Thursday, October 06, 2011

Mae West: Tira Takes October

On 6 October 1933, MAE WEST wowed the world when Paramount released "I'm No Angel" directed by Wesley Ruggles and co-starring Cary Grant (in the role of Jack Clayton).
• • Writing about this new release by Paramount Pictures, Variety's reporter Land weighed in, calling Mae West "as hot an issue as Hitler." Remarkable, eh? Land wrote: Needless to say this opus will scarcely get on the reformers' recommended lists. But with the tide running the opposite way, perhaps the spleen of the moralists isn't such a factor right now. And anyway, Mae West is today the biggest conversation-provoker, free space grabber, and all-around box office bet in the country. She's as hot an issue as Hitler.
• • Source: Variety [edition 17 October 1933]
• • Milton and "Big Boy" in October • •
• • It was during October 1924 that Mae West attached herself to the subversive song sheet for "Big Boy," a run-away hit by the lyricist Jack Yellen [1892 — 1991] and the composer Milton Ager who was born in the month of October — — on 6 October 1893. "Big Boy," with explicit lyrics about a darktown sheik who drives both pale and brown-skinned women wild in bed, was offered by Advanced Music Corp. on a song sheet disguised with artwork depicting a jaunty white male.
• • When the Wolverines recorded "Big Boy" in October 1924, this number had already become hugely popular. Though Mae was offered no opportunity to record this, she did pose quite fetchingly on the song sheet.
• • On 6 October 1959 • •
• • In early October — — on 6 October 1959 — — newscaster Charles Collingwood had taped an interview in the screen queen's apartment. Questioned about the title of her new memoir Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, Mae West replied, "It's about my private transgressions — — that's a long word for sin." The suits viewed the footage and were afraid to air it.
• • Born in Michigan, Charles Collingwood [4 June 1917 — 3 October 1985] was a pioneering CBS television newscaster. Collingwood was a protege of Edward R. Murrow during the Second World War and became known as an eloquent on-air journalist. He was part of a group of distinguished early television journalists that included Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, and Murrow himself.
• • Despite a constant battle with the bottle and a feverish addiction to gambling, Collingwood went on to become chief correspondent of CBS and host of its "Eyewitness to History" series.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Beulah, peel me a grape.” [Tira said it in "I'm No Angel," 1933.]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the Hotel Fauchere's history mentioned Mae West.
• • Tina Traster writes: The hotel was originally founded by Louis Fauchere, a Swiss man who had been the master chef at Delmonico’s in New York, in 1852. Over the years, Andrew Carnegie, Mae West, Sarah Bernhardt, Babe Ruth, and Presidents Roosevelt (both of them) and Kennedy bedded down here. The Fauchere family closed the hotel in 1976. Like John Berendt, other writers and artists have been inspired by Milford, Pennsylvania . . . .
• • Source: Article: "Marvelous Milford" written by Tina Traster for The N.Y. Post; posted on 5 October, 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2075th 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 • • with Cary Grant in 1933 • •
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