Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mae West: Buy a Swan Bed

The swan bed MAE WEST used in "Diamond Lil" made such an impression on the audience that several artists used the image in sketches of the costumed actress in 1928, for instance, Irving Hoffman and Miguel Covarrubias. 
• • Formerly, the gilded swan-shaped furniture belonged to the turn-of-the-century actress Amelia Bingham [1869 — 1927]. Mae said she purchased it from the estate of Diamond Jim Brady [1856 — 1917].
• • Time Magazine's theatre critic, admitting Lil had his heart at hello, felt her big-hearted bountifulness was on a scale with this golden bird: "Propped up under the armpits by a dress that might have been designed by the stage carpenter, Mae West played the role that she had written about a bygone queen of Manhattan's underworld. Diamond Lil was a harlot whose heart was as big and golden as the enormous swan shaped bed that stood in her elaborate cubicle above Gus Jordan's saloon and brothel. ..."
• • A different swan bed was seen in the play's cinema version filmed in 1932 as "She Done Him Wrong." One hilarious scene shows Lady Lou perusing The National Police Gazette while reclining on her swan divan.
• • Children's Swan Bed • •
• • A hand-painted wooden Children's Swan Bed is available from Little Treasures [47 Bolton Street, Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancashire, BL0 9HU]. Maybe your little prince or princess would like to sleep in this swan? No ordinary youth bed is this. What dreams will come to the lucky one who lies down between enchanted wings, carefully carved by a British craftsperson, we can only imagine.
• • In December, Let's Remember Raymond Hubbell [1879 — 1954] • •
• • Mae West was cast in "A Winsome Widow," a musical comedy farce that was produced on Broadway from 11 April 1912 — 7 September 1912. The music was by Raymond Hubbell.
• • Born in Urbana, Ohio on 1 June 1879, Raymond Hubbell attended local schools but earned serious musical training in Chicago. Like most young men at the time, he formed a dance band in Chicago. Ready for serious employment, he accepted a position as a staff arranger and pianist with the influential firm Charles K. Harris Publishers.
• • By 1902, the 23-year-old began composing for theatrical musicals in The Windy City. And, fortunately, his very first show then transferred to New York City.
• • By 1905, he was regularly being pulled in to Broadway projects. In a short time, Raymond Hubbell was composing light fare for productions starring Nora Bayes. By 1911 he was assigned to the Ziegfeld Follies, which kept him on for later editions.
• • In 1912 he was hired to do the score for "A Winsome Widow." Following up these successes, he would write for Bessie McCoy, Will Rogers, Julian Eltinge, Irene Dunne, Leon Errol, and others.
• • After he worked on "Three Cheers" in 1928, he returned to Miami, Florida. Raymond Hubbell died there in the month of December — — on 13 December 1954.
• • In December 1933 • •
• • Hollywood trend-setters and East Coast clothes horses were enlightened by Mae West's article "Clothes and Me" when it was published in the November — December issue of Mode Magazine on page 44.
• • Costume designer Edith Head used to say, "Mae West taught me all I know about sex, clothes-wise."
• • In December 1934 • •
• • Motion Picture, the popular fan magazine, carried this cover line in their issue for December 1934: "'Don't Get Me Wrong' — — Mae West" and the article carried Mark Dowling's byline [pages 32 — 33, 68] and showed wonderful studio shots of the star of Paramount Pictures.
• • In December 1974 in Hollywood • •
• • "Mae West: The Queen at Home in Hollywood" appeared in the December 1974 issue of Interview Magazine (published in NYC by Andy Warhol) on page 12. Journalist Peter Lester and actress Angelica Huston worked on this together.
• • Angelica's father John Huston [1906 — 1987], who was featured in "Myra Breckinridge" with Mae, had admired her since 1928, when he saw her in "Diamond Lil" on Broadway, then took off across America to research the folk roots of a song she sang called "Frankie and Johnny."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Come up sometime. I'll tell your fortune."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A holiday event in Manhattan at the Merchant's House Museum will include a bit of Mae West.
• • According to The Villager: For 75 years, the Merchant’s House Museum has preserved domestic life as lived from 1835 — 1865. This holiday season, they’re making room for some compelling curiosities from a very different era. “From Candlelight to Bubble Light: A 1950s Christmas in an 1850s House” is a visionary mash-up of times and traditions. Through January 9, the halls will be retro-decked with conceptual stylist (and East Village icon) Deb O’Nair’s collection of 1950s/60s holiday decorations and Americana. Mae West Christmas albums and molded-plastic lit-from-within Frostys might seem like a jarring contrast to the original furnishings and personal possessions of the Tredwell family — — but taken as a whole, the place just plain feels like home. ...
• • Source: Article: "Your Holiday To-Do List" written by the editors of The Villager; posted on 10 December 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2144th 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 • • 1928 • • 

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Mae West.

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