Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mae West: Dave Frishberg

MAE WEST said, "Beulah, peel me a grape!" in 1933 while playing Tira in "I'm No Angel," a smash hit for Paramount Pictures. Since she was cast for the role of Beulah Thorndyke, Gertrude Howard would be forever linked to this spontaneous exclamation not in the script.
• • As many Mae-mavens know, the screen queen's pet monkey Boogie appeared with her in "I'm No Angel." Boogie would not eat grapes unless they were peeled. When the director asked the movie star to ad lib a line — — to round out a shot with Tira and her maids — — his request prompted Mae West's utterance, "Beulah, peel me a grape."
• • "Peel me a grape" by Dave Frishberg • •
• • "Peel me a grape" lives on in pop culture, inspiring clever people such as the Minnesota musician Dave Frishberg who was born in St. Paul in the month of March — — on 23 March 1933.
• • During an interview in 1996 with Phillip D. Atteberry for The Mississippi Rag, jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer Dave Frishberg said that his first published song was "Peel Me a Grape" (1962). According to Mr. Atteberry's article, Frishberg revealed this: "I worked for a short time with Dick Haymes and Fran Jeffries on the hotel circuit," continued Frishberg. "Dick asked me to write something for Fran Jeffried — — a cute, sexy piece. (Dick knew that I had been dabbling with composition.) So I came up with ‘Peel Me a Grape.’ She never performed it, but some of my friends liked it, so I submitted it to Frank Loesser’s office, and he published it. ...
• • Happy Birthday to Dave Frishberg who is 77 years old today.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Born on 5 May 1943 in Sheffield, England, Michael Palin, CBE FRGS is a British comedian, actor, writer, and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.
• • For editor Graydon Carter, Michael Palin writes: Apart from that, the world’s your oyster. As Mae West said: “Keep a diary and it’ll keep you.” Stalin loved that. ...
• • Source: Article: "A Dogged Diarist’s Dos and Don’ts of Diary Writing" written by Michael Palin for Vanity Fair Magazine, April 2011 issue; posted on 23 March 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1877th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1933 on the set with Boogie • •
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