Given the number of times Sophie Tucker sang “Some of These Days” on Ed Sullivan and The Hollywood Palace I’m surprised that there isn’t a clip on YouTube. Most of what is there appears to be come from British Pathé during the period when she was the toast of London. Sadly, giving real meaning to Sic Transit Gloria, one of the clip comments refers to Bette Midler playing “some character called Sophie Tucker.”
The little known “Only the Right Man Can Do Me Wrong” shows what a great vocalist and entertainer she was. What it does not show is her warm character and giving nature. Bette Midler use to say she was the only woman who could tell you to “kiss my tocass and plant a tree in Israel” in the same breath. And sell trees for the new born State of Israel she did -on some Kibbutz is a tree my Uncle and Aunt paid for between sets at the old Palace Pier in Toronto. They weren’t Jewish and they weren’t particularly political but I guess when Soph sat there and asked you to plant a tree in Israel… you planted a tree in Israel!
The Virtual Museum of the City of San Fransisco has a page devoted to Miss Tucker and Some of These Days including a great version with Ted Lewis and his Band – the instrumental alone could blow you away. And a 51 second clip of a number called “What’ll You Do” which shows exactly why she was called “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas!”
I remember Bette Midler telling Sophie Tucker jokes in one of her first shows – Clams on the Half-Shell. I borrowed them real quick. They became staples on dreary Saturday nights around the ticket counter at Ottawa Airport. No matter how often I told them I knew the gang would explode in raucous laughter.
The all-time favorite on the OIA hit parade (told with appropriate holy roller gestures):
Soph and her boyfriend Ernie were listening to the Reverend Mr. Jones on the radio one night.
“I want you, I want you, if you believe in the healing power of the Reverend Mr. Jones, to put one hand on the part of the body that ails you. And the other hand on the radio and we will pray, we will pray for God’s healing power!” hallelujahed the Reverend.
Soph was in a romantic mood so she put one hand on her heart and the other on the radio.
Ernie was a little more pragmatic, he placed one hand on his crotch the other hand on the radio.
Soph looked at him in dismay and said, “Ernie we are praying for healing of the sick, not resurrection of the dead!”
And we can blame tater for starting all this!
*Sorry just a bit of inside humour for people who remember Kenneth Williams’ of Carry On and Julian & Sandy fame at moments of high emotion – his delivery of that line in that whiny, nasal voice with appropriate hand and wrist gestures always broke me up.
But seriously I was honoured when one of the most intriguing bloggers around nominated me for the “Thinking Blogger Award.”
Tater is one of the finest writers in blogdom and as our friend at I Need More Cowbell (who was also nominated) remarked “his writings pull me in to another place or time.” I just wish he’d post more often but know damn well that when he does it will knock my socks off.
I not sure how thoughtful or thought-provoking my blog is when I compare it to people like (and this is just a partial list) Lynette, Joe, Eric, Cowbell or Tater himself, but thanks for the recognition Tater. And I really did “come all over queer!”
I know one of the rules is to pass the award on to others you feel are deserving but looking at Eric, Tater, and Cowbells’ lists I’m at a loss as who to add. From their lists I’ve added three or four other fascinating blogs to my daily check list.
Once again Eggman913 has worked his video magic. Some of the images fly by so quickly I found I was thinking: Oh that’s…. what’s-her-name…. was in….. Of course it may have more to do with my fading memory than video speed.
What’s that line from Sunset Boulevard (the movie not the Andrew Lloyd Webber crap?)
We had faces!
They sure as hell did!
ADDENDUM: Did I just miss it or is Bette Davis missing from this montage? (July 7, 2007)
ADDENDOM TO THE ADDENDUM: Red7Eric tells me that Miss Davis is indeed there – in her blond days. (July 9, 2007)