Chapter 21 Extras

The Angle Worm Wiggle

This is the first verse and chorus of the hit of George M. Cohan’s "My Wife's Gone To The Country":

 

When Missus Brown told hubby, "I just can't stand the heat

Please send me to the country, dear, I know 'twould be a treat"

Next day his wife and fam'ly were seated on a train

And when the train had started, Brownie shouted this refrain:

My wife's gone to the country, hurrah, hurrah!

She thought it best, I need a rest, that's why she went away

She took the children with her, hurrah, hurrah!

I don't care what becomes of me, my wife's gone away

 

This is Sophie’s parody "My Husband's in the City", which was her second song recorded by Edison. It was as big a hit as the original.

In Sophie’s mostly fictitious Doubleday autobiography, Tucker perpetuated the myth that her maid, Molly Elkins, was responsible for introducing her to “Some of These Days” composer Shelton Brooks in 1911. It’s true they probably met up during the spring of that year in Chicago, but that was so Brooks could personally thank Sophie for promoting his new song during the previous six months and then recording it with Edison.

In reality, the song first came to Sophie from an agent of the Will Rossiter Music Publishing company in the summer of 1910 while she was playing the West coast Vaudeville houses for the first time. Tucker gave it a try and got an overwhelmingly positive response. This initial recorded version went on to sell over one million copies.

Sophie recorded eight versions of “Some of These Days” during her sixty year career. It also has been recorded by hundreds of others artists, including Barbra Streisand, Benny Goodman, Betty Boop, Billy Holiday, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Brenda Lee, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Durante, Earl Hines, Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Waters, Fats Waller, Gene Krupa, Keely Smith, Leon Redbone, Louis Armstrong, The McGuire Sisters, The Mills Brothers, Miss Piggy, Rosemary Clooney, Vicky Carr, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.

This is Sophie’s 1937 version. It is half the original length and much more enjoyable by today’s standards.

In 1953, Sophie was then sixty-six years old and going as strong as ever. After decades in show business, Tucker was still selling out every night in Las Vegas or whatever city she was playing, fifty-two weeks a year. Part of the reason was because she constantly read the daily papers and keeping up with current events. Then she would suggest song ideas to her writer Jack Yellen based on the trends of the day.

You would think Tucker and her creative team would have run out of ideas on how to repackage her sexy message, but they didn’t. As a matter of fact, Sophie was way ahead of the curve. By the early 1950’s, scientists were starting to do experiments on how to improve male sexual performance. Decades before the discovery of Viagra, Tucker was talking about the future of romance in her song “Vitamins, Hormones and Pills.”

What is also unique about this record is that it is a bootlegged recording from one of her nightclub performances. You can hear her interacting with an actual audience and more importantly, you can hear the genuine reaction of the live crowd. It’s the only recording of its kind where you can truly experience Sophie’s exquisite timing as she milks each line for its maximum laugh.

This scene from the 1936 movie San Francisco starring Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald nicely illustrates what the Barbary Coast might’ve been like in 1900,