Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mae West: Elvis Presley

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from Wednesday, when Part 5 was posted.
• • "After knowing Ms. West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 6.  The misspelt words have been corrected. Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour recalled:  Self-hypnotized, she believed so deeply in her youthful luminosity that she felt the public accepted her unchanged and unchangeable." 
• • Ellis Nassour remarked:   Who came closest in the imitation department?  "Marilyn Monroe," Mae replied. "Marilyn Monroe had magnetism and sex appeal. The masses loved her. She couldn't talk or dominate a picture the way I did, though.  Chaplin's the only other person who could star in and write his films."
• • Ellis Nassour stated:  In the male department, Mae said she liked Elvis Presley. "He was raw and the sexiest actor around. He could sing, too. When he started and caused so much of a ruckus swiveling his hips, I thought, 'He's takin' what I did and settin' it to music.' And, like me, he brought freedom and independence to the public."
• • Ellis Nassour noted:  She was always flattered by her popularity among homosexuals. "They're good people and I always stand up for them. I like the impersonations the gay boys do. I had flamboyance and style. They liked that. I've had wonderful gay friends since my days in vaudeville. I used to bring the chorus boys home with me. Mama loved 'em. We'd cook for them and they'd fix our hair."
• • Ellis Nassour wrote:  She knew she was different because, from the time she was 12, boys hung around her "six and seven at a time."  She said, "We'd mostly talk or sing and dance, but sometime we'd hug and kiss. They wanted to play around, but I came from a proper family, so I never let them go too far. I knew I had something, but then I didn't know it was called sex appeal. Even later, I didn't know what made men brawl over me."
• • Ellis Nassour emphasized:  The public made her a star. "They responded to me because I had something they liked. I gave them what they wanted. The men liked me, but the women came to see me, too. Women really supported me. Men could do everything, but not the gals. This was nonsense! Why shouldn't women be able to do what they wanted even if it was of a sexual nature?" . . .
• • This has been Part 6.  Part 7 will continue tomorrow.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Tuesday, 28 July 1931 in NYC • •
• • An agreement between Mae West and Howard Merling (signed by both of them) acknowledged his help with background research for her novel and stage play "Babe Gordon." Additionally, there was a receipt, written by Howard Merling, noting he received the sum of $500 dollars from Mae West on Tuesday, 28 July 1931.
• • On Wednesday, 28 July 1954 in Variety • •
• • Variety was awestruck by "this magnificent herd of males" and such a refreshing new concept. The article "Odds Are Sex-to-1 Mae West Makes Her Point in Las Vegas" was printed on page 3 in Variety on Wednesday, 28 July 1954.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 • •
• • Mae West: New Yorker, Vaudevillian, Upstart, and Jailbird — — a Birthday Celebration! • •
• • Link: Mae West event on August 17, 2016
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West says she thinks she is a narrow-minded woman. Well, we forgive her. It's the only place she is.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "[In "Myra Breckenridge"] they didn't use enough of me or my material until the budget had been run up high."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Indiana paper mentioned Mae West.
• • And I like that Hollywood theatre marquee that blasted out in electric lights: "Mae West and Free Electric Refrigerators."
• • Source: Item in The Daily Banner; published on Friday, 28 July 1933 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3496th 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • "Sex" poster in 1926

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