Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mae West: Ray Cooke

MAE WEST had a scene in "I'm No Angel" [1933] in which two sailors are shown enjoying Tira's circus act. One handsome seaman was played by Ray Cooke.
• • Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 5 April 1905, Ray Cooke was 22 years old when he dedicated himself to the silver screen. From 1927 — 1931, he was in brief scenes as a messenger, student, frat boy, chauffeur, bellhop, and sailor, before he got his big break.
• • In 1931, he played the title role in "Torchy." This amusing short paved the way to sequels for him: "Torchy Passes the Buck" [1931] — — then "Torchy Turns the Trick," "Torchy's Night Cap," "Torchy Raises the Auntie," "Torchy's Two Toots," and five more Torchy titles released between 1932 — 1933.  After that he went back to portraying sailors, messengers, drivers, and bellhops.  He was featured in 105 motion pictures until 1951, when he retired.
• • Ray Cooke died in Los Angeles in the month of July — — on Wednesday, 10 July 1963.  He was 58.
• • Jimmy McHugh [10 July 1894 — 23 May 1969] • •
• • Born in Boston in the month of July — — on 10 July 1894 — — James Francis McHugh was a prolific songwriter who was doing his best work from the 1920s through the 1950s. McHugh composed over 270 songs and his hits were recorded by Mae West as well as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Dinah Washington, June Christy, Peggy Lee, Deanna Durbin, and Ella Fitzgerald.
• • Composer Jimmy McHugh collaborated with lyricist Dorothy Fields in 1935 on "I'm in the Mood for Love," which enjoyed great popularity and is still being recorded today. Mae sang this on her LP "Fabulous Mae West."
• • Jimmy McHugh died in Beverly Hills, California on 23 May 1969. He was 74.
• • On Friday, 10 July 1931 • •
• • During July 1931 Mae West entered into a complex discussion with the Shuberts about a stage version of "The Constant Sinner," based on her bi-racial novel set in Harlem and published by Macauley in hardcover [November 1930].
• • The mainstage contracts were signed by Mae West the playwright (on Friday, 10 July 1931) and Mae West the Broadway star (on 20 August 1931).
• • When she brought her stage play "The Constant Sinner" to Atlantic City in August 1931, the crowds lined up for tickets, noted The New York Times.
• • Happy Birthday to Ian Whitcomb • •
• • Ian Whitcomb was born in Woking, Surrey, England on Friday, 10 July 1941.
• • Ian Whitcomb was the producer for Mae West on her album "Great Balls of Fire" [MGM Records, 1972].  He's 71 today and we hope the celebration is simply smashing.
• • Save the Date: Thursday, August 16th • •
• • Thursday, 16 August 2012 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the evening affair will start at 6:30 pm at 155 Mulberry Street.  This year Mae-mavens will enjoy an indoor event (ahhh, air conditioning), music written by Mae West's Italian husband will be played, and attendees will be seated. At the Reception, Italian wine and light refreshments will be served. The public is invited.
• • Mae West was born in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, 17 August 1893.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Look your best — — who said love is blind?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in The N.Y Times mentioned Mae West.
• • 75 Years Ago — 1937 Mae West Admits Marriage • •
• • The N.Y. Times wrote: LOS ANGELES — After repeatedly denying, with considerable annoyance and many a wisecrack, that she had ever known a vaudeville actor named Frank Wallace, Mae West, buxom siren of the screen, admitted today [July 8] in the Los Angeles Superior Court that she had been his wife for the last twenty-six years. She said that, as far as she knew, the marriage was still in effect, but denied that she and Wallace had ever lived together as man and wife. She was answering a suit brought by Wallace to establish the validity of the marriage. It was more than two years ago that a relief worker, going over some dusty files, came across a record of the marriage in 1911 of a Mae West, eighteen years old, of Brooklyn and a Frank Wallace, twenty-one, of the same city in Milwaukee. This item of news brought prompt denials from the screen star, who said she “never heard of the guy” and knew nothing about a place called Milwaukee.
• • Source: Article: "1937 Mae West Admits Marriage" written by The N.Y. Times; published on 8 July 1937
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2358th 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 • 1933
• •
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  Mae West.

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