Music on Mondays (1-26-15)—I don’t want to get thin

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My wise old grandmotherToday would have been the 104th birthday of my wise old grandmother (1911-2003).

In her honor, I thought I would feature some songs that were popular in 1911 when she was born.

I thought that I wouldn’t find anything and would have to resort to modern renditions of 1911 songs.

Well, there actually are recordings on YouTube of original versions from 1911.

The first song I discovered was by Sophie Tucker (1887-1966), and since I knew the name, I decided to delve more into who she was. Once I started researching her, I decided to feature her instead of songs from 1911. I think my wise old grandmother would be okay with that….

Sophie Tucker (neé Sonya Kalish) was a Ukrainian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio personality. She was bornto a Jewish family en route to America from Tulchyn, Vinnytsia Region, Russian Empire. The family appropriated the last name Abuza, settled in Hartford, Connecticut, and opened a restaurant. She was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century, widely known by the nickname “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas.”

Here is the first song I found:

“Some Of These Days” by Sophie Tucker (1887-1966)

“Some Of These Days” was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995. “Some Of These Days” also is the title of her 1945 autobiography.

Considered “big and ugly,” Sophie Tucker in 1908 started including “fat girl humor” in her burlesque shows.

Two of her most famous fat girl songs are “I Don’t Want To Get Thin” and “Nobody Loves A Fat Girl.”

Listen closely to the lyrics from 104 years ago. Seems when it comes to “fat girls,” nothing has changed in over a century. That, in my view, is a sad commentary on society, or maybe a sad commentary on a male-dominated society. I think we need more Sophie Tuckers in the world….

“I Don’t Want To Get Thin”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Nobody Loves A Fat Girl”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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17 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (1-26-15)—I don’t want to get thin

  1. lbeth1950

    This is lovely. I adored my grandmother. I still think about her everyday. It is wonderful to have that kind of impact on someone’s life isn’t it. Thanks for posting this.

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          She was the only one. Her three living sons and their families, as well as my granddad, were 100% against adopting me because I was, well, a juvenile delinquent. And we all know that juvenile delinquents never get their stuff together to become productive members of society. Without her, I probably would be serving life in prison or be dead at the hands of a Utah law enforcement officer. My wise old grandmother gave me both love AND discipline, something that is lacking, in my opinion, with today’s generation–give your kid an iPad and hope for the best………….

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  2. Boomdeeadda

    Hi Russell, hope you’re doing good. Wow, 1911. These old tunes have so much nostalgia and a certain sound that’s unmistakable in that era. It always sounds like they’re recorded in a big ol’ hall. I never got to know my Baba, she past away very young when I was just a baby. She was a farm girl though and probably never went to a burlesque show in town.

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  3. Lexa

    Cool post! I guess singing about women’s physique will never go out of style. Wow… My dad was born in 1911… Now I am curious about the music he listened too.

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