Happy birthday to the funny, lovable, histrionic, mellifluous, classy and highly discerning clown-chanteuse Bette Midler.
In addition to writing about her in No Applause, we’ve blogged about her before, on the topic of her 1972 cover of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and about the exciting fact that she plugged No Applause in People Magazine in March of this year.
Today there is an imminent reason for mentioning her again (in addition to plugging the re-release of her book A View from a Broad as a suggested holiday gift). Stay with me now. Midler, as many know, is a huge Sophie Tucker fan. She named her daughter after her; she has often done a tribute to her in her stage act. In 1973, Susan Denner and Lloyd Ecker, two Ithaca College students went to a Bette Midler concert, where they learned about Tucker at the knee of the Divine Miss M. This was their first date. They ended up getting married, and they also ended up getting obsessed with Sophie Tucker. They now have a new book out (a fictionalized novel based on her real life, the first in a trilogy), as well as a new documentary, and several other projects; read about them all here: sophietucker.com. (They also wrote the liner notes for Archeophone records’s 2009 release, Sophie Tucker: Origins of the Red Hot Mama 1910-1922, a gig I was originally up for, curse them! I’m joking, I take back my curse, they know a thousand times more about Sophie Tucker than I do, so the job went to the right maniacs) Anyway, in a couple days you can catch me and the Eckers waxing rhapsodic about Sophie Tucker on the Halli-Casser Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Stay tuned for more details!
Do you like how wishing Bette Midler a happy birthday dovetailed into shilling for my internet radio appearance about Sophie Tucker? I think Midler and Tucker would both approve.