John Fricke is widely regarded as the world's preeminent Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland
historian/author. He has written seven books on those topics, the latest of which -- The Wonderful World of Oz -- has just appeared as a trade paperback.
He is a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer/writer of Garland documentaries for PBS-TV and the A&E cable network; a Grammy Award nominee for his journalism; and the annual host/emcee of Oz and Garland festivals nationwide.
John delivers the commentary track on the DVD of The Wizard of Oz movie & he is currently working with Warner Bros. on Oz-related projects; with The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.,
All Things Oz
A monthly article exclusively for the All Things Oz Museum- written by John Fricke
A monthly article by John Fricke
I've been fascinated and captivated by Oz (and its authors, illustrators, films, stage shows, products, and events) for decades. I first saw the famous MGM THE WIZARD OF OZ movie on television when I was five, and it happily changed the course of my life. I discovered THE WIZARD OF OZ as a book at age six and as a book series when I was seven. (Did you know there are forty official "Oz books"...and countless others besides?)
At eight, I began to research L. Frank Baum, who wrote the first fourteen Oz books; as a result, I knew how to spell the name of his birthplace -- Chittenango! -- long before I could even pronounce it. I started to correspond with Oz writers, artists, and collectors at age eleven, when I first joined The International Wizard of Oz Club. Over the years, I've been privileged to meet many of the Munchkins from the movie, plus Judy Garland ("Dorothy") and Margaret Hamilton ("Miss Gulch"/"The Wicked Witch of the West").Finally, I've had the honor of emceeing Chittenango's annual festival since 1990: a wonderful first-weekend-of-June affair which now carries the joyous title, OZ-Stravaganza!
All of this has led to their invitation to me to discuss "all things Oz" here on this site on a monthly basis -- and I'll do everything I can to make the blog entertaining, informative, and fun for all who share (or are even just curious about) L. Frank Baum and the unforgettable characters and countries created by him and his compatriots!