Believe what you will about Jeanette’s love life, but the woman’s political affiliations are no secret: homegirl was a great big fat wealthy crusty old white square patriotic-as-hell do-your-duty American Way Republican. (And she didn’t start out wealthy. She was born into a lower-working class family. She estimated that her dad’s highest salary check was never more than $25.00. She made the most of her God-given talents and worked her ass off and climbed the ladder and was wise with her money. That, kids, is the American Dream.)
……..one of the 39845723445 reasons I love her, in fact. Go ON with your bad self, Jeanette.
Here is a great picture of Jeanette with President Eisenhower in 1960, at a Meet & Greet she was hosting. Thanks very much to fellow blogger Kayla, who is both my chum and sworn enemy, for the loan of the picture–I’d never seen this shot before and it’s great! (Check out Kayla’s blog here: http://cinemadilettante.wordpress.com/ for more Old Hollywood goodness and, if you subscribe to the Gene Raymond side of all things Jeanette, that’s the place for you!)
How fricking cute, right???
And here she is yellin’ it up on the campaign trail:
So, with that, I will tell Nelson to go hang out in the commissary for a hot minute; his redhead and his blogger will be back with him in the next post.
I think it’s cool as shit that Jeanette was asked to come and perform in Washington, D.C. for BOTH Eisenhower inaugurations. (See? She used to be Beyonce, for those of you needing some modern-day context.) In 1953, Jeanette gave the Pre-Inauguration Concert (Ethel Merman did it in 1957). That occasion also provides the opportunity to share one of my favorite Jeanette anecdotes. She sang the National Anthem in a chiffon dress of red, white and blue…..under which our delightful little fruitbat made the occasion uber festive with coordinating bra and panties. She had a quick change after the National Anthem into white satin strapless for the rest of her performance. Generally, speaking as someone with some experience in theatrical quick-changes….you wear underwear that suits ALL your costumes if you possibly can. Not this girl. Stars and stripes forever, baby. Mary, the housekeeper, was pinch-hitting for MIA secretary Emily, and someone dropped the ball on the packing: there was no white underwear to go with the white dress. Seeing that it showed through, Jeanette handed off her underoos to Mary, saying, “I guess I’ll have to go without panties…but heaven help me and Ike if I fall down the stairs!” and thus, dear readers, she performed in our Nation’s Capitol. Bahahahaa.
So, at the 1957 inauguration, Jeanette showed up in a variety of places/roles. Friday before, she attended a Pre-Inauguration Tea and Fashion Show (wut.) and sang the National Anthem. During the actual inauguration, she was seated ON THE PLATFORM RIGHT BEHIND IKE. She recalled in a letter to her fans (Feb, 1957) that the weather was extremely overcast and misty but just as they were playing Hail to the Chief, the sun broke through the clouds and shined right on Ike, as if God in His heaven were saying, “That’s my boy!” So we need to find news footage of Ike on the platform in ’57, because the J-Mac Attack is right behind him. Super cool. Then on Tuesday, she was one of the guests at an exclusive luncheon for women who had done great work for the Republican party. At that luncheon, she sang Hello, Young Lovers, the Indian Love Call and Giannina Mia.
At the Ball that night, she sang the National Anthem again and noooowww I have a surpriiiiseeee foooorrr youuuu guuuyyssss… (the good stuff is at about 2:45)
One of our discoveries from the Library of Congress last weekend, straight out of mothballs, 57 years later. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t she?? ❤ ❤
Adios! Nelson, you can come back now!