Love Me or Leave Me on TCM this week!

Love Me or Leave Me, the 1955 movie starring Doris Day and James Cagney will air on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) at 4:30AM on Saturday, November 27th – Thanksgiving weekend. So if you have a DVR, set it now!

Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Love Me or Leave Me videoa.k.a “Singin’ the Blues”
a.k.a “The Ruth Etting Story”
A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom. Winner of the Oscar for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, and nominated in a total of six categories.
Cast: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell. Dir: Charles Vidor.
C-122 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format, Color (Eastmancolor)
TCM: Sat. 27th 4:30 AM (CC)

Or sign up at – look for “Remind Me” – and enter your email address, to get a reminder email about a week before they show the movie next.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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The Great Glorifier by Eddie Cantor

In 1934, shortly after Florenz Ziegfeld‘s death, Eddie Cantor cowrote a book about the producer – one of a series of books by Cantor and his co-writer, David Freeman.

Ziegfeld, The Great Glorifier

By Eddie Cantor and David Freeman. Alfred H. King, New York : 1934. 5 2/3 x 8 2/3″ HB in illustrated dj, 166 pp. The authors trace the life and career of Florenz Ziegfeld, arguably the greatest entertainer of his day, recalling “Zieggy’s” erratic personality, his artistry, and most of all, the girls for which he was famous. Photo section includes portraits of seven principals and twenty-five showgirls from Ziegfeld’s Follies.

Eddie Cantor was a hugely popular comedian and actor in the 1920′s and 30′s, and the star of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927, Ruth Etting’s first show on Broadway. They worked together again on Broadway a year later in Ziegfeld’s Whoopee! But Cantor’s history with Florenz Ziegfeld actually dates back to his Broadway debut, in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1917.

With Cantor’s name on the cover, photos of the Ziegfeld Girls inside, and a price tag of one dollar, the books sold well, and according to Wikipedia, H. L. Mencken asserted that these books did more to pull America out of the Great Depression than all government measures combined.

Occasionally, if you look, you can find one of these vintage books on eBay or Amazon.

Ziegfeld Girls Ziegfeld Girls Ziegfeld Girls
The Ziegfeld Girls, as photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

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Rod Stewart sings “Love Me or Leave Me”

On October 19, 2010, Rod Stewart released his latest CD on J Records, Fly Me To The Moon…The Great American Songbook Volume V, which contains his version of Love Me or Leave Me. And it’s getting good reviews!

Rod Stewart | The Great American Songbook Vol. 5

Written by Jennifer Manjarez
Friday, 12 November 2010 15:36

“Love Me or Leave Me—a song originally performed by Ruth Etting in the Broadway musical Whoopie! in the 1920s. Stewart’s rendition reminds you that a strong classic is unisex, giving the artist ample room for interpretation.”

For more from this review, please see the original review at playback:stl.

You can listen to a clip of his version, by clicking on the logo below. It’s fun – it’s kicky – it’s good! And it’s very different from Ruth Etting’s version – which makes it even more fun!

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Woody Allen on “Love Me of Leave Me”

In 2005 Liz Smith interviewed Woody Allen, and got the following quote on the 1955 film, Love Me or Leave Me, starring Doris Day as Ruth Etting….

Allen warms up over time

Buffalo News, Dec 21, 2005 | by Liz Smith

… Woody also speaks of the great education he garnered from films, “That’s where I learned about life — screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, at the Thalia. It is different now, that passionate, innocent identification with movies. But you know, I saw “Love Me Or Leave Me” with Doris Day three days running when it was first released. And those imprints stay with you forever.”

For more, please see the original article in the Buffalo News.

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Two New Ruth Etting Albums Released This Fall

Lots of news this fall! Two new collections of Ruth Etting music were released just a little over a month apart – one on Amazon and the other on iTunes.

On October 3, 2010, Ideal Music released Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – it’s MP3 download only – no physical CDs are available. It includes most of her top hits, including Love Me Or Leave Me, Ten Cents A Dance, Shine On, Harvest Moon, Goodnight, Sweetheart, and of course, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. You can hear a sample of the songs on – or buy it for $.99 per song, or $8.99 for all twenty songs.

Happy Days and Lonely NightsThen two days ago, on November 8, 2010, Start Entertainment released a mega-huge collection of 51 Ruth Etting songs called Happy Days and Lonely Nights on iTunes. It contains all the same highlights as above, plus Shaking the Blues Away, Mean to Me, Guilty, Button Up Your Overcoat, and Dancing with Tears in My Eyes – and it’s also $.99 a song, or the whole 51 song collection is available for $19.99.

My one complaint? The iTunes-only album, Happy Days and Lonely Nights, used the single least attractive photo of Ruth Etting ever, for the cover. What were they thinking? It’s such an unattractive photo. The lighting was terrible, which created big shadows under her eyes. There are so many beautiful images available, I’ll never understand why they’d stick that one on the cover of such a great collection of songs! The Amazon album, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, used a still photo from her film, Roman Scandals, which may seem like an odd choice, but at least it makes a pretty album cover!

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VIDEO | Love Me Or Leave Me

This is my absolute favorite Ruth Etting song – and I’m not the only one who loves it – since it was uploaded to Youtube on July 20, 2008, it’s been viewed 64,466 times.

Written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn, Ruth Etting debuted the song in the Broadway show, Whoopie! in 1928. This version was recorded on December 17, 1928. It charted at #2 in 1929. In 1955 it became the title song for the movie made about Ruth’s life. In 2005 Ruth Etting was inducted to the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame for this song.

For more on “Love Me Or Leave Me” please see

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VIDEO | Shine on Harvest Moon

My grandfather’s favorite song, was also his cousin’s biggest hit – “Shine on Harvest Moon” – and while that was back in the 1930′s, it still seems to be one of her most popular songs. This version on Youtube has received 41,130 views since being uploaded in January of 2009.

Recorded on July 28, 1931, in New York, the song was written by by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth, and was featured by Ruth in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931.

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Ruth Etting: America’s Forgotten Sweetheart

Kenneth Irwin and Charles O. Lloyd’s book on Ruth Etting has been published!

Here’s the description on Amazon…

“A comprehensive, full-length biography of Ruth Etting (1897-1978), this book details her rise to fame, her career as a Ziegfeld Girl and singer, her pioneering radio and film accomplishments, and her disastrous marriage to Moe (The Gimp) Snyder.”

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New book on Ruth Etting to be published this fall

I received an email yesterday from one of the authors of a new book on Ruth Etting, coming out this fall. Ruth Etting: America’s Forgotten Sweetheart, by Kenneth Irwin and Charles O. Lloyd will be published by Scarecrow Press and is the first full-length biography of her life.

America's Forgotten Sweetheart

As excited as I am about the book, I’m maybe even more excited about the photo on the cover! It’s an image I’ve never seen before, and it features the pearls-around-her-upper-arm-look that I love – and in fact, the dress has strings of pearls hanging down her back, and off one hip. Ruth Etting wore pearls like no one else! Check out these images for further proof! 1, 2, and 3

More on the book…

“In Ruth Etting: America’s Forgotten Sweetheart, authors Kenneth Irwin and Charles Lloyd provide the first full-length biography of this ground-breaking artist. This book recounts Etting’s early hears as a pioneering radio performer who quickly attained national celebrity, her recording career as “Sweetheart of Columbia Records,” and her innovative work in early short subjects. The authors detail Etting’s unhappy marriage to her husband-manager, Martin (Moe “The Gimp”) Snyder, her second marriage to pianist arranger Myrl Alderman, and her Colorado Springs retirement. They also examine Etting’s place in the history of American entertainment, specifically her trend-setting vocal style and her innovative work in phonograph recordings and radio performance–as well as her enormous popularity throughout the 1930s and beyond.”

For more on the book and more on the authors, check out their website!

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