Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mae West: Vaude

Fifty-five years ago, a book was published that discussed many aspects of MAE WEST's career in variety. Here is a tiny selection from a fascinating book written from a first-person perspective by Joe Laurie, Jr., who had worked with Mae and composer-pianist Raymond Walker [born 1883]..
• • Joe Laurie, Jr. writes: When vaude fell apart, many of the piano players did very well writing hit songs, and others spread around cafes and night clubs.
• • Many, too many, have changed their piano for a harp!
• • Of all the old-time vaude accompanists, there are still two who are working at their trade and doing great. Raymond Walker (writer of "Good Night, Nurse" in 1912 and other songs), who played for Sophie Tucker, Mae West, and Marie Fenton when they first started, and who has played everything from the Chatham Club in New York's Chinatown to vaude and then to night clubs, now at the age of seventy is still accompanying the future greats in the plush cafes of Florida. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Vaudeville: From the Honky-tonks to the Palace
• • Chapter: ACCOMPANIED BY . . .
• • Author: Joe Laurie, Jr.
• • [NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1953]

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1912 • •
Mae West.

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