Sunday, August 05, 2012

Mae West: Dave Johns

In 1977, MAE WEST posed with Dave Johns, newly crowned Mr. America.
• • Dave Johns [5 August 1945 — 26 July 1986] • • 
• • Racism has kept the Mr. America title going primarily to white men.  Since Mae West took an interest in black boxers and bodybuilders, she probably was aware of the discrimination they faced. Handsome and well-built Dave Johns, born on 5 August 1945, was 31 years old when he won in 1977 and Mae was there to commemorate his achievement.
• • A year later, Dave Johns was awarded the global title Mr. Universe. Beyond his competitions and winning record, little is known about this hard working Afro-American.  The five-foot-nine muscleman died at the age of 41 of a lung infection.
• • Marilyn Monroe [1 June 1926 — 5 August 1962] • •
• • In an article titled "Mae West Talks about Marilyn Monroe," the Brooklyn bombshell had an opinion about Norma Jeane Mortenson, professionally known as Marilyn Monroe.
• • Looking back on her long career, Mae West told a reporter: My advice for her? Forget about the men; win over the ladies. The men won't forget you, anyway — — not the way you walk. 
• • And, said Mae, Marilyn has the Mae West roll. In my pictures I never took a man from another woman or pursued another woman's husband, said Mae. That was all part of my plan to keep women audiences happy. They don't like to be reminded of the fact that their man might stray after some thing like — — well, you know what I mean.
• • Marilyn Monroe, commemorated by the USPS with a postage stamp, has been dead for fifty years, much longer than her lifespan.  A sad ending at 36 years old.
• • On Tuesday, 5 August 1913 in Manhattan • •
• • A review of Mae West's performance at Hammerstein's Victoria appeared in a NYC newspaper on Tuesday, 5 August 1913. The critic noted that she was appealing to the audience "by singing a repertory of 'I Don't Care' type of songs and appearing in a dazzling series of low-and-behold gowns." However, it was clear she was trying to steal the thunder from the main act, Evelyn Nesbit, and having a hard time of it.
• • Even Variety's columnist Joshua Lowe [whose critique was published on 8 August 1913] noticed how hard she was working. "Mae West sang loud enough to be distinctly heard in the rear," wrote Joshua Lowe.
• • On Tuesday, 5 August 1980 • •
• • Mae West signed a check to pay Beverly West $125.00 for maintenance and care of the ranch on Tuesday, 5 August 1980. This check was drawn on her personal account at the United California Bank.
• • On Sunday, 5 August 2012 • •
• • On Sunday, 5 August 2012 the swinging Mel-Tones will perform hits by Mae West and Dean Martin and also lovely old standards such as “On the Sunny Side of the Street” as part of the Pawtucket City Hall Concert Series in Rhode Island. This free concert begins this evening at 6 o'clock at Veterans Amphitheater.
• • 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 ever-popular Mae West Raffle will offer rare prizes once again to a number of lucky attendees. The public is invited.
• • Mae West was born in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, 17 August 1893.
• • Closest MTA subway stations: Grand St. or Canal St.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I'm so ultra-modern that I'm old-fashioned. That's the real truth of the matter."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • When Mae West joined her first stock company in 1907, opened that year by Hall Clarendon in Brooklyn, she was often assigned male roles.
• • An article about the play "East Lynne" mentioned Mae West's portrayal of Little Willie.
• • The Washington Elm staff wrote: There is still the jealous, forgotten lady who is the real cause of all the trouble; a weak and good for nothing brother; a faithful maid, and Little Willie. This last part — — to be played Friday evening by Hazel Lynch — — was portrayed by Mae West when she was starting her stage career. ...
• • Source: Article: "Washington Players Announce Schedule"  written by The Washington Elm Staff; published on Saturday, 30 November 1935 

By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2385th 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 • 1977
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