Starlets and Pin-ups
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Photo by Jerry Schatzburg (Blonde on Blonde outtake)
My newest, favorite sexy starlet, Italian actress Claudia Cardinale. A poor man’s Sophia Loren? A rich man’s dream? I first saw her in the western The Professionals with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin. She was also in Fellini’s 8 1/2 and the Pink Panther with Peter Sellers (who also recorded with and loved Sophia Loren btw). Her photo was also featured on Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde album, then it was removed making the original issues more valuable. Anyway, she’s beautiful and it’s nice to see her on the cover of this Japanese record. Perhaps a scene from one of her films? Can anyone help with that?
“Let’s Put the Lights Out” Columbia Records (1947) Jane Russell At the age of 25 in 1946, Jane Russell was a big movie star without many movies to justify her status. She had been signed to a seven-year contract by Howard Hughes at 19, and Hughes had spent nine months shooting her first film, The Outlaw, a western that was more about her cleavage than about its nominal subject, Billy the Kid. That got it in hot water with the Hays Office, and years went by while Hughes tinkered with the picture, then fought to get it released properly. Meanwhile, he had tens of thousands of photographs taken of Russell and lent her out for one other film, Young Widow. While she was waiting around for her movie career to take off, she got an offer from bandleader Kay Kyser to appear on his radio show, and after hearing her he signed her to a 12-week contract and even took her with him to Columbia Records for a couple of sides. As The Outlaw finally neared a New York opening, Columbia signed Russell on her own for this album, originally released on four 78s in 1947. The eight original tracks are bedroom ballads that she coos in a drowsy voice dripping with sex. The sentiments are well represented by such titles as “Do It Again” and “Love for Sale,” and on two songs, the title track and “Two Sleepy People.”