Sunday, 16 August 2015

Pants on Fire? Bring on the Incendiary Blondes

For my next entertainment offering I'll be time-travelling to the 1940s to take on the singing personas of several fabulous ladies from around the wartime era; Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Betty Hutton and Doris Day, to name but a few. I'll be calling the show 'Incendiary Blondes' in reference to Betty Hutton's 1944 film, and it will be available for performances from September 2016.

(I realise I may be subjected to chants of 'Liar Liar Pants on Fire' for this, after all, I said I wasn't going to do any new characters for the duration of my Voices From the Workhouse job, but it turns out I was mistaken. Maybe it's more a case of 'ants in the pants' than 'pants on fire'). *
Liar Liar- Really Big Pants On Fire

When Betty Hutton was suggested to me as a subject, I must confess I didn't really know who she was. Then I watched this, Betty's original of 'Oh So Quiet', a song I previously knew from Bjork's hit in 1995. Then I watched this, and I was convinced. I even had an idea to do a whole show on her and call it 'I Can't Believe it's Not Betty'...

Doris needed no such introduction. I'll be focusing on songs from her early career such as Sentimental Journey and Day to Day (the song from which she took her stage name).
Peggy Lee is well known as Disney's voice of the Siamese Cats, but was a talented lyricist and composer as well as a voice actor, and a singer in many genres. In the 1940s she sang with Benny Goodman and appeared in the film Stage Door Canteen. I'll be presenting some of Peggy's 'Big Band' numbers from her early career.

Dinah had success in 1940 with My Man -notably reworked in French by Edith Piaf- and she recorded regularly throughout the decade: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To, Buttons and Bows, The Best Things in Life are Free...the list is extensive. 
Dinah Shore was once introduced as "Mademoiselle Dinah 'Diva' Shore, who starts a fire by rubbing two notes together!". An Incendiary Blonde indeed!

That should be enough to keep me busy. I'll be taking bookings for 'Incendiary Blondes' with immediate effect, for September 2016 onwards. Contact details can be found here, usual fees apply.

*See, I really can get knickers into any topic.

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