Alan’s prompt this week is a photo of Sophie Tucker.
Sophie was born in the Ukraine. When her parents emigrated to the USA Sophie sang in her mother’s restaurant to entertain diners. She began her career in 1906 at the Old Music Hall in New York. She performed for 62 years in burlesque, vaudeville and English music halls.
Sophie Tucker - What's My Line (1957)
If you are looking for a quote by Sophie Tucker there is one that stands out, “from birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a personality. From fifty-five on she needs good cash.”
In Paris in 1926 an African-American expatriate singer dancer and entertainer became an overnight sensation at the Folies Bergère when she performed the Danse sauvage wearing a costume of a skirt made from a string of artificial bananas and little else. Her name was Josephine Baker. – her erotic dancing and near nude performances were renowned.
in banana skirt from Folies Bergère production "Un Vent de Folie." (1927 by Walery)
In the early 1960s I had the privilege to spend a month in France on a steel industry exchange scheme. We were taken to the Folies for an evening out. There were no artificial bananas but I can vouch for the ‘little else.’
The Bar at the Folies Bergère was made famous by Édouard Manet whose painting depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.
|Bar in the Folies Bergère - Édouard Manet (1881-82)|
I suppose my knowledge of the English music hall is limited to the BBC series ‘The Good Old Day’ which ran from 1953 to 1983. It was a regular occurrence for someone to sing the songs made famous by the great Marie Lloyd whose life overlapped with both Sophie and Josephine Baker.
(Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)
Marie Lloyd’s ability to add lewdness to the most innocent of lyrics led to frequent clashes with the guardians of morality. She first appeared in the USA in 1897, but in 1913 was initially refused entry for ‘moral turpitude. A story indicative of her reputation suggests that when peoples objected to a song “I Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas” with its double entendre, she altered the lyrics to “I sits among the cabbages and leeks.”
I suppose to make another link to Sophie’s “I Can’t Get Enough of …” we should finish with Marie:
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