[Dixielandjazz] Martha Raye
dingle at baldwin-net.com
Wed Dec 8 20:55:44 PST 2004
TCash made a comment not all that flattering about Matha Raye's voice.
But in truth, Matha was capable of singing ballads and straight songs
with wonderful feeling when not doing her comic bits, funny faces and
slapstick schtik. When younger her voice was quite nice, and she has
great legs -- even if having a bit of a horse face. Nice lady, though.
Which brings up a story about my dad, who did a tour of Great Britain
in1951, playing a string of theaters owned by Lou and Leslie Grade,
British theatrical tycoons.. They played a week in each theater from
England to Scotland and points between in an eight week tour.. In one
theater, in the musicians room upstairs where they waited between
performances, the theater manager had a parrot or other mimicing bird.
It would say whatever the act that had been there the week before had
got it to say, so they had to train it to say something else to the
following week's act which was Martha Raye Red, in his inspired way,
got all the musicians to teach the bird to say..."Hey Martha...caught
your act...Bl-a-a-a-at!" ending with a big Bronx Cheer. By the time
their week was over and they were on their way, Raye showed up and was
suddenly greeted with the.bird's raucus announcement
Later, she caught up with Red and the others in London several weeks
later and when she spotted Red she came up and said...."Red.....you
@*+^*@ son of a b itch...I'll get you for this some day!" Then she broke
into a big laugh and said it was the best gag ever played on her.
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