At right below, there are three books of short stories that Charles Grayson put together with writers from the late 1920′s through the 1940′s.
I’m still missing The Fourth Round (1953).
Stories for Men (1936)
New Stories for Men (1943)
The books are chock full of short stories by great writers. Check out this list of a small few:
Two Sharp Knives by Dashiell Hammett
The Undefeated by Ernest Hemingway
The Grandstand Complex by Horace McCoy
The Baby in the Icebox By James M. Cain
The Fingernail by Cornell Woolrich
Helen, Thy Beauty is to Me by John Fante
The Vigilante by John Steinbeck
Many of these short stories contained in the anthologies are very difficult to find. It is such a a great selection, I am just blown away every time I open one of the books.
I’m not 100% sure that the editor is the same Charles Grayson who went to Hollywood and wrote screen plays during the 1930′s, 40′s, and 1950′s, but the 1973 year of death is the same for Charles Grayson [source: Who Who among North American Authors, Volumes 1-7, 1979. Gale Research 1976.], the writer of the Stories for Men and Stephen King’s favorite book The Golden Argosy , as the Charles Grayson listed in the IMDB. But some sources show the date of birth as 1905 instead of 1903. But I am inclined to believe they are the same person as the copyright issued for Stories for Men was issued to a C. Grayson in Los Angeles.
**UPDATE** Charles Grayson editor of Stories for Men and The Golden Argosy is the same Charles Grayson who was a Hollywood screenwriter. I found a source that confirmed it in Allen Rivkin’s Hello Hollywood! published by Doubleday in 1962. Here’s the excerpt from page 310:
“AR: You know that Charlie Grayson, in addition to being a top screen writer, has done some of the best anthologies himself: Stories for Men, Golden Argosy,etc.”
Now, I am 100% sure. And now we know that Charles Grayson was known as “Charlie Grayson”. There is a lot more source references for Charlie. From Years of the Locust by Val Henry Geilguld, ” Charlie Grayson, a young American writer of enormous vitality and engaging personality”.
In Rivkin’s book Hello Hollywood! you can find a short piece by Charles Grayson called On Location. The story revolves around director John Huston on the set of The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958). Hello Hollywood! is an anthology of stories about Hollywood with such writers as Horace McCoy who contributed a 1936 story previously published in the Hollywood Reporter titled I Wish I was a Writer for the anthology.
I am finding additional works by Charles Grayson such as Hollywood Doctor. Other screenwriters too, like P.J. Wolfson‘s Is my Flesh of Brass? aka The Flesh Baron, tried to jump on the success of the doctor genre in the mid-fifties. Tastes were changing and there was a dearth of new writers as paperback sales took off after WWII. Paperbacks have an interesting history and you can read a short one here.
Charles Grayson wrote under a pseudonym, Charles Wright Gray, and compiled an early anthology of short stories titled Hosses for the same publisher, Garden City Publishing, who published Stories for Men. Another very early anthology of animal stories, Dawgs, was published in 1925. In 1927, the Kappa Sigma publication Caduceus wrote “Bernard F. Scotten of Los Angeles suggests Charles Wright Gray (Los Angeles ’26) author. Although still a very young man,” he writes, “Bro. Gray has published four books of fiction, with two more scheduled for release early in the coming year. His publishers are Henry Holt and Company of New York.” In this publication, Caduceus Volume 43 issue 1, there is photo of a young Charles Gray next to a Art White “winning the attendance cup for Delta-Nu”.
Why use the surname Gray instead of Grayson? **UPDATE** His birth name was Gray, he later changed it to Grayson for reasons unknown.
Like many young writers, Charles Grayson went to Hollywood. Writing for the movies was one of the few writing jobs that could be found with the onset of the Great Depression. While working, Charles kept on publishing anthologies because he loved great writing and had a knack for editing. But after the 1950′s, there isn’t anything I can find published or credited to Charles Grayson although he lived until 1973. This is the case for many Hollywood screenwriters in the fifties. By then, the old Hollywood system and the Golden Age of Hollywood had ended.
Here is blurb Charles Grayson wrote in his published anthology Stories for Men:
Many of my favorite writers wrote between the late 1920’s and early 1950’s. With Prohibition, The Great Depression, WWII, Red Scare, and the emergent of new media forms, it was an interesting time. While paperback mass consumption was taking off, television still had a ways to go before it started to take a good chunk out of our leisure time. Unfortunately, the demise of the studio system and the Hollywood blacklist ended a lot of Hollywood writer careers in the 1950’s. It is interesting that Charles Grayson is credited as a screenwriter for I Married a Communist in 1949.