stories, The Rise and Fall of Lou-Tellegen, the Margot Cranston mystery series, Falling Stars: 10 Who Tried to be a Movie Star, and Sarah Bernhardt, Her Films, Her Recordings.
     David also works as a ghost writer, screenwriter, and book editor. He lives in Dallas, Texas, USA. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593935196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593935191
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,899,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David W. Menefee is an American author. His career began as a writer and marketing representative for the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News. In 2003, David struck out on his own as a freelance writer, succeeding immediately with the groundbreaking SARAH BERNHARDT IN THE THEATER OF FILMS AND SOUND RECORDINGS, THE FIRST FEMALE STARS: WOMEN OF THE SILENT ERA, THE FIRST MALE STARS: MEN OF THE SILENT ERA, and everyone's favorite, GEORGE O'BRIEN: A MAN'S MAN IN HOLLYWOOD.

As an esteemed film historian, his RICHARD BARTHELMESS: A LIFE IN PICTURES was named one of the Top 10 Silent Film Books of the Year by the San Francisco Examiner. In 2010, his "OTAY!" THE BILLY "BUCKWHEAT" THOMAS STORY (co-author William Thomas, Jr.) thrilled worldwide fans of the Our Gang/Little Rascals films. In 2011, his WALLY: THE TRUE WALLACE REID STORY (Foreword by Robert Osborne) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was named one of the Top Silent Film Books of the Year by the San Francisco Examiner along with his THE RISE AND FALL OF LOU-TELLEGEN.

David's recent popular successes include the thrilling wartime romantic adventure thriller SECRET SOLDIER MASTER OF DISGUISE, the heartwrenching Civil War epic BROTHERS OF THE STORM, the unforgettable CHARLIE O'DOONE'S SECOND CHANCE (soon to be a motion picture), the spine-tingling MARGOT CRANSTON MYSTERY SERIES (The Voice in the Shadows, The Mystery at Loon Lake, The Secret of the St. Lawrence Lighthouse, and The Quest for the Jade Dragons, the fascinating FALLING STARS: 10 WHO TRIED TO BE A MOVIE STAR, and the monumental SARAH BERNHARDT: HER FILMS, HER RECORDINGS.

In 2012, David released the award-winning Mary Pickford / Owen Moore romance SWEET MEMORIES. He also collaborated with Carol Dunitz on the first volume in the Allison Webster romance trilogy, CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE. The series continues in 2013 with COME AWAY TO PARADISE and CATCH A FALLING STAR.

David also works as a ghost writer, screenwriter, and book editor. He lives in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Grabman on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. Having watched The Little Rascals as a child and liking the adorable Buckwheat, it's nice to see what he was like when the cameras weren't rolling. (What a shame his mother was so overbearing! Sweet-natured Billy could handle it, but his wife had all she could take of his mother's micro-management of their lives and left the marriage.) I liked, too, the short chapters. That makes it perfect to keep in the car as a pleasant distraction when you get in traffic jams or to read while you're sitting in your doctor's waiting room. The historical aspect of it makes this an important book. It's interesting to see how the studio kept their stars' parents happy while observing the Coogan Law. There are many wonderful photos in this edition, which makes it a must-have for any Little Rascals fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Rubi on March 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book proved surprising in several ways. The authors, which were the actor's son and David W. Menefee, did ample research into the life and work of Billy Thomas. The photographs are fantastic. Five stars and three cheers to the two of them for writing a long overdue account of one of Black America's most enduring film stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Causey on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having grown up with Our Gang/Little Rascals, I am always glad to find out more about this group of kids. This book gave insight into the life of Buckwheat as told by his son.
I really enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Otay! The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story, by William Thomas, was received direct from the publisher in exchange for this review. As a child, and no I am not near old enough to see the originals of the Little Rascals, I watched repeats of the Little Rascals immediately after I got home from school. When I saw this book up for Requesting to Review, I immediately requested it and got it. I am so glad I did. The book is a short read for certain and specific detail of Buckwheat's life are sketchy, enough was there that I know as child actors of nowadays, once he got into Hollywood there was little else he knew how to do to get a "real" job. Being prior military I was surprised to see he had fought in the Korean War. Imagine telling your battle buddy to do something and he replies with a spot on "OTAY!" If you enjoyed the Little Rascals or know someone who does, this book is for you or them.
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Format: Paperback
Loved Buckwheat but this abbreviated bio was flat and did not progress in a very logical way. There was a huge amount of repetition both in and out sequence and continuity. At under 100 pages, it was often boring and at best incomplete as themes and people disappear. There is very little about Buckwheat's life after leaving show business at age 13 that could not be summarized in 5 pages tops.
Do yourself a favor and get a book about the entire Our Gang including the kids, adult actors, and crew.
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