Pitts, Michael R. 1947-

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Pitts, Michael R. 1947-


Born July 31, 1947, in Rush County, IN; son of Roy Madison and Gertrude Aileen Pitts; married Carolyn Sue Mudd, 1976; children: Angela, Yvonne (deceased). Ethnicity: "Anglo-Saxon." Education: Ball State University, B.S., 1969, M.A., 1970. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, collecting records and videotapes, gardening.


Home—Chesterfield, IN. E-mail—[email protected]


Ball State University, Muncie, IN, member of periodicals library staff, 1968-70; high school history teacher in New Castle, IN, 1970-72; Anderson Daily Bulletin, Anderson, IN, city government reporter and entertainment editor, 1972-74; Madison County Council of Governments, Anderson, IN, public relations director, 1974-77; Anderson Herald, Anderson, IN, copy editor, reporter, and entertainment editor, 1977-78; Franklin Life Insurance Co., insurance agent, 1978-79; Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., insurance agent, 1979-80; H & R Block, Anderson, tax preparer, 1981; freelance writer, 1981—. Anderson Public Library, genealogy librarian, 1991—. General Electric Cablevision, film reviewer, 1974-78; lecturer on film history and entertainment.


American Film Institute.


(With James R. Parish) The Great Spy Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1974.

(With James R. Parish) Film Directors: A Guide to Their American Films, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1974.

(With James R. Parish) Great Gangster Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1976.

Radio Soundtracks: A Reference Guide, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1976, 2nd edition, 1986.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Western Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1976.

(With James R. Parish and Don E. Stanke) The All-Americans, Arlington House (New York, NY), 1977.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Science Fiction Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1977, 2nd edition published as The Great Science Fiction Pictures II, 1990.

(With Louis H. Harrison) Hollywood on Record: The Film Stars' Discography, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1978.

(With James R. Parish) Hollywood on Hollywood, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1978.

Famous Movie Detectives, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1979.

Horror Film Stars, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1981, 3rd edition, 2002.

(With Richard H. Campbell) The Bible on Film: A Checklist 1897-1980, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1981.

Hollywood and American History: A Filmography of over 250 Motion Pictures Depicting U.S. History, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1984.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Spy Pictures II, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1986.

Western Movies: TV and Video Guide to 4,200 Genre Films, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1986, 2nd edition, 1998.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Gangster Pictures II, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1987.

Kate Smith: A Bio-Bibliography, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1988.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Western Pictures II, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1988.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Detective Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.

(With James R. Parish) Hollywood Songsters: A Biographical Dictionary, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1990, 2nd edition, 2004.

Famous Movie Detectives II, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1991.

Kate Smith on the Radio: A Log, 1919-47, Kate Smith/God Bless America Foundation, 1992.

(With James R. Parish) The Great Hollywood Musical Pictures, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1992.

Motion Picture Guide: Horror and Science Fiction (CD-ROM), ScanRom Productions, 1992.

Poverty Row Studios, 1929-1940, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1997, 2nd edition, 2005.

Charles Bronson: The 95 Films and 156 Television Appearances, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1999, 2nd edition, 2004.

The Rise of the Crooners, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2001.

Television and Film: An Annotated Bibliography of Research Materials (CD-ROM), Infosential Press, 2001.

Famous Movie Detectives III, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2004.

Columnist, Big Reel, 1978-92, and Classic Images, 1987-91. Compiler of more than thirty volumes on local history and genealogy, including obituary indexes, tax books, historical compilations, and naturalization indexes. Author of liner notes for sound recordings. Contributor to film journals and history magazines.


Michael R. Pitts once told CA: "I began writing at age twelve and had my first article published in 1969. Growing up on a farm in central Indiana, I got most of my entertainment from television. I particularly enjoyed vintage films, especially those hosted on local television from central Indiana by Frances Farmer, Gene Allison, and Ray Sparenburg (Selwin). I have an affinity for horror films (my favorite stars were Lon Chaney, Jr., and Bela Lugosi) and ‘B’ westerns (Bob Steele was my favorite cowboy hero). Mainly I prefer films from the 1930s or low-budget or obscure films in general. D.W. Griffith is my favorite director, and Charles Bronson and Yvonne De Carlo are my favorite stars. I believe movies are to be enjoyed, and not necessarily to be picked apart for political or psychological connotations.

"Besides writing about movies, an avocation which became my profession, I enjoy music and have been collecting records for more than thirty years. I like vocalists and have been privileged to meet and know Nick Lucas and Rudy Vallee. Among the other performers I collect are Frankie Laine, Tony Martin, Kate Smith, Skeeter Davis, Margaret Whiting, Bob Braun, Slim Whitman, Hank Snow, Vaughn Monroe, Patsy Montana, Eddie Dean, Red River Dave, Gene Austin, Tex Ritter, John Gary, and Marty Robbins."

Pitts later added: "My primary motivation for writing is to present material in a clear, concise, and factual manner, covering subjects not previously written about or providing new insights into areas others have written about. My work is mainly influenced by what interests me, what has not been written about, and what needs to be presented. I try to research material as much as possible before beginning the actual writing process. Also, I try to refine what I have written, with emphasis on tight editing. I have been a published writer for over thirty years and, as time goes by, I seem to spend more time doing research and finding more areas where I can conduct this research."

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