Monday, January 24, 2011

Mae West: Moody Music

The radio ruckus MAE WEST set in motion just before Christmas 1937 continued being discussed in the news. Time Magazine's issue — — dated Monday, 24 January 1938 — — focused on all those "right-thinking" citizens who penned complaint letters and the FCC's request for a transcript of the offending program. NBC was reluctant to release it, however.
• • Gene Austin: Born and Died on the 24th • •
• • Mae West utilized her friend Gene Austin's musical talents in her films "Belle of the Nineties" [1934]; "Klondike Annie" [1936]; and "My Little Chickadee" [1940].
• • In addition to writing the music and lyrics for "Klondike Annie," Gene Austin also appears as a vocalist and organ player during the church service. As the collection is in progress, Gene Austin and the parishioners sing "It's Better to Give Than to Receive."
• • Seven years younger than Mae, Gene Austin was born on the 24th day of the month of June in Texas — — that is, on 24 June 1900.
• • Though Gene Austin was the best-selling recording artist of the 1920s, he died virtually unknown in Palm Springs at age 71 after walking away from big-time show biz in the 1930s. His last show was at the old Jack London restaurant on North Indian Canyon Drive on New Year's Eve, 1971.
• • Austin lived with Grace and Phil Moody in Palm Springs from 1971 until his death at Desert Regional Medical Center on 24 January 1972.
• • Recognize the name Phil Moody? The British-born pianist was Mae West's music director. Now nearing his 91st birthday, Phil Moody thinks West and Austin were in love even when Austin was married to Moody's sister-in-law, Pony Sherrell.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Gene Austin and W.C. Fields, 1940 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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