On "Way Out West," a 1966 rock 'n' roll studio album, MAE WEST sings "Shakin' All Over."
• • This rock and roll standard was originally performed by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. Written by frontman Johnny Kidd, it reached #1 in the United Kingdom in August 1960.
• • Known in the music world as Johnny Kidd, Frederick Heath was born in Willesden, North London in the twelfth month of the year — — on 23 December 1935. In 1956, the 21-year-old hopeful began playing guitar for a British foursome that covered primarily skiffle, pop, and rockabilly. Within three months, Heath had written over two dozen songs. Number 31 would give the band their break; Kidd did the vocals on the track. Eventually, it would unfold that Heath was one of the few pre-Beatles British rock and rollers to achieve worldwide fame.
• • Frederick Heath a.k.a. Johnny Kidd met an early end but not by his own hand. He died on 7 October 1966, in a fatal car crash on the A58, Bury New Road, Breightmet, near Radcliffe, Lancashire. The vehicle he was riding in suffered a head-on collision with an automobile driven by Peter Metcalfe and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Helen Read, who also died in the accident. He was 30 years old. Kidd was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London. Today would have been the musician's 76th birthday.
• • On 23 December 1929 in Los Angeles • •
• • Mae West took her "Diamond Lil" cast to the West Coast where she hoped to meet with Hollywood producers who would help bring the popular stage play to the silver screen. After a booking in San Francisco, Mae moved to her final California destination: Los Angeles. An article about Mae was published in The L.A. Times on 23 December 1929.
• • On 23 December 1984 • •
• • "West and Owney Had a Hot Romance" was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the bootlegger and Cotton Club owner Owney Madden, who was Mae's lover, written by film critic Kevin Thomas and published in The Los Angeles Times on 23 December 1984.
• • On 23 December 2007 • •
• • In a year's end round-up that assessed the Bay Area theatre scene in 2007, reporter Pat Craig ranked the Berkeley, California revival of "Sex" by Mae West at the Aurora Theatre in the top ten. Successfully staged and with an appealing cast, "Sex" had been held over.
• • The final performance of "Sex" at the Aurora Theatre, with Delia MacDougall as Margy Lamont (the Mae West role), was on 23 December 2007.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
• • Mae West said: "Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you."
• • Mae West said: "Too many girls follow the line of least resistance — — but a good line is hard to resist."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the latest nonfiction titles in print on December 23rd (five years ago) tackled a biography of Mae West.
• • Title under review: Mae West 'It Ain't No Sin' by biographer Simon Louvish, 492 pages
• • California critic Martin Rubin wrote: The trouble with writing a biography of someone like Mae West is that her image is not only larger than life, it's also big enough to dwarf the portrait you are trying to create. For most of her life, unto the very brink of the grave, she was engaged in imprinting that image of the sexiest of sexy women. Every action, every word, every gesture, off screen and on, seemed to be devoted to making indelible that persona. Not to cast aspersion on the biographical skills of Simon Louvish in this intelligent, analytical study, but everywhere you go in the pages of "Mae West: 'It Ain't No Sin,'" it is hard to escape the feeling that she got there first. ...
• • Source: "The Saturday Read — — The self-creation that was Mae West" written by Martin Rubin | Special to The Los Angeles Times; published on 23 December 2006
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2154th 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/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1966 • •
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