Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just an Old Fashioned Girl

Eartha Kitt in St. Louis Blues (1958)

Many a week has passed on by since we last celebrated a classic female vocalist's birth date. So, let's return to the tradition by giving great thanks for the wonderful works of Eartha Kitt, one of the sultriest and smoothest of mid-century songbirds.

Her most iconic performance was the original 1953 recording of "Santa Baby," a rendition that stands out above subsequent performances for its playful yet sexy lyrics, not too coy and not too vulgar; Eartha does it just right.

But her songbook is way deeper than this one Christmas novelty piece. From jazz to disco, she had a rich array of musical styles, expressively mixing them up into a unique blend of influences and ideas. Honestly, her aesthetic depth is frequently overshadowed by the focus on her strong personality and activist efforts. That's not to say that she shouldn't be appreciated for speaking out in support of unpopular or anti-establishment positions, but, rather, that she was an artist of the highest caliber, a fact that should not be forgotten.

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Batman, season 3, 1967-68)

With that being said, let's listen to some artistry. ;-)

Here are a few vids:

"C'est Si Bon"

"Chantez Les Bas" from St Louis Blues

"Santa Baby"


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