Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mae West: Henry "Shorty" Matthews

When she was on Broadway, MAE WEST gave several black actors a break.
• • Henry Eugene "Shorty" Matthews • •
• • The New York Age wrote: Henry Matthews — — a.k.a. "Shorty" Matthews — — is a member of the large number of entertainers who never attained stardom. The diminutive song and dance man who was christened Henry Eugene started in show business in the early 1920s selling papers, running errands and shining shoes around the Lafayette Theatre on Seventh Avenue. He entered several Charleston contests and would always win or finish second. He watched the great entertainers on the stage and dreamed of the day when the spotlight would center on him. He practiced daily and in 1929 appeared with the Chester Hales Review at the Capitol Theater.
• • The New York Age wrote:  In 1930 he appeared on Broadway with Mae West in "Constant Sinner" and seven years later he was a member of the Milton Berle troupe at Loew's State on Broadway. "Shorty" wanted to do a single, he wanted to head his own show but the chance never came. Cocktail sips were the fad of the time and "Shorty" appeared at a number of afternoon sessions at the Savoy with Willie Bryant, Chick Webb, Teddy Hill, and Santa Domingo but he was never Invited to head his own show.   ....
• • Source: Article in The New York Age (New York, NY); published on Saturday, 14 March 1959.
• • On Tuesday, 13 March 1934 • •
• • Correspondence was flying back and forth from the Hays Office regarding "It Ain't No Sin" starring Mae West. It was on Tuesday, 13 March 1934, that the censors objected to yet another song.
• • Hatchet-man Joseph Breen picked up his steel-toed fountain pen. "If, in the rendition of the song, the action of the girls, or comedian, is such as to give the lines a salacious, or otherwise unsavoury, connotation," he wrote, "the entire song may be adjudged a Code violation and, as such, will have to be deleted." . . .
• • Mae West's motion picture, with a working title of "It Ain't No Sin," had begun production in mid-March — — on 19 March 1934. In the script, Ruby Carter, the American beauty queen of the night club sporting world set, shifts her operations from St. Louis to New Orleans.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's next Paramount picture probably will have the background of Alaska during the gold rush days, and will carry the tentative title of "Klondike." Miss West will write it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "As you can see for yourself, a girl's just as old as she feels."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The BBC listeners grooved to Mae West.
• • BBC Radio wrote: Another chance to hear outstanding editions from the past decade as Private Passions celebrates its 10th anniversary.   ...
• • Playlist: Johnston and Coslow: "My Old Flame" — — vocals by Mae West with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra [Sandy Hook CDSH 2098 T.1].
• • Source: (Radio 3) BBC Radio; on Sunday, 13 March 2005, 12:00-13:00 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2869th 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.

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• • Mae West in 1930

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