Friday, April 18, 2014

Mae West: Steals the Show

Harry Richman wrote about Mae West in 1934
"MAE WEST Steals the Show" ran the headline in mid-April 1962. She liked the odds, she admitted, because she was the sole female attendee among 500 gentlemen — — breaking a long tradition of no women at the Friar stag parties.  Put on the Ritz and revisit this gala occasion, shall we?
• • Hollywood, April 17 — (AP)— Reporter James Bacon wrote: Mae West made a surprise visit to a Friars Club stag testimonial last night and wiggled off with the show, the only women among 500 men, including some of the nation’s top comics and song writers, who gathered to pay tribute to Harry Richman, a show business great.
• • The syndicated columnist explained:  Near the end of the show, Mae West, with her famous strut, ambled onto the platform and sexily glanced over the house. ”I like the odds.” she quipped. “Wall to wall men.” Mae recalled that Harry Richman got his start in show business as her piano player in 1922.
• • James Bacon noted:  Her surprise appearance, tradition-breaking at Friar stag testimonials, so shook up Richman that he forgot to sing when his turn came. “Mae always was a tough act to follow,” Richman confessed. After the party was over, Richman sat down at a piano and belted out “Sunny Side of the Street,” a song he first introduced on Broadway. Among performers who paid homage to Harry Richman were George Jessel, George Burns, Bob Hope. Jimmy Durante, Jack Oakie, and James Mason.
• • Source:  Syndicated column rpt in The Kansas City Star; published on Tuesday, 17 April 1962.
• • On Thursday, 18 April 1935 • •
• • "Mae West Wants Everything to Be Clean" • •
• • Mae West told a foreign journalist: "I'm for clean pictures and clean everything."
• • Source: Article in The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld); published on Thursday, 18 April 1935.
• • On 18 April 1969 in Life Magazine • •
• • Nationally, the news racks on 18 April 1969 held the iconic issue of Life Magazine with Mae West front and center [1969 cover price: 40 cents].
• • On page 60 was this headline: "Mae West: A Cherished, Bemusing Masterpiece of Self–Preservation Plans a Movie and a TV Show and Looks Back Over 75 Very Full Years" — — and Life's exclusive interview was done by veteran news man Richard Meryman. Reflecting on his 20 hours of conversations with the screen legend, Richard Meryman acknowledged with admiration Mae's "mind-spinning version of the world."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West says she will not do another movie "until something really great comes along."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Tell him I use all my spare time making myself beautiful."
• • Mae West said: "A curved line is the loveliest distance between two points"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Hollywood columnist Erskine Johnson interviewed Mae West
• • "Mae West's Fulltime Career Now Is Fighting the Battle of Age" • •
• • Erskine Johnson wrote:  Her life in the present is amazing enough to team her in song with Rock Hudson on last year's Oscar telecast and to take her, in exchange for big money, to Las Vegas currently to star in the floor show of the Sahara Hotel. In her act. she has those musclemen on her leash again and they will chorus: "Let's Try Mae West for President." Some lyrics are: "When she slips out of her sable / And leans across the table / Even Khrushchev will lose his self-command."  . . .
• • Source:  Syndicated column "Hollywood Today" written by Erskine Johnson rpt in The Corpus Christi Caller-Times; published on Tuesday, 31 March 1959
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2895th 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 with Harry Richman

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