Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mae West: Merry Month

MAE WEST was named Mary Jane by her parents. Was "May" or "Mae" more popular?
• • Omaha columnist Cleveland Evans wrote: May is now more common as a girl’s middle name.  ... May was at its height in the USA around the time of the Civil War. The Social Security Administration’s yearly list of the most popular baby names begins with 1880, when May ranked 57th for girls. It then gradually fell and dropped off the top thousand list in 1963.
• • Cleveland Evans explained: Americans have been especially fond of the alternate spelling Mae. Since 1886, Mae’s been more common in the United States than May, while staying rare in Britain.  Mae West [1893 — 1980], America’s original “sex symbol,” was born Mary Jane West. She’s another example of how a popular star can’t help a former fashion that’s declining. Mae dropped as a first name throughout her career, leaving the top thousand in 1970.
• • Cleveland Evans continued: May did become extremely popular as a middle name, as many parents like one-syllable names in that position. May was one of the top three middle names for American girls born in the 1920s.  ... [Read more about the name May, Mae, Mai on]
• • Al Jolson [26 May 1886 — 23 October 1950] • •
• • Mae West worked with a versatile performer whose death caused The Gay White Way to go black as a final tribute.
• • In 1911 both Mae West and Al Jolson accepted an offer to perform in the play "Vera Violetta." The show opened on 20 November 1911 and it was a phenomenal success. In this musical Jolson portrayed Claude, a blackface singer.  Staged at the Winter Garden Theatre, the production finally closed on 24 February 1912.  (Gaby Deslys got Mae fired well before that.)
• • It was on 25 June 1926 that Mae West appeared with Al Jolson — — as well as Houdini and other entertainers (such as George M. Cohan, Fanny Brice, the Marx Brothers, Ann Pennington, Hazel Dawn, Eddie Foy, etc.) — — at the Polo Grounds on West 155th Street in Manhattan's Washington Heights area. The fundraiser was for the benefit of the United Jewish Campaign.
• • Mae West rarely appeared on radio. When she did, she was there to promote one of her films. Mae West had guest-starred on The Shell Chateau with Al Jolson in 1936. The Shell Chateau was a musical variety series that began on 29 June 1935, with Jolson serving as its host. Due to other commitments, Jolson left this show permanently in April 1936.
• • In 1886, Al Jolson was born as Asa Yoelson in a Jewish hamlet (Srednik) in Lithuania, which was then part of Russia.  Unaware of his exact birthdate, he decided on May 26th.
• • Al Jolson died  in San Francisco, California, evidently of a heart attack, on 23 October 1950.  The showman was 64.
• • On Sunday, 26 May 1889 • •
• • Another wedding in the Jacob Delker family; Delker was Mae's maternal grandfather.  Matilda West's brother Carl Delker married Miss Mathilde Misdorn on Sunday, 26 May 1889. 
• • Earlier that year Miss Matilda Delker had wed John West in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on Saturday, 19 January 1889.
• • On Wednesday, 26 May 1999 • •
• • Wednesday, 26 May 1999, TV viewers and Mae mavens were able to watch  Intimate Portrait, Season 5, Episode 28: "Mae West." This was the original air date and it was shown on LIFE.
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • A memoir written by Derek Taylor was called "As Time Goes By: Living in the Sixties with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Brian Epstein, Allen Klein, Mae West, Brian Wilson, The Byrds, Danny Kaye, The Beach Boys, one wife and six children living in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and on the Road."  Quite a title. Whew!
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The wages of sin are sables and a film contract."
• • Mae West said: "Don't keep a man guessing too long.  He's sure to find the answer somewhere else."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about quotations mentioned Mae West.
• • David Crystal wrote: "The memories of childhood," said Dylan Thomas, "have no order and no end." And, as the BBC World Service's recent Moving Words poll demonstrated, so it is with quotations. Proposals flooded in from all over the world, juxtaposing politics and cinema, philosophy and literature, science and religion. Woody Allen rubbed shoulders with the Dalai Lama, St Augustine, with Mae West.  ...
• • Source: Article: "First steps on a journey with words" written by David Crystal for The Guardian Weekly [U.K.]; published on Friday, 26 May 2006     
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2312th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1930s • •
• •
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Mae West.

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