Monday, February 17, 2014

Mae West: Harvey Oliver Brooks

MAE WEST's smash hit "I'm No Angel" featured the music of Harvey Oliver Brooks.  According to some sources, Brooks is the first black American to have written a complete score for a major motion picture.  That's a neat accomplishment so let's discuss him during Black History Month.                
• • Harvey Oliver Brooks [17 February 1899 — 17 June 1968] • •
• • In "I'm No Angel" Mae warbles the title tune in her inimitable sassy way.
• • Harvey Brooks wrote the music for the theme song and the lyrics were written by Gladys DuBois and Ben Ellison.
• • Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Friday, 17 February 1899, Harvey Brooks also wrote the music for "I Want You, I Need You" and several other Mae West numbers, too. 
• • Composer Harvey Brooks — a member of ASCAP — died in Los Angeles on Monday, 17 June 1968.  He was 69.
• • On Saturday, 17 February 1934 • •
• • A.M. Botsford, after reviewing the script for "It Ain't No Sin" and songs such as "Creole Man" ——about smoking marijuana with a Creole man and stroking his "warm, high brown skin" — — dashed off a letter to Joe Breen on Saturday, 17 February 1934.  Botsford warned Joe about "many lines which are censorably dangerous."
• • You wonder if Mae really thought she could include a song like that in a 1934 picture.
• • On Saturday, 17 February 1951 in Los Angeles • •
• • In Los Angeles on February 17th, Pete Ermalinger, manager of the Biltmore Theatre, was negotiating for "Diamond Lil" the Mae West starrer currently in Texas.
• • "Hollywood Biltmore Seeks Lil Date" was the headline and the piece was datelined Hollywood, Saturday 17 February 1951. The popular show starring Mae West was, at that time, onstage in The Lone Star State.
• • Mae West looked ravishing in her Lil costume in 1951. She did bring the show to Los Angeles for an acclaimed run at the Biltmore.
• • This item ran in Billboard Magazine on 24 February 1951.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Ronald Svdrow, eleven years old, of Buffalo, NY, has organized a baseball team and calls it the "Mae West Nine."
• • "And," writes Ronald, "with curves like that, we never lose a game!" These kids have got us stopped without even trying!
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It was a natural style I had. My writings always went back to sex. Even my humor. I started to be more humorous when I got into pictures."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Cary Grant said: "I can't answer the question. I can only say, 'How would you feel, making love to someone under a battery of lights with thirty people looking on?'"
• • But Jack La Rue, the screen menace, declares that the player who says he is unmoved by screen love is not being completely honest.
• • "To play a love scene properly, the actor must put feeling into a role," La Rue confessed. "In such a case he cannot help taking his emotions into his private life."
• • "I admit that I fall in love with my leading women. They are adorable creatures. On the set I love them. In private life I worship them. But I know when to stop. Realism is necessary in love scenes. One I had on the stage with Mae West, in 'Diamond Lil,' always drove the audience into hysterics, it was so real. So you know what I think of Mae West."  . . .
• • Source: The New Movie Magazine; published in September 1935 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2855th 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 on a song sheet in 1933

• • Feed — —
  Mae West

No comments:

Post a Comment