Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mae West: Henry Creamer

MAE WEST was a big fan of The Clef Club. As rehearsals began in early July 1922 for "The Ginger Box Revue," the producer had booked this exciting group — — New York's premiere African-American musicians — — to play between the acts. This organization had been established by James Reese Europe and Henry Creamer, two gentlemen whose musicianship found a lifelong fan in Mae West.
• • Born in Richmond, Virginia, Henry Creamer [21 June 1879 — 14 October 1930] was an American popular song lyricist. He co-wrote many popular songs in the years from 1900 —1929, often collaborating with Turner Layton, with whom he also appeared in vaudeville.
• • In 1918, Henry Creamer wrote the words for the hit "After You've Gone" — — and every major artist has covered it. Here's a snippet from the chorus:
• • • • After you've gone and left me crying
• • • •
After you've gone there's no denying
• • • • You'll feel blue, you'll feel sad,
• • • • You'll miss the bestest pal you've ever had . . . .
• • Mae West performed "After You've Gone" in "Sextette" [1978], a song she fondly remembered from her New York years when she frequented the hottest night spots in Harlem. That she had schemed and planned to bring recognition to The Clef Club in her 1922 show (and others) is also significant. This was at a time when many Caucasian entertainers were still refusing to appear in a mixed-race revue.
• • Though Henry Creamer died on October 14th, many singers are still applauding. How lovely to be remembered, after you've gone.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Beautiful final line, "How lovely to be remembered…" Love your blog and the purpose you're achieving, I'm a regular reader.