My brother has discovered a song, “Eadie Was a Lady,” written by Buddy DeSylva, Richard Whiting and Nacio Herb Brown for the 1932 Broadway show Take a Chance. It was never a hit and the songwriters are better known for other songs. DeSylva wrote the lyrics to “The Birth of the Blues” and Whiting to “Hooray for Hollywood,” and Brown was the composer of “Singin’ in the Rain.” Ethel Merman sang “Eadie Was a Lady” on Broadway. Lillian Roth recorded it, imitating Merman. I prefer the version recorded by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra on December 7, 1932. Here is the first verse:
“Maud and Mabel, seated at a table
Talking over bygone days.
Mabel sporty, fat and over forty,
Said, ‘Remember Edith Hayes.’”
The lyrics are nothing special. Predictable rhymes, though “sporty”/”forty” is nice. And this, later in the song: “She had savior fairy (Lots of savior fairy).” By the standards of 1932, the song is bawdy, “naughty but nice,” because the title character is a prostitute. Only my brother and I would remember that our mother’s maiden name was Edith Hayes, and she would turn twelve in 1932.