Archive for the ‘cinema’ Category

I Like A Guy What Takes His Time

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

Mae West:
A Guy What Takes His Time (1933)
A Guy What Takes His Time (1955)

Here we have two versions of one of my favorite Mae West songs, “A Guy What Takes His Time.”
The first version was recorded in 1933, and is available on several of the common Mae West CDs. She sings the song in the movie “She Done Him Wrong,” although it is highly cropped due to film censorship. Watching Mae sing these songs in her films is strange… she rolls her eyes and smiles as she purrs “ooooh,” and it sounds really weird.
The second version I don’t like so much. I found this 1950s Mae West record “The Fabulous Mae West,” which features a few of her hits re-recorded, as well as some new-ish songs. The production just doesn’t suit her. Her songs are better when presented more simply… one would imagine them being performed in a sleazy saloon or nightclub. Singing with a big full band doesn’t have the same effect. In the 1930s version of “A Guy What Takes His Time,” the character singing is Lady Lou (aka Diamond Lil.) In the 1950s version, the character singing is Mae West. By the time she recorded it she was already pushing 60 years of age.

Pick up Mae West “I’m No Angel,” from the amazing Venerable Music site, to hear this and some other great Mae songs.

Also, check out the Mae West blog, which is basically my favorite blog ever.

Alice Faye – Whose Big Baby Are You?

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Whose Big Baby Are You?
Alice Faye – from the 1935 film “King of Burlesque”

I’ve never seen “King of Burlesque.” This “Ladies of Burlesque” record is pretty common – record collectors will come across it often, especially when seeking other burlesque-related gems. It has some good songs on it. I don’t know what year the compilation was put out, but the first song is “Ladies of the Chorus” featuring Marilyn Monroe, yet Marilyn’s name is not printed on the front of the record alongside the other stars listed.
This comp also features the famed Barbara Stanwyck “Take It Off the E String (Play It on the G String)” from the Gypsy Rose Lee-penned film “Lady of Burlesque.” Maybe I’ll put that song on here at some point.
I really wish I could find “King of Burlesque,” so that I could find out who the King in question is, and also so I could see what the crowd is laughing at in this Alice Faye track.

Jayne Mansfield – That Makes It!

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

That Makes It
Too Hot To Handle

One thing that really amuses me about the Jayne Mansfield movie “The Girl Can’t Help It” is the general poor understanding of “Rock and Roll.” (Movie title song excepted!) At that period in time, Hollywood’s representations of rock n roll were usually pretty corny.
This song here is another good example of a sweet but misguided attempt. Regardless, it’s a good audio glimpse of Mansfield – from her first sultry words to the squeals towards the end of the song.
It’s a campy good time. So horrible, and yet I listen to this song often, as a routine part of my curiosity about the glamorous, confused and kitschy life of Jayne Mansfield.