Friday, October 19, 2007

Trixie Friganza - Restored at Long Last!

Yes, yes, I know I just made my comment about curbing my YouTube postings, but I still have a couple more to go before topping this month's quota, and this one is just to glorious to wait on.

While weaving through incredible third disc of The Jazz Singer, I just about fell off my chair, when to my delight, I saw the charming face and full figure of Trixie Friganza. Trixie Friganza! I first discovered her a few years back in an American Masters episode on Vaudeville. Trixie appeared in the 1937 A Star Is Born, some Chaplin films and others. She was also a suffragette at the turn of the century.

This is a brief clip from a six minute clip in The Jazz Singer reissue, one of nearly three and a half hours of Vitaphone Varieties, a series of weird and wonderful shorts from the late 1920s and early 1930s. In a jazz age rap, Trixie gives tips on how married gals who like a nip at the speakeasy when the husband isn’t watching can cover her tracks.

Each minute is superb, but this half minute clip is arguably the pinnacle in which she chronicles the fate of Lulu who ventures off to the Aloha state. Though comic, what's amazing about Trixie, is that she's a pretty strident feminist even by today's terms. This 33-second interlude comes out of nowhere in the middle of a technically comic tune in which she tells the fate of her two husbands. They're both losers, but when one decides to hit her, she does him in.

Trixie the suffragette.

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At 11:20 PM, Blogger m00nchild said...

it's hard to imagine how much changes in just 70-80 years.

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Call me wacko, but to me, even 80 years on, Trixie is still an amazing talent. I can't stop laughing.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger m00nchild said...

she's hilarious! i was mostly thinking about the fashion, the manner of speech and all that.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger digibudi said...

Oh my! You've got that dvd of The Jazz Singer! I can't find it here in Europe.. Have to order it via Amazon I suppose. Thnx for the great footage! love ya!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

m00nchild - Glad you agree that she's a hoot. Unfortunately this short clip doesn't do justice to her entire act. Just before this, she holds the bass up to her torso and says, "See a resemblance?" and then opens it up pull out her hat. Her fashion sense is admittedly quirky, but it adds to the act. Though when you realize that this woman was born in 1870, almost a Civil War baby, she's pretty sassy and hip. I can't imagine Condi Rice ever being this hip and cool.

Digibudi - Wow, it's one thing where we're actually ahead of Europe. There are tons of equally weird, funny acts. Baby Rose Marie (who went on the be the Rose Marie of Dick Van Dyke Show fame) is also a highlight.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger mrpeenee said...

Well. She is nothing short of amazing. Relics like this always make me wonder about the other countless talents who passed through and are completely forgotten now.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mr. Peenee - I hope I am not forgotten as well when I'm gone, but I do hope that Trixie and I are able to tour on that big vaudeville circuit in the sky many years from now.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

FABULOUS! I want more!


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