Thursday, February 07, 2019

Mae West: Borrow the Dog

MAE WEST dictated a fanciful retelling of her life to her secretary Larry Lee. The material was reshaped by ghostwriter Stephen Longstreet and published as "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" in 1959. For Mae mavens interested in a factual, insightful account, The Mae West Blog recommends the riveting biographies written by Jill Watts and Emily Wortis Leider. Meanwhile, enjoy these (uncorrected) excerpts below from the pen of Mae West.
• • "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" by Mae West • •
• • Chapter 1: Take the Spotlight — — Part I • •
• • Portrait taken with a dog • •
• • Mae West wrote:  I was four when Mama wanted to have my picture taken. I had seen a dog I liked very much. I told Mama, "I'd like to have my picture taken with a dog."
• • Mae West wrote:  “What dog, dear?"
• • Mae West wrote:  “The dog around the corner."
• • Mae West wrote:  One of Papa's brothers happened to be there and Mama sent him out to "borrow" the dog. "Good thing she didn't see an elephant."
• • Mae West wrote:  He spent the morning bringing in dogs, but none was the right one. "A dog is a dog," he said.
• • Mae West wrote:  But I wasn't taking just any dog (just as later I never took just any diamond). "No, my dog has long white hair with one black ear and a black eye."
• • "No dog, no picture." • •   . . .
• • To be continued on the next post.
• • Source: The Autobiography of Mae West [N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1959].
• • On Tuesday, 7 February 1933 • •
• • It was on Tuesday, 7 February 1933, that Mae recorded "A Guy What Takes His Time" (one of her saucy hits from "She Done Him Wrong") for Brunswick Records.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Variety did emphasize that the considerable loyalty of Mae West's followers and W.C. Fields' fan-base would create a demand for “Chickadee” at the movie-houses.
• • In Her Own Words • •  
• • Mae West said: “I catered to the masses in my stage plays. I built up a loyal public in the theatre and I’m going to keep faith with my public in pictures. There are some people who can get away with anything yet always come out on top. The worse they are, the better you like them. They happen to have something different that wins you no matter what they do. No, the wages of sin in all cases is not death.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • “Mae West Has a Cold” • •
• • Hollywood, Oct. 27. — Mae West has a cold and is in danger of pneumonia, her physician states. She has been ordered to bed.  . . .
• • Source: Motion Picture Daily; published on Tuesday, 27 October 1936
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,100 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4144th 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 • in 1932

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