Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mae West: Roy Hall Great Balls

MAE WEST recorded an LP "Great Balls of Fire" [MGM label, 1972] — — and one track was "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," that great rockabilly standard. Produced by Ian Whitcomb, Mae's tracks were backed by The Hot Rockers.
• • Mae-maven and faithful reader David Pekrol wanted to add this comment: This album was actually recorded in 1968 but shelved for 4 years until they could find a distributor. The original test pressing showed the album still needed some work. . . . Mae recorded "Love Potion #9" for the record --- --- but for some reason they didn't put it on the released album. It's unfortunate because it is very good.
• • Covered by 70-something young-at-heart Mae West, the energetic "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" was still so associated with Jerry Lee Lewis that the individuals who created it in 1954 were overshadowed.
• • James Faye "Roy" Hall was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia in the month of May — — on 7 May 1922. An elderly neighbor taught him to play the piano and also demonstrated the unfortunate habit of losing himself in drink. Playing in a band, writing songs, drinking heavily, and pursuing his instincts about entertainment led Hall to open a hang-out in Nashville called the Music Box (later renamed the Musicians Hideaway) where he played piano and wet his whistle. In 1954, a young man approached Hall for a job. He was Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy paid Jerry $15 a night to do duets with him. That same year Roy Hall and a black musician named Dave Williams took a trip to the Everglades that resulted in a rock and roll classic: "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." In March 1955, Big Maybelle made the first recording for the Okeh label, produced by the young Quincy Jones. In September 1955 Decca signed Hall and he recorded a few songs for this label including "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." The version by charismatic Jerry Lee Lewis became far more popular, though. The royalties owed to Hall were handsome, however, when he was sued by his ex-wife, she wound up with most of the profits.
• • Roy Hall kept on kept performing around Nashville, Tennessee where he died at 61 years old on 2 March 1984.
• • Happy Birthday to Lee de Broux • •
• • Lee de Broux played the role of Jack West, Mae's father, in the 1982 bio-pic "Mae West." Born in La Mesa, California on 7 May 1941, busy Lee turned 70 today. Last year the character actor was seen in three separate indie films.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Does the current crop of "chick flicks" reveal there is "A New Woman" type on the silver screen? Denver Post Film Critic Lisa Kennedy writes: "Whitney Cummings is the funniest woman I know," Michael Patrick King, longtime director of "Sex and the City," has said about the comic before he added: "If she's really a woman." It's a good line — — from the guy who brought us Mae West's love child, Samantha Jones, no less. But it teases a legit concern. No, not about Cummings' X-chromosome bona fides, but about who loves — — and benefits — — most from the mainstreaming of the ribald. ...
• • Source: Article: "Emancipated, yes, but empowered? The problem with bawdy women" written by Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post Film Critic for The Denver Post; posted on 6 May 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 1923rd 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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  1. I represent songwriter Mike Stoller of Leiber-Stoller, who wrote "Love Potion No. 9" He's never heard the Mae West version and asked me to find out if there's any way he can get a file copy? Thanks. Alan Eichler,

  2. Dear Alan Eichler: Thank you for your visit.
    • • Actually, I have no idea but the Mae West Estate might know. Contact the Estate via Corbis and they will put you in touch with the attorney.
    • • Good luck!