Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mae West: Take It Easy, Lester

It was June 1954 and MAE WEST debuted her new muscleman act at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. One of her hot numbers was “Take It Easy, Boys,” which the prolific Lester Lee had originally written for Rita Hayworth to perform in her 1953 Columbia film "Miss Sadie Thompson" [Columbia Pictures, 1953], however, the censors deleted these scenes.
• • A native New Yorker (like Mae), Lester Lee was born in The Big Apple on 7 November 1904. He attended an all-boy school, Manual Trades High School in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. An accomplished author and composer, he joined ASCAP in 1942. Working with his chief musical collaborators, Ned Washington, Allan Roberts, Zeke Manners, and Bob Russell, Lester Lee turned out numerous pop songs. A versatile hit-factory in his prime, with numerous chart-toppers to his credit, Lester Lee wrote many musical-production tunes. In 1943, he signed a contract with a Hollywood film studio. From 1945 on, he was creating special material for radio.
• • Lester Lee died from a heart attack in Los Angeles in the month of June — — on 19 June 1956. He was 51 years old.
• • On 19 June 2009 • •
• • Dreamwell Theatre presented "The Drag" written by Mae West. The limited run began on 19 June 2009.
• • Since the beginning of May 2009, Chuck Dufano and his cast and crew had been rehearsing The Drag, a 20-century play written by silver-screen star Mae West. This presentation, a Dreamwell Theatre production, was performed at the Universalist Unitarian Society, 10 S. Gilbert St., at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and also on June 26-27, 2009.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An enjoyable article appeared in The Independent (Ireland) with this title: "Funny girls. . . who says women aren't the Mae West?" — — but can someone please explain why it was offered in this Irish newspaper's farming section?
• • Originally published in Ireland Review, one of those staffwriters had explained: And if Hollywood's history is light on hilarious women, that's probably because men wrote most of the screenplays and preferred to cast females as the decorative butt of male jokes. But there are honourable exceptions to this rule, and the evidence shows that when given the chance female comediennes can more than match the efforts of the men.
• • The Irish staffwriter continued: Early Hollywood comediennes could be surprisingly bawdy, and Mae West was very much the Joan Rivers of her day. She didn't stand around waiting for men to tell jokes, she told them herself, and her salty witticisms became legendary. "When I'm good I'm very good," she once boasted, "but when I'm bad I'm better."
• • The Irish staffwriter clarified: Mae West became a huge Hollywood star in the early 1930s, and was famous for rewriting her scenes. In the 1932 film Night by Night, a hatcheck girl stopped West and said "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." "Goodness has nothing to do with it dearie," was the actress's self-penned reply. ... If Mae West made her name playing the sassy blonde, Goldie Hawn resurrected the old stereotype of the dumb blonde. ...
• • Source: Article: "Funny girls. . . who says women aren't the Mae West?" written by staff of the Ireland Review, reprinted by The Independent (Ireland); posted on 18 June 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1966th 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:
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1954 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

No comments:

Post a Comment