Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mae West: Fain and Fruit

Even MAE WEST's presence couldn't save "Myra Breckinridge" [released on 24 June 1970] — — but two numbers she performed onscreen were pressed on a promotional disk and the record has become quite a keepsake. It took the efforts of three adults worshipping at the grotto of improbable thoughts to come up with an astonishing sweetcake fat with brag like "You Gotta Taste All the Fruit," copyrighted in 1964 and only used in this particular motion picture. Maybe it became tainted fruit, especially for morose types who prefer songs about ummm . . . suffering heroically. Tsk! So many can't take a joke.
• • Born in New York City during the month of June — — on 17 June 1902 — — Sammy Fain [birthname Samuel E. Feinberg] was part of this tutti-frutti threesome.
• • After a brief career as an actor, Sammy Fain became a full-time composer. Working extensively with his writing partner Irving Kahal, this successful team cranked out chart-toppers such as "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella" [1927], an instant classic. Another lyricist who collaborated with Fain was Lew Brown, with whom he wrote "That Old Feeling" [1937].
• • Fain racked up an extensive resume of Broadway credits and also composed music for more than 30 films during the 1930s — 1950s. Though Fain was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, it probably was not for "You Gotta Taste All the Fruit," whose lyrics were penned by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman.
• • Sammy Fain died in Los Angeles, California on 6 December 1989, and is interred at Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, New Jersey. Sammy, we summon the unseamed richness of birdspeak to chirp you a birthday song today.

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

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