Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mae West: Radio Waves

In May of 1937, Chase and Sanborn Coffee began sponsoring The Chase and Sanborn Hour, starring ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his alter-ego in wood, Charlie McCarthy. Perhaps no other broadcast of The Chase and Sanborn Hour has sparked more commentary than the December 12th, 1937 broadcast starring Mae West.
• • Mae West rarely appeared on radio. When she did, the sole purpose was to promote one of her films. West had guest-starred on
The Shell Chateau with Al Jolson in 1936 and also Louella Parsons’ blackmailing program Hollywood Hotel on 26 April 1935, with featured guest Paul Cavanagh in an adaptation of her screen gem: Goin’ to Town.
• • Additionally, on 21 February 1934, the famed Mae West Jewel Robbery was dramatized on
Calling All Cars over CBS Radio [without her personal participation in this traumatic drama].
• • When the producers of
The Chase and Sanborn Hour offered the sex goddess the opportunity to appear on the weekly show – then currently the highest-rated program of the year – she accepted the invitation to help promote her latest film, Every Day's a Holiday.
• • Mae West often wrote her own scripts and even produced her own movies, so she offered NBC the option of a sneak peek at some of the scenes from her movie.
• • Interesting, but rarely commented on, is the fact that Mae wore a spectacular black gown framed by expensive furs and jewerly when she showed up at NBC's Hollywood headquarters on Sunday December 12, 1937 - - an eyeful that could only be appreciated by the live studio audience.
• • As if to be extra-cautious, Mae donned eyeglasses and also wore a fancy lornette on a chain around her neck, not unlike the extra-careful gentleman who wears suspenders and a belt. Then she stepped up to the microphone and threw caution to the wind.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

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• • Photo: Mae West • • 1937 • •

Mae West.

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