Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mae West: Hot Number

The hot number that MAE WEST performed with Rock Hudson during the annual Oscar ceremony in 1958 — — "Baby, It's Cold Outside" — — was a pop standard with words and music created fourteen years earlier by Frank Loesser.
• • In 1944, Loesser wrote the contrapuntal duet and premiered the song with his wife at their Navarro Hotel house-warming party. The female voice in the song is called "The Mouse" and the male "The Wolf." The lyrics consist of The Wolf's attempts to convince her to stay with him at the end of a date; her indecisive protests reveal that although she feels obligated to go home, she is tempted to stay, partially because, as the title suggests, "it's cold outside."
• • It's a bit ironic that a cool guy born at the end of a very hot month [June 1910 was a scorcher in The Big Apple] is most known for the refrain "it's cold outside."
• • A native New Yorker like Mae West, Frank Henry Loesser [29 June 1910 — 26 July 1969] was a versatile composer and lyricist.
• • Frank never studied music formally, though he couldn't help coming under its influence in his childhood. His father was a distinguished German-born teacher of classical piano and his older brother, Arthur, was a renowned concert pianist, musicologist, and music critic. Frank wrote his first song at the age of six.
• • During World War II, he wrote 1942's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition." Formerly a successful lyricist in collaboration with other composers, this was the first song for which Loesser composed the melody in addition to the lyric.
• • Frank Loesser was awarded a Grammy Award in 1961 for Best Original Cast Show Album for "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying."
• • However, he wrote well-known number for several Broadway musicals including hits for "Guys and Dolls" (1950).
• • A lifelong smoker, Frank Loesser died of lung cancer at age 59.
• • "Myra Breckinridge" came to the wide screen in June 1970 • •
• • The novel begins, "I am Myra Breckinridge whom no man will ever possess."
• • The very busy Leticia Van Allen character, who sang "You've Gotta Taste All the Fruit," was costumed by Edith Head. This gown was designed for Mae West.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • In August 1950 "Sunset Boulevard" was released in the USA.
• • Adam Jahnke writes: Today, it's impossible to picture anyone as faded silent film star Norma Desmond other than Gloria Swanson. Try to imagine how different the film would have been with Wilder's first choice, Mae West. Mae West turned it down, claiming she was too young, and after considering such luminaries from the silent era as Mary Pickford and Pola Negri, Wilder found the perfect choice in Swanson. . . .
• • Source: Article: "An Honor To Be Nominated: Sunset Blvd." written by Adam Jahnke, Columnist, The Morton Report; posted on 27 June 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1976th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Leticia costume, 1970 • •
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Mae West.

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