Friday, August 16, 2013

Episode 21: Lucille Ball

It seemed unlikely, I know, that there’d ever be another post here. I’m sure everyone thought the Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show had gone the way of so many other poker podcasts over the last several years, never to be heard from again. But like a runner-runner straight unexpectedly coming to save your tourney life, the show goes on!

Show notes for Episode 21:

This episode highlights the great comic actress Lucille Ball, star of film, radio, and television. Also given some attention in this one, of course, is Desi Arnaz, Ball’s husband of twenty years and I Love Lucy co-star.

  • “Strip Polka” by the Andrews Sisters, music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer

    There’s a burlesque theatre where the gang loves to go

    To see Queenie the cutie of the burlesque show

    And the thrill of the evening is when out Queenie skips
    
 And the band plays the polka while she strips.



    “Take it off, take it off,” cries a voice from the rear.

    “Take it off, take it off.” Soon it’s all you can hear.
    But she's always a lady even in pantomime

    So she stops! And always just in time.



    She’s as fresh and as wholesome as the flowers in May

    And she hopes to retire to the farm someday.

    But you can’t buy a farm until you’re up in the chips
    
 So the band plays the polka while she strips.


    “Take it off, take it off,” all the customers shout.

    “Down in front, down in front,” while the band beats it out.
    
 But she’s always a lady even in pantomime

    So she stops! And always just in time.



    Queenie, queen of them all.

    Queenie, someday you’ll fall.

    Someday church bells will chime

    In strip polka time.



    Oh! She hates corny waltzes and she hates the gavotte

    And there’s one big advantage if the music’s hot.

    It’s a fast moving exit just in case something rips

    So the band plays the polka while she strips.



    Drop around, take it in, it’s the best in the west.
    “Take it off, take it off, take it off, take it off” -- yell like the rest.

    Take her out when it’s over, she’s a peach when she's dressed

    But she stops! And always just in time.



    Queenie, queen of them all.

    Queenie, someday you’ll fall -- ouch!
    
 Someday the church bells, the ol' church bells will chime

    In strip polka time.

  • “Be a Pal,” My Favorite Husband, June 18, 1950

    This show ran from 1948-1951 on the CBS Radio network, a comedy starring Ball and Richard Denning as Liz and George Cugat (later Cooper). The show provided inspiration for Ball’s landmark TV series I Love Lucy (1951-1957).

    As I explain, this particular episode was a reworking of an earlier one on the radio show (assigned the title “Be Your Husband’s Best Friend”) while also providing the basis for one of the first I Love Lucy episodes (see below). There were 124 episodes altogether, many of which are available over at the Internet Archive.

    Along with Ball and Denning, Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet appear as the Atterburys, with Ruth Perrott as Katy, the maid. Jess Oppenheimer produced and directed the episode, and he also co-wrote the script with Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, Jr. Marlin Skiles composed the music, with Wilbur Hatch conducting.

  • “Be a Pal,” I Love Lucy, October 22, 1951

    At the end I play a couple of audio excerpts from the second ever episode of I Love Lucy, one that borrowed the plot and many lines from the earlier radio show.

    Any feedback on the show is welcome, as are suggestions for further episodes. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take as long for me to get to Episode 22.

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