Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mae West: Stanley Adams

MAE WEST's motion picture "Every Day's a Holiday" [released on 18 December 1937] won no box-office bouquets. Hollywood's Hitler Joe Breen, that stern hemorrhoidal functionary, squeezed every red-blooded bit of oomph out of Mae West's sassy dialogue and other felicities.  Thanks to Breen's strangulation, Mae's one-liners became as flat as fritters and — — if there was any sauciness the Hays Office did not bleach out — — the public clamor after Mae's appearance on "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" drove the final stake through the blossoming publicity campaign.
• • Jubilee • •
• • However, Mae West did get her way in that Louis Armstrong [1901 — 1971] was patched into the plot. The movie's musical numbers included "Jubilee" (written by Stanley Adams and Hoagy Carmichael and performed by Louis Armstrong). Seen briefly as a hip street cleaner, Louis Armstrong introduces the song "Jubilee" while jauntily parading down the avenue along with other street sweepers during an election rally.
• • Stanley Adams [14 August 1907 — 27 January 1994] • •
• • Born in New York City in the month of August — — on Wednesday, 14 August 1907 — — Stanley Adams was enrolled as a law student at N.Y.U. before the songwriting bug bit. He contributed his lyrics to various revues before he got a few numbers into a Broadway musical comedy in 1933.
• • Later in the decade, when he collaborated extensively with Hoagy Carmichael [1899 — 1981], this teamwork created one of their most appealing numbers, "Little Old Lady"; it was used for the Bert Lahr and Beatrice Lillie revue "The Show Is On" [1936].
• • Stanley Adams also wrote songs for motion pictures. A durable hit, also done with Carmichael, was "Jubilee," introduced by Louis Armstrong in Mae West’s film "Every Day’s A Holiday" [1937].
• • The lyricist also successfully collaborated with Fats Waller, Milton Ager, and Louis Alter.  He served as President of ASCAP and had a versatile career.
• • Stanley Adams died in Manhasset, NY on 27 January 1994.  He was 86.
• • Oscar Levant [27 December 1906 — 14 August 1972] • •
• • Oscar Levant's scatological comments and controversial wisecracks about Mae West's sex life got his talk show cancelled for good in 1960. Unrestrained witticisms had gotten him in trouble before on the air, therefore, the network decided to add a safety net by taping the syndicated "Oscar Levant Show," to enable the engineers to weed out the outrageous.
• • Born into a musical and Orthodox Jewish Russian family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 27 December 1906, Oscar Levant moved to New York with his mother, Annie, in 1922 after the death of his father, Max. Oscar Levant gained fame as a pianist, composer,  humorist, and an author and actor.
• • A fatal heart attack stilled the voice of Oscar Levant. He died in Beverly Hills, California on Monday, 14 August 1972, and was interred in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles. He was 65.
• • On Tuesday, 14 August 1984 • •
• • It was on 2 May 1982 that the TV bio-pic "Mae West" had its small screen premiere starring actress Ann Jillian in the title role. The two-hour program was re-broadcast on ABC television at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, 14 August 1984 (following the excitement of the U.S. Olympics).
• • Remembering the May 1982 production, New York Times critic Richard F. Shepard had these comments two years later. Shepard wrote: ''Mae West'' was originally seen in 1982, long enough ago in these fast- moving times to almost qualify the show as a revival rather than as another summer re-run. It is reasonable programming, a show about a torrid actress in matching weather. It is also a drama that is satisfactory television, not earth-shaking, but one that is particularly admirable because it gives us a chance to see Ann Jillian portray the immortal Miss West. ...
• • Source: Written by New York Times critic Richard F. Shepard and published on Tuesday, 14 August 1984.
• • Auction on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 • •
• • Posters and items signed by Mae West are part of an upcoming auction: "Rare Manuscripts, Documents, and Autographs." Auctioneer is RR Auction from Amherst, New Hampshire.  Previewing has begun. Good luck to the bidders. 
• • 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: "Sex is an emotion in motion."
• • About her husband Guido Deiro, Mae West said: "The sex thing was terrific with this guy. I wanted to do it morning, noon, and night, and that's all I wanted to do."  Mae wed the accordionist under the name "Catherine Mae Belle West." The divorce decree in 1920 stated her real name.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Film World focused a few paragraphs on Mae West.
• • Film World wrote: "This unique star, who has so ably capitalised on her special style of entertainment, is much better known in Perth today than when "She Done Him Wrong" was shown last year, owing to the world publicity her pictures have received of late and to the release of her novels in Australia.  Not that publicity is new to Miss West ...."
• • Source: Article: "Paramount Week Attractions" in Film World; published on 10 August 1934
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2394th 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 • 1937
• •
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  Mae West.

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