Blizzard Blues

In her song “Put the Blame on Mame” from Gilda, Rita Hayworth (actually lip-synching to Anita Ellis) mentions the Chicago fire of 1871, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and even the “Dan McGrew shooting” of 1907. (The following two clips feature different parts of the song.)

But what about that Manhattan blizzard of 1886? A number of online sources have “corrected” the song, pointing out that the great Manhattan blizzard was actually in 1888.

Well, yes, the great blizzard of Manhattan, New York, was in 1888; but the great blizzard of Manhattan, Kansas was indeed in 1886, and so songwriters Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher are vindicated. (I don’t know how much traffic there was to get “tied up” in the Little Apple in 1886, but we can pass gently over that point.)

Most later versions of the song are inferior imitations of the version from Gilda (or, if they depart from the Gilda version, they tend to be even worse); but here’s a version, by the Canadian band Po’ Girl , that’s completely original and excellent:

That’s pretty much all I had to say, but here are some more clips of Rita Hayworth lip-synching – another from Gilda (voice: Ellis again), two from Affair in Trinidad (voice: Jo Ann Greer – and Glenn Ford is back glowering in the audience again), and one from Miss Sadie Thompson (voice: Greer again).

That last performance of “The Heat Is On” has been both condemned and praised as a “filthy dance scene” and “one of the most blazingly erotic dance segments to be put on the screen” respectively, though both claims, I’m sorry to report, seem rather exaggerated.

And finally, here are some more performances from Po’ Girl:

2 Responses to Blizzard Blues

  1. Raven December 17, 2009 at 4:03 am #

    With the music and this spiritual time of the year I was reminded of this song by a good kiwi band ‘I’ve Got A Hard-On For Jesus’ 🙂

  2. Natailya Petrova December 17, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    You’re a blues man, Roderick

    : )

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