Sophie Tucker

I continue to explore fame. I didn’t realize I had this tendency until I started to blog everyday and explore the movies and music and books that influence me. I had some free time and was scrolling through Amazon Prime looking for something to watch and there was a biography of the great Sophie Tucker. I’ve learned bits and pieces about her over the years because Bette Midler offered a bit of Sophie in her act and my friend Rusty Warren speaks about meeting Sophie Tucker and the influence she had on her own comedy performance and career.

This bio pic was quite well done. It turns out Sophie Tucker kept scrapbooks, lots of them. They cover her entire career, which spanned many many decades. The writer/producer couple read through them all. They’re housed at two different American universities. And, they use the stories and pictures and clippings from those scrapbooks to develop their movie. Interspersed throughout are interviews with famous people who knew and remember the great Sophie Tucker. It’s not only terrific to learn about a great performer, but then to have other great performers talk about the influence and experiences–well, that makes for something special.

One of the things I’m learning from watching material about these great performers, the ones we know, is that they kept pushing and going and at some point experienced just a bit of magic–being in the right place at the right moment in time; meeting the perfect person who took them to the next level. It’s this moment of magic that seems to make the difference between an artist who is known and one who isn’t (or is discovered after their death.)

Sophie Tucker was an amazing performer who opened doors for all the women comics and singers who followed her. My one disappointment about the movie is that none of her raunchy material was shown. They had clips of her singing, but not of her working and working up the crowd and that was a terrific disappointment to me.

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