Monday, January 26, 2009


The song "Tangerine" originally began as a 1941 show tune by Victor Schertzinger and Johnny Mercer, for the film The Fleet's In. Although sharing the title of the 1928 Paramount film starring Clara Bow and Jack Oakie, this The Fleet's In was not a remake; it was a film version of the 1933 stage play Sailor, Beware.

I haven't seen the film in question, so I don't know how in-context the song is with its lyrics that are clearly and plainly about a promiscuous woman whose reknown is global:

Tangerine, she is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine, when she dances by,
Senoritas stare and caballeros sigh
And I've seen toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine!

There have been a number of strippers and burlesque performers who have taken on the Tangerine persona over the years, some overtly referencing the song. There was also, if memory serves me correctly, a comedienne using the Tangerine name who worked with Rudy Ray Moore in the 60s and 70s.

(Image from the Los Angeles Times, 1957.)

View: The Squadronaires - Tangerine (1942)

View: Lennie Tristano - Tangerine (1965)

View: Beegie Adair - Tangerine (2008)

No comments:

Post a Comment