Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mae West: Coon Shouter

In September 1933, MAE WEST sat down for a series of interviews with the West Coast syndicated columnist Willis Thornton. Last week, the first chapter was posted and here is chapter two, excerpt bb.
• • "Mae West Goes to Heaven as Little Eva But Goes to Prison for Her Own Show" • •
• • Written by Willis Thornton, NEA Services Writer • •
• • Willis Thornton wrote:  She was the saccharine Lovey Mary in "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch." As  the golden-haired Little Eva of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Mae was more than once wafted up to heaven on a piano wire. There was no hint that this innocent child would one day make an even greater success by going theatrically to hell in her own plays.
• • However — —
• • became what was known in those days as a "coon shouter." • •
• • Between the acts of the old-fashioned drama, there used to be little vaudeville acts called olios.  Mae did her share of these when the play did not call for a child part. She sang songs, and became what was known in those days as a "coon shouter." Mae avers today that in this period of her life she used to gaze on the solid proportions of the Venus of Melos and devoutly wish that some day she might embody those famous measurements. But of course Mae West is a bit of a kidder.
• • "Baby Vamp" in Burlesque • •
• • From the child roles of the stock company, Mae naturally graduated into burlesque via a dancing school. There she earned the name of "The Baby Vamp."  . . .
• • NOTE: This is the second of three stories on Mae West, the buxom actress who is restoring curves to feminine favor.  [A lengthy section, it will be posted piece by piece all this week. This post was excerpt bb. See tomorrow for excerpt cc.]
• • On Thursday, 27 September 1934 in Boston Herald • •
• • Boston Herald reviewed "Belle of the Nineties" on this date.
• • On Friday, 27 September 1935 • •
• • According to "The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville," one greedy variety artist tried to stage his comeback based on a bigamy scandal.  Anthony Slide wrote:  Billed as “Mister Mae West,” Frank Wallace opened in burlesque at the Eltinge Theatre on Friday, 27 September 1935, in an act with Trixie LeMae that he claimed he had performed with his first wife Mae West.
• • On Wednesday, 27 September 1961 • •
• • Mae West starred in the stage comedy "Come On Up" during the summer of 1961. She had observed something done by the Shuberts — — the placement of a publicity ad in the trade papers after a show closed. This is what she did when "Come On Up" closed, too, and her advertisement in Variety (in their issue dated for 27 September 1961) recapped positive comments from the reviews.
• • Mae West in 1961.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Beverly West, her sister and her husband Vladimir Baikoff, will live with Miss West in the new place, which, by the way, afforded Mae opportunity to absorb rustic atmosphere for her next picture, "Go West Young Man."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm just as busy when I'm not making a movie."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Singapore newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • Talk of the Town wrote: If any of my readers should step into Raffles tomorrow and suddenly knock up against Mae West,  . . .
• • Source: Item in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser; published on Friday, 27 September 1935
• • 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 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3539th 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/


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1961

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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