Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Mae West: Well-Curved

It was the Thursday issue on 1 February 1934 when newspaper readers were alerted to this headline in all caps: "MAE WEST SETS STYLE."
• • When Mae was born in 1893, the latter part of the Victorian Era, folks were feeding their burgeoning hunger, showing their prosperity proudly by an expansive Diamond-Jim-Brady-type waistline, and striving to keep time to the upwardly mobile rhapsody. But the Wall Street bull market in the twenties bulldozed the silhouette of the new strivers. John Held's flappers were trim, higher hemlines showing off slim athletic calves that loved to do the Charleston. Louise Brooks, the silent screen star, looked like a modern jazz baby, which is to say her figure was nothing like Lillian Russell nor Madge Lessing. As the flickers gave way to talking pictures, Hollywood headliners tended to be svelte, angular, and diamond-cheekboned.
• • Mae West's enormous popularity on the silver screen brought back the bountiful bosoms and curves of the Naughty Nineties. In Queensland, there was applause.
• • The value of a well curved figure • •
• • The article
— "MAE WEST SETS STYLE" printed on February 1st in Brisbane, Queensland's daily The Courier-Mail (on page 7) read: Mae West, the Broadway star, who made a picture called "She Done Him Wrong," is claimed to have caused a change in feminine fashions. Miss West is a well set up, curved blonde. Before she achieved success in her first starring picture, women had to be slim, or they were out of fashion. But Mae West has changed that. They were becoming slimmer and slimmer. They were then turning to bobs and Eton crops, the shingle, and the bingle. The picture that caused the change in style, "She Done Him Wrong," will be shown at the Tivoli Theatre on 9 February 1934. Patrons may then judge for themselves the value of a well curved figure, as against the thin and svelte types who have ruled fashion so long.
• • Karl Hajos [1889 — 1950] • •
• • A composer who wrote the incidental music for "I'm No Angel" [1933], the smash hit starring Mae West, died on the first of February.
• • Born in Budapest, Karl Hajos [28 January 1889 — 1 February 1950] immigrated to the USA in 1924 at the age of 35. Serious about composing and song writing, Hajos had studied in his homeland at at the University of Budapest and the Academy of Music in Budapest.
• • During the 1930s, when Hajos was contracted to Paramount Pictures, he wrote stock music for "I'm No Angel." Mostly uncredited in Hollywood, he raised his profile during the mid-1940s when two films he worked on earned Oscar nominations for Best Music. Occasionally, a fan will attribute a famous song to Hajos [such as "Falling Leaves" by Frankie Carle and Mack David], but it does not seem as though he had any hits.
• • Karl Hajos died in Los Angeles, California in February — — on 1 February 1950. He was 61.
• • On Tuesday, 1 February 1927 in Connecticut • •
• • On Tuesday, February 1st at 5 AM, Mae West was arrested along with her sister and the director Edward Elsner in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
• • The tabloid New York World covered the story on the front page on 1 February 1927 as did the New York Morning Telegraph, offering their voyeuristic readers every sin-soaked scrap about the scandal. The N.Y. Times also reported on this on February 1st but in less lurid detail.
• • Ballyhoo Magazine, February 1934 — The Mae West Number • •
• • Mae West's portrait appeared on the cover of Ballyhoo along with a slinky silhouette of a disgruntled Greta Garbo garbed in angry red. Here is one cartoon from this no-holds-barred humor magazine. Ballyhoo did not run ads because they wanted no restrictions on the editorial content.
• • Cartoon: Ballyhoo's illustrators depicted the "Mae West Influence" on fashion. Isn't this drawing wonderful?
• • In 16 Magazine in 1966 • •
• • Editor-in-Chief of 16 Gloria Stavers wrote: Tower has signed a cute little not-so-new blonde named Mae West, and her rock and roll LP called Way Out West (accompanied by Somebody's Children) is an absolute must. I mean, it really grooves. ...
• • On 1 February 1967 in England • •
• • Recording began for the album "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" in studio two at Abbey Road on 1 February 1967. When invited to be pictured on the cover, Mae West's first response was, "No, I won't be on it. What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?"
• • February 1975 Club Magazine • •
• • A new soft-core publication for red-blooded males was Club Magazine. They launched their first issue in February 1975. Volume 1, Number 1's cover advertised that readers could enjoy a fresh interview with Mae West.
• • Mae West was interviewed for Club Magazine by Gordon McGill.
• • On 1 February 2008 • •
• • The paperback edition of "Mae West: Empress of Sex" written by Maurice Leonard was released on 1 February 2008. The first edition of Leonard's biography, in hardcover, had come out in August 1992.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It's no good trying to be serious. I tried it 18 months ago by playing Catherine of Russia, but when I held out my hand to be kissed the audience was not happy until I raised my eyebrows in that way they like. So gradually the whole thing became a burlesque."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Tennessee discussed Mae West.
• • News Chanel 5 wrote: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There are plenty of stages in downtown Nashville, but few that inspire its own soft and soothing country song like the Ryman Auditorium where country music stars have made history for 120 years.
• • "This stage has hosted everyone from Mae West to Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash and all of the great country music artists," said Brenda Colliday. ...
• • Source: News Release: "Ryman Upgrades with New Stage" published on News Chanel 5; posted on 30 January 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2195th 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 • 1934 • •
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