powerful women in show biz

Am reading Geo. Baxt’s Tullulah Bankhead murder mystery; my only complaint, apart from his proof reader’s inability to recognise when Baxt has incorrectly used ‘then’ instead of ‘than’, is that all too often his characters use the same dry, smart-arse humour; a little individuation of characters would be welcome.

Let me firstly excuse myself; there’s no gr8 amount of research gone, before hand, into these blog chapters. When I started with WordPress, a reader complained about my lack of logic. Sorry, I throw impressions, colours & textures together, tone poem or tapestry is my intention, impressions at pavement level.

I haven’t read the chapter in Hollywood as Babylon Exposed on Tallulah; she was a star of stage & radio; therefore she made little inroad on our collective visual consciousness. She strikes me as someone alcoholically similar to Lucy’s sparring partner in Hello Dolly, drink in one hand ciggie in the other at all times. She was refreshingly free of the attitude: we women need to herd together to protect ourselves from the marauding male. A friend says: “he takes money from women” TB’s reply: “So does Macy’s”. Her favourite poem, a reworking of Horatio on the Bridge, is Fellatio on the Bridge. Still reading Baxt’s book, but am massively impressed with Bankhead photos I googled, certainly a strong portrait.

Yesterday, I remembered a song I needed to access on YouTube: the Supremes’ Love Child. Years ago, I was at work in a railway office that  rostered train drivers & guards to run the urban transport system; behind me sat the first lesbian supervisor. Love Child came on the radio, & suddenly we were the backing for the song; totally into it. I found the group on YouTube, there also was “Someday We’ll be Together”, also wonderful.

YT offered an interview by Oprah with the lead singer, explaining why she broke up the group. Firstly, I thought she looked so like Michael Jackson, vulnerable but also infinitely ambitious. YT has clips by the Crystals, the Ronettes etc, great talent confined to a rigid formula that people like Phil Spector could opportunistically work. But Diana Ross knew where she wanted to go; if she were a bloke her next career move to solo artist would have been unquestioned. She was wonderful.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
This entry was posted in Diana Ross, Supremes Crystals Ronettes, Tallulah Bankhead. Bookmark the permalink.

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