Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mae West: Saint Nick's Day

Invited to sing a duet in 1959 with ol' Rat Pack Dino on a "Dean Martin Special," MAE WEST performed "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" with her host in "point style" (that is, making asides to the lyrics). An a-Mae-zing performance on NBC-TV.
• • Dean Martin was born on 7 June 1917 as Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Italian parents. The crooner and occasional actor had an enviable career and became close friends with Frank Sinatra and numerous celebrities.
• • He died in Beverly Hills, California during the month of December — — on Christmas Day, 25 December 1995. He was 78 years old and had suffered from lung cancer.
• • His footprints were immortalized at Grauman's Chinese Theater in 1964. Dean Martin has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one at 6519 Hollywood Boulevard, for movies; one at 1617 Vine, for recordings; and a third at 6651 Hollywood Boulevard, for television.
• • "Mae West — On the Air"
• •
• • For the Mae-maven in your life (or as a special gift for yourself) "Mae West — On the Air" is sure to delight. These rare recordings from 1934 — 1960 are available on a CD. Don your gay apparel and get ready to enjoy these five appealing tracks:
• • • • "My Old Flame" — 1934
• • • • The Chesterfield Supper Club with Perry Como — January 1949
• • • • The Chesterfield Supper Club with Perry Como — 16 February 1950
• • • • The Dean Martin Show — NBC-TV — 4 May 1959
• • • • The Red Skelton Show — CBS-TV — 1 March 1960
• • In December, Let's Remember Marty Martyn [1905 — 1964] • •
• • Marty Martyn, who had a bit part as Malloy in "Night after Night" [1932], was born on 19 May 1905. He was also a Hollywood agent, however, he doesn't seem to have any other screen credit.
• • Marty Martyn died in Beverly Hills in the month of December — — on 25 December 1964. He was 59 years old.
• • On Friday, 25 December 1914 in Variety • •
• • Readers of Variety could not help but notice the ornate half-page advertisement for handsome Guido Deiro — — "The Master of the Piano Accordion, The Incomparable in His Line" (on the left, seated and displaying his accordion) — — and Mae West — — "The Original Brinkley Girl, A Style All Her Own" (on the right, wearing a lovely gown) who were "Engaged Jointly as Headline Features."
• • The final line, along the bottom margin of their promotional ad, offered a seasonal greeting in all caps: "WISHING THE ENTIRE WORLD A MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. This eye-catching ad ran on page 73 of Variety in the issue dated 25 December 1914.
• • On Thursday, 25 December 1919 • •
• • Cast in the successful Broadway hit "Sometime" [October 1918 — June 1919] as Mayme Dean, a vamp whose suitors always seem to decamp, Mae West was in the unusual position of putting across a few comically wistful laments in the show.
• • The 26-year-old performer was made up as a vamp, a la Theda Bara, after her appearance in Ned Wayburn's "Demitasse Revue" — — on the cover of a prestigious magazine, New York's Dramatic Mirror, 25 December 1919. This was quite a front page and it has become a fabulous collector's item.
• • On Saturday, 25 December 1920 on Broadway • •
• • When Mae was featured at the Central Theatre [Broadway & West 47th Street] on Saturday night, 25 December 1920, she had no idea that Santa Nick had a sweet little career surprise waiting.
• • Irish-American comedian Jimmy Hussey [1891 — 1930] was the star attraction that Christmas Day. Also performing were Phil Baker and Aileen Stanley — — but Mae West must have pulled focus and attracted Hussey's attention.
• • Clearly, Mae left the right impression on Christmas Day 1920. Several months later, Hussey wrote the book and the lyrics for the revue that would be renamed "The Mimic World 1921." He made sure his new material was custom-tailored to Mae's unique talents. She was cast in many prominent skits in this production — — including the con artist "Shifty Liz."
• • Clearly with Mae's approval and cooperation, Hussey penned the skit "The Trial of Shimmy Mae." Hussey himself played the judge as Mae demonstrated the shimmy in his topsy-turvy courtroom.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I was more concerned when he (Edward Friedman) threatened he'd break my nose — — and maybe I might lose my screen contract, too — — than with the $3,400 in cash and the $12,000 in jewelry he took when that crook held me up (on 28 September 1932)."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Newspapers coast to coast covered the trial in 1934 when Mae West took the witness stand.
• • Unable to get through crowded courthouse corridors until the police pushed her through, Mae West "stole the show" from Defendant Edward Friedman, on trial charged with robbing her, today. It was her third successive day as a witness. ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Steals Show Again at 3d Day of Robbery Trial" written by George Shaffer for The Chicago Daily Tribune; published on page 3 on 18 January 1934
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2156th 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 1935 • •
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