[Dixielandjazz] Martha Raye

dingle 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.
Don Ingle

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list