Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mae West: Henry and Harold

MAE WEST selected songs written by two composers born on June 21st — — Henry and Harold.
• • Henry Creamer [1879 — 1930] • •
• • Born in Richmond, Virginia, Henry Creamer [21 June 1879 — 14 October 1930] was a pop song lyricist. He co-wrote many hits 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" — — an enduring classic and every major artist has covered it.
• • 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.
• • And on the LP "The Fabulous Mae West," Mae recorded "If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight)," a favorite written in 1926 by lyricist Henry Creamer and the black composer and pianist James P. Johnson.
• • Harold Spina [1906 — 1997] • •
• • Born in Mae's hometown, New York City, Harold Spina [21 June 1906 — 11 August 1997] earned a reputation as a composer of popular songs. During the early 1930s, when he was still in his twenties, he was turning out his best-loved numbers in collaboration with the lyricists Joe Young and Johnny Burke. However, he then went on to co-create several chart-toppers with the lyricist John Elliot — — including "It's So Nice To Have a Man Around the House," made famous by Dinah Shore, and most memorably performed by Mae West when she guest-starred in March 1960 on CBS-TV's "The Red Skelton Show" wearing a gorgeous red gown.
• • Mae Music Trivia • •
• • Which one of Mae West's albums offered songs by The Beatles and Bob Dylan?
• • On the LP "Way Out West" in the 1960s, she recorded with David Clark Allen and his band. Songs on this compilation included "Day Tripper" by The Beatles and "If You Gotta Go," written by Bob Dylan but never a hit for him nor anyone.
• • In June 1935 • •
• • Mae West made an appearance at the California Pacific Exposition as a celebrity guest.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West starred in "Klondike Annie" — — but how many know much about the actual place on the map?
• • Toronto, Canada based critic John Semley writes: Like Manhattan or Atlantis, the Klondike is one of those places that seems to exist largely in the manufactures of memory; a kind of shared cultural hallucination. Even the word — Klondike — conjures images of grizzled old prospectors with mangy beards, pickaxes slung over their shoulders, traipsing through the snowy wastes of the Yukon; of crooked card games and houses of ill-repute; of boiling a boot for supper. But because Americans have by-and-large monopolized these images (via Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Jack London, that old Yukon Trail CD-ROM game and those irresistible chocolate- covered ice cream novelties), running roughshod over our geography and minting the noble Mountie mythology in the process, Zach Worton’s The Klondike radiates with a detectable sense of consequence. ...
• • Source: Book Review of "The Klondike" a graphic novel by Zach Worton by John Semley for The National Post (Canada); posted on 16 June 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1968th 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.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • March 1960 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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