Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mae West: Nice to Have a Man

MAE WEST sang a very memorable song on TV (no, not the duet with Rock Hudson) — — and it was written by a native New Yorker and praised the idea of a live-in fellow.
• • Born in Mae's hometown, New York City, Harold Spina [21 June 1906 — 11 August 1997] earned a reputation as a skillful arranger as well as a composer of popular songs. He always claimed that as a 14-year-old, he was conducting his own orchestra. By the time he finished high school, he was writing vocal arrangements and working as a staff pianist for music publishing companies on Tin Pan Alley. 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. In 1937 he took the opportunity to head to Hollywood to create film scores. Still tuned into pop music, he co-created 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. At 91 years old, Harold Spina died in the month of August — — on 11 August 1997.
• • Mae West & Eugene O'Neill: Off-beat Links • •
• • Eugene O'Neill's name was regularly mentioned in connection with judicial proceedings regarding censorship at Jefferson Market Court on Sixth Avenue. For instance, City Hall gave him a few headaches by trying to stop his plays from being performed in NYC on Sundays. Unlike Mae West, Gene was not arrested nor hauled in to Jefferson Market Police Court in a paddy wagon. Nor did he spend time in their jail as Mae did on two occasions. On Sunday August 14th, those who take the tour will see rare photos of the prison that held Mae in 1927. In those days, when there was no such thing as prisoners rights, cold dirt floors and broken windows awaited the inmates.
• • On Sunday afternoon, 14 August 2011 • •
• • "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill"
• • Mae West's birthday is August 17th. Join us at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, 14 August 2011. The title of this illustrated historical theme walk is "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill." Rare vintage illustrations will show you how the buildings and blocks looked as these two theatre people saw them.
• • Where: This illustrated walking tour begins at 62 West Ninth Street, NYC (near Sixth Avenue). Join us and take a walk on the wild side this weekend.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: No gold-digging for me. I'll I take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West is mentioned in an interview with Craig Russell, an impersonator who was then performing in Melbourne, Australia.
• • The Australian Women's Weekly writes: MOST PEOPLE know Mae West only as a famous American sex queen. But behind that face lurk two more faces — — the philanthropist and the hard-headed businesswoman. So says 28-year-old comedian-impressionist Craig Russell, who is at present performing in Melbourne.
• • And Craig should know. For almost a year, he worked as her secretary and helped with her autobiography, Goodness Had Nothing To Do With lt. "Actually, goodness had a lot to do with it." Craig says. "Mae's sexy burlesque queen image is so strong that people fail to realize at the back of it lurks an angel who has had her hand in her pocket for years supporting people, worthy causes and putting wings on hospitals."
• • And she is also a "cute businesswoman." says Craig. "She bought real estate hand over fist in the '30s." He said it was sad most people only saw Mae as a sexy, salty platinum bombshell. "She's a Leo. Like Jackie Onassis and Lucille Ball. Mae is a real power lady!" It was Mae who gave Craig his start in show business. ...
• • Source: Article: "THE TWO HIDDEN FACES OF MAE WEST" from The Australian Women's Weekly (1932
1982); published on Wednesday, 24 November 1976
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2019th 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 • • in trouble in 1927 • •
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