Friday, March 11, 2011

Remembering... Betty Hutton

I must confess, when I heard she'd died - on this day in 2007 - I thought she was already dead... I hate it when that happens!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketFor fans of the brassy and manic female performance of musical comedy, Betty Hutton is it. During World War II she was America's Incendiary Blonde, whose high-voltage performances inspired - among others - Debbie Reynolds who, as a child, used to entertain her family by miming to Hutton's records (which goes a long way towards explaining Debbie's popularity amongst drag queens).

No broad ever played it broader than her, but her ego got the better of her, and she burnt through her share of the limelight fast, leaving behind a legacy of film and recordings that is long overdue for rediscovery. Few people, for instance, know that Bjork's biggest hit (at least chart-wise) was It's Oh So Quiet, which is a remake of Betty Hutton's song Blow a Fuse.

Buy or rent her best known film The Miracle of Morgan's Creek tonight, just for the scene in which Betty stutters her character's name - Gertrude Kockenlocker; I'm ashamed to admit, it always cracks me up.
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