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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 50 The Girl Can’t Help It

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24 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

I don't know if this is the first time I've heard Julie London's Cry Me a River or not but I kept thinking it was Superstar by the Carpenters. I'm no musical genius, but do these songs sound similar to anybody else?

I can kind of hear a similarly but I know nothing about music. I do know that I love Julie London's Cry Me A River but I had no idea who she was or who the person singing the song was. I just know it came on like Pandora or a playlist someone made and I loved it but had no idea who it was . So that was nice finally having a face and a name for this. 

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2 hours ago, The_Triple_Lindy said:

 

All this, plus the fact that the one who wants Georgie to be more than a "nobody housewife" is also the scuzziest character in the whole movie. When she tells Miller that she just wants to keep house, your average 1956 movie-goer probably thought, "Well, yeah, why wouldn't you? Leave music to all these dopey white Elvis wannabes and people of color. Nice girl like you shouldn't have to work a day in your life." Hell, this movie features a woman who is getting married to a music mobster whom she refers to as "Mister" simply because she owes him for getting her father a reduced jail sentence.

Then again, Fats also said that Miller making Julie London a star ruined her life because he made her a star when she didn't want to be one. So in a movie where women have no agency, I'll default to "accidental feminism" ... which is better than no feminism, I guess. 

100%.

Speaking of Julie London was her life REALLY ruined? I mean... we don't really get any story on her other than she's a star now and she didn't want to be?  Is she being forced to perform or is this like a Judy Garland being abused by the studios type situation? I'm sure she's under contract but she could not renew it when the time comes. Or if she's so tragically unhappy just say fuck it and let them have hung amounts of money and buy her way out somehow? Is Julie being held prisoner?  Did he sell his ex girlfriend into some form of musical servitude?  

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2 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I just want to give a quick shout out to the couplet in "Cool It, Baby:" I love your eyes, I love your lips. They taste even better then potato chips.

First of all, I can't think of a less romantic/sexy food than potato chips (except maybe coleslaw). And secondly, it's not entirely clear if it's just the lips that taste like potato chips or if the eyes do too...

Tuna salad. Really anything with fish or mayonnaise is going to make me personally want to vomit so I'm biased but a tuna salad or egg salad sandwich on soggy white bread. 

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3 hours ago, grudlian. said:

But part of me also recognizes, this is a movie written, directed by men and very clearly the male gaze. So, this scene comes across to me as, at best, accidentally feminist.

it's accidentally feminist, accidentally pro-rock and roll, accidentally a teen movie.  that's just mindblowing when you think about it.

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7 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

it's accidentally feminist, accidentally pro-rock and roll, accidentally a teen movie.  that's just mindblowing when you think about it.

Without any teenagers in it! The largest non-adult role is that little boy who says "if Jayne Mansfield's a girl, then what is my sister?" He's probably under 10 years old.

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

Without any teenagers in it! The largest non-adult role is that little boy who says "if Jayne Mansfield's a girl, then what is my sister?" He's probably under 10 years old.

There are teens in the audience at the very end who I think they are trying to make fun of because the one girl is like mesmerized by Fats rock and roll song about rocks. 

This movie is mind boggling. There's no way anything like it could be made today, much less some how be successful with the target audience/ because of the things it's trying to mock? 

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I still don't fully understand Fat's reasoning behind wanting to make Jayne Mansfield a star. We talked about some of the reasons, but one of the things he says is that he's planning his big comeback and he can't be seen with a nobody on his arm. This is crazy for two reasons.

First, if she was just a nobody look at how everybody is looking at her while she is a nobody. She breaks that poor man's glasses because she's so beautiful. If Fats hits the town with her on his arm everybody would be looking at them regardless. They would look at her first and then be like "Say isn't that that washed up gangster?" That would get people knowing who he is again and she can just be a housewife like she wants.

Second, if he wants her to be a somebody because her being famous will get him to be famous again, I don't think anybody would care about him. They wouldn't even be looking at him. Nobody is going to say "Gee, I thought he was washed up but if he can get her I guess not."  I don't think so.

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I don’t know a lot about the jukebox industry, or the famous Jukebox Wars, but I can’t imagine they held so much clout that they could make or break a music. Nor do I buy that musicians were forced to sign deals that contracted their music to only be played on a jukeboxes built by a specific manufacturer.

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13 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

I think that is a good question, especially because part of the reason conservative Americans were so against rock n' roll in the 1950s and 1960s was that black and white kids where, HORROR OF HORRORS, dancing together! At the same show! Maybe even touching! So if part of the reason for rock n roll's popularity, and the vitriol against it, was the natural integration of its audience, maybe that was the same with the performers as well? I know Elvis gets a lot of (deserved) flack for stealing from black artists, but that was also because he legitimately loved black music and loved singing with those artists.

II don't remember where I read it but this movie supposedly inspired John Waters to make Hairspray.

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26 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I don’t know a lot about the jukebox industry, or the famous Jukebox Wars, but I can’t imagine they held so much clout that they could make or break a music. Nor do I buy that musicians were forced to sign deals that contracted their music to only be played on a jukeboxes built by a specific manufacturer.

Quote

Michael: Well when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this contract with a big-band leader. And as his career got better and better he wanted to get out of it. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. My father went to see the bandleader, and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went to see the bandleader again, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, the bandleader signed the release, with a certified check of $1,000.
Kay: How did he do that?
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay: What was that?
Michael: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract.

 

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Side note on music:  Julie London's husband Bobby Troup wrote the song The Girl Can't Help It.

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OMG!  Julie London was Nurse McCall on Emergency!. (Her husband Bobby Troup is on the right.)

9d1ec37a14f2fa1df13a3eff871c3fea.jpg

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

I don’t know a lot about the jukebox industry, or the famous Jukebox Wars, but I can’t imagine they held so much clout that they could make or break a music. Nor do I buy that musicians were forced to sign deals that contracted their music to only be played on a jukeboxes built by a specific manufacturer.

I think if true this does prove the record industry has always been a bunch of money hungry jerks

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4 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

I think if true this does prove the record industry has always been a bunch of money hungry jerks

Absolutely.  See the Payola scandal in the 60's.

From Urban Dictionary:

Quote

Payola was the scandal that broke up Rock N' Roll in the early 1960s, in which disc-jockeys, like Alan Freed, were paid by record labels to increase the airplay of their songs--at a time when DJs could decide what records to play. Legally, radio stations can accept money to play records, but must disclose to listeners that it is sponsored air-time and not regular air play.

 

Edited by Cinco DeNio
Added Urban Dictionary link
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So WAS Jayne really becoming a "star" ? At best she was a novelty act. She's not actually the attraction of that song, the initial pull is the rock and roll sound and the real band. Her interesting ability is... interesting and probably could have gotten her on some kind of variety show or something like that but SHE isn't the star . At best she's a flash in the pan kind of sensation. Would that be enough for Fats or would he just have kept pushing her? Also what WAS Fats plan for her? Keep finding songs with sirens? Try to take over the siren recording industry next so that every ambulance in town screams like Jerry?

 

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4 minutes ago, gigitastic said:

So WAS Jayne really becoming a "star" ? At best she was a novelty act. She's not actually the attraction of that song, the initial pull is the rock and roll sound and the real band. Her interesting ability is... interesting and probably could have gotten her on some kind of variety show or something like that but SHE isn't the star . At best she's a flash in the pan kind of sensation. Would that be enough for Fats or would he just have kept pushing her? Also what WAS Fats plan for her? Keep finding songs with sirens? Try to take over the siren recording industry next so that every ambulance in town screams like Jerry?

 

These are good questions I don't have answers for.  It does raise the question for me if the movie was really mocking rock and roll.  An actual musician and group, Ray Anthony and his orchestra, recorded the song.  If the intent was to mock them would they really have been willing to perform in the movie?

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6 minutes ago, gigitastic said:

So WAS Jayne really becoming a "star" ? At best she was a novelty act. She's not actually the attraction of that song, the initial pull is the rock and roll sound and the real band. Her interesting ability is... interesting and probably could have gotten her on some kind of variety show or something like that but SHE isn't the star . At best she's a flash in the pan kind of sensation. Would that be enough for Fats or would he just have kept pushing her? Also what WAS Fats plan for her? Keep finding songs with sirens? Try to take over the siren recording industry next so that every ambulance in town screams like Jerry?

 

I thought she was doing it because Fats wanted it. He wanted to be with a star and she...uhhhh...wanted to be with Fats.

Jayne Mansfield, you are this perfect woman and Fats is Fats. He has nothing going for him. Why are you doing this to yourself?

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3 hours ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Absolutely.  See the Payola scandal in the 60's.

From Urban Dictionary:

 

When I was working as a radio DJ back in the mid 90s-early 00s, my radio station never got money, but we'd get so much free stuff in the mail to try and entice us to play Band X on Label Y's music. I got tee-shirts, CDs, hats, concert tickets, backstage passes. We never had to disclose because it wasn't "cash" it was "promotional material"

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Also, I liked this movie but it reminded me, weirdly, of blues Brothers and more specifically BB2K. Not because of story or WTFness, but becaue the music is SO much better then the story around it. 

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17 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

it's accidentally feminist, accidentally pro-rock and roll, accidentally a teen movie.  that's just mindblowing when you think about it.

Seems fitting, actually. In many ways, the success and legacy of rock 'n roll is very accidental. Hell, someone earlier mentioned Bill Haley and "Rock Around the Clock," which was a B-side ... the producers thought that there was no way it would be a hit so they stuck in on the back of the single. Shows how everyone underestimated what a juggernaut rock music would become.

4 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I thought she was doing it because Fats wanted it. He wanted to be with a star and she...uhhhh...wanted to be with Fats.

Jayne Mansfield, you are this perfect woman and Fats is Fats. He has nothing going for him. Why are you doing this to yourself?

Wouldn't you marry a person purely to show gratitude for getting your parent some judicial leniency? In some ways, that's a very biblical definition of marriage ... right up 1956's alley.

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When Jerri is nursing Miller back to health, Fats comes in and gets pissed that MIller is wearing pajamas. In defense, Miller asks, "Do I look like the type of guy to wear stripped pajamas?" Um...anyone care to wager a guess what that means? What's wrong with stripped pajamas? Are they too hip? I just found it odd especially considering she bought those pajamas (and others) for her brothers and father - which is also fucking weird. 

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32 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

i dunno but i was googling to see if maybe it was a reference to something that's been long-forgotten and turned up this, sadly unsold:

https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/autographs/tom-ewell-pajamas-from-the-girl-can-t-help-it-1956-/a/1070-156.s

Wow! Okay, we all need to really be keeping an eye out for this kind of stuff. I would have loved to own those! Thanks, Ghost :)

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Also is this movie telling us all you need is a housewife who loves you( for not forcing her to be a star and because you call her by her actual fucking name) to cure your alcoholism or is Miller still in trouble but now with a wife and kids?

I ask this as  someone who grew up going to A.A meetings with my mom (well I played in whatever church's Sunday school room said A.A meeting was at while the meeting went on)  My knowledge of addiction says that marriage is fuckkked. 

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19 minutes ago, gigitastic said:

Also is this movie telling us all you need is a housewife who loves you( for not forcing her to be a star and because you call her by her actual fucking name) to cure your alcoholism or is Miller still in trouble but now with a wife and kids?

I ask this as  someone who grew up going to A.A meetings with my mom (well I played in whatever church's Sunday school room said A.A meeting was at while the meeting went on)  My knowledge of addiction says that marriage is fuckkked. 

She seemed almost charmed by his alcoholism. (Just wait until she finds out how terrible he is with money - Ooh-la-la!)

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