Saturday, September 15, 2007

There Was Only One Pearl Bailey

I've rediscovered a wonderful singer that you don't hear too much about today: Pearl Bailey. During my 'crazy' record transferring project I'm playing albums I've not played years. This week I transferred all my Pearl Bailey albums. While listening to these records I was struck by what a fantastic and underrated singer she was. I may have to do a podcast with her songs because there are so many choice cuts.

I remember that my parents would love it when ever Pearl Bailey was on TV. Since my parents were/are pretty racist, excitement for a black performer was was rare. I think only Sammy Davis Jr and Moms Mabley were given higher ratings in my house. Pearl was a powerhouse personality; she had an amazing voice, fabulous comic timing, and a strong woman sexuality that must have blown out people's perceptions of what a woman could be, let alone a black woman. Her albums from the 50's all have warnings on them like: Restricted. Not suitable for airplay. Adults only. Perfect for parties.

Below, I've included three of my favorites; they are hardly pornographic, and remind me more of Sophie Tucker than Rusty Warren.

So, here I feature the one and only Pearlie Mae.... (When the hell is Queen Latfah going to play her in a movie; Oh, wait, she is doing that in every one of her movies already)

What Happened to the Hair on the Head of the Man I Love

Since I Became a Hussy for My Husband


He Maybe Your Man But He Comes to See Me Sometimes




I love this clip; Dinah and Pearl seem like they are having so much fun, and Dinah seems generally surprised by everything that comes out of Pearl's mouth.


I love how Pearl plays off of Andy's all American whitebred personality. Andy and Pearl's voices go well together.


What ever became of his movie? I'm sure the preview is the best thing about it...

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