4.09.2008

Songs the Cramps Taught Us

'Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Volume 1' CD.
The Sparkes - Hipsville 29 BC
Dwight Pullen - Sunglasses After Dark
Link Wray - Fatback
Sheriff & The Ravels - Shombolar
The Riptides - Machine Gun
Bo Diddley - Dancing Girl
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
Walter Brown - Jelly Roll Rock
The Sonics - Strychnine
The Rumblers - Boss
The Third Bardo - Five Years Ahead Of My Time
The Busters - Bust Out
The Phantom - Love Me
Jett Powers - Go Girl Go
Ronnie Cook - Goo Goo Muck
The Runabouts - The Strangeness In Me
The Groupies - Primitive
The Frantics - Werewolf
Elroy Dietzel - Rock-n-Bones
Dale Hawkins - Tornado
The Shells - Whiplash
Keith Courvale - Trapped Love
Freddie & The Hitch Hikers - Sinners
Charlie Feathers - I Can't Hardly Stand It
Andy Starr - Give Me A Woman
R Lewis - Get Off The Road
Hayden Thompson - Blues Blues Blues
Lee Dresser - Beat Out My Love
Andre Williams - Bacon Fat
Jack Scott - The Way I Walk
Elvis Presley - Do The Clam

'Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Volume 2' CD.
Hasil Adkins - She Said
Buddy Love - Heartbreak Hotel
Dean Carter - Jailhouse Rock
The Fender Four - Margaya
Johnny Burnette Trio - Tear It Up
Lightnin' Slim - It's Mighty Crazy
Glen Glenn - Everybody's Movin'
Carl Perkins - Her Love Rubbed Off On Me
Slim Harpo - Strange Love
Charlie Feathers - It's Just That Song
Randy Alvey - Green Fuz
Bill Allen - Please Give Me Something
Captain Beefheart - Hard Working Man
J J Jackson - Oo-Ma-Liddi
Three Aces & A Joker - Booze Party
The Spark Plugs - Chicken
Jimmy Stewart - Rock On The Moon
Sonny Burgess - Red Headed Woman
Kip Tyler - Jungle Hop
Don & The Galaxies - Sundown
Roy Orbison - Domino
The Readymen - Shortnin' Bread
The Novas - The Crusher
The Tune Rockers - The Green Mosquito
The Jesters - Peter Gunn
The Count Five - Psychotic Reaction
The Flames - The Bird
Red Crayola - Hurricane Fighter Plane
Kasenatz Katz Super Circus - Quick Joey Small Ricky Nelson - Lonesome Town
The Huntsmen - Fever
Jim Lowe - The Green Door

'Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Volume 3' CD.
Nat Couty - Woodpecker Rock
Macy Skipper - Bop Pills
The Blues Rockers - Calling All Cows
Mac Rebennack - Storm Warning
Larry Phillipson - Bitter Feelings
Terry Dunavan - Earthquake Boogie
The Sonics - He's Waiting
The Fanatics - I Will Not Be Lonely
The Instrumentals - Chop Suey Rock
Dell Raney - Can Your Hossie Do The Dog
The Shades - Strollin' After Dark
Jackie Lee Cochran - Georgia Lee Brown
Lonnie Allen - You'll Never Change Me
Jerry Warren - Rompin'
Kai-Ray - I Want Some Of That
Junior Thompson - How Come You Do Me?
The Rhythm Rockers - Madness
Warren Smith - Uranium Rock
Kit & The Outlaws - Don't Tread On Me
The Flower Children - Miniskirt Blues
The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Dave Day - Blue Moon Baby
Shorty Long - Devil With The Blue Dress On
Ronnie Dawson - Rockin' Bones
Mel Robbins - Save It
Jimmy Lloyd - I Got A Rocket In My Pocket
Charlie Feathers - One Hand Loose
The Fendermen - Mule Skinner Blues
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Hungry
The Embers - I Walked All Night
The Bostweeds - Faster Pussycat Kill Kill

4.07.2008

Rick Klaw is a Renaissance man, who has experienced nearly every angle of the business of publishing. He has been a fiction and non-fiction author, a journalist, a book "buyer", a prodigious reviewer of books, comics and film, an editor and a publisher. Does he sleep?

Mr. Klaw also has a somewhat "infamous" last name. That's right, the same name as a Fantastic Four foe (as Rick often jokes). While that is true, here at the Bettie Page Blog, Rick's last name evokes his paternal grandfather, Movie Star News proprietor Irving Klaw.

Rick has kindly given the BPB permission to post his article about his grandfather:

All About the Tease

by

Rick Klaw

As a child all I knew of my grandfather was that he was a pornographer, albeit a very tame one. My mother's exact words were, “They show worse things on Cinemax.”

I first learned more about him while attending the 1989 San Diego ComicCon when publisher/artist Ray Zone first told me of my family legacy. Initially my grandfather Irving Klaw ran a mail-order business that sold pin-ups of Hollywood stars. He later expanded into pictures and films of attractive women in bondage and other fetishistic poses. Klaw pioneered both the movie star image and adult entertainment industries. His best known model, Bettie Page, was one of the most photographed women of the 1950s, appearing on more magazine covers than anyone else in the decade.

Inspired by the success of Jerald Intrator's 1952 burlesque film Striporama, my grandfather produced and directed Varietease (1954), Teaserama (1955), and Buxom Beautease (1956). The films featured burlesque acts with stripteases, comedy acts, and musicians with famed beauties Page, Lili St. Cyr, and Tempest Storm.

Also during this period, Klaw produced thousands of feet of black and white film loops featuring striptease and fetish acts. These shorts featured only women, either by themselves or sometimes in pairs, in a variety of situations often involving bondage and spanking. The models-- most famously Page-- never appeared terrified and seemed to be enjoying themselves in a non-sexual, no-threatening way. As with his photos, these movies contained only the suggestion of nudity. My grandfather often required the models to wear two pairs of panties so no pubic hair could be seen. Not a pornographer, Klaw was all about the tease.

Thanks largely to his fetish business, Klaw testified before the 1955 United States Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency. The subcommittee, one year before, had famously forced the comic book industry to adopt a code to stop the publication of "inappropriate" comic book material. Now they were investigating my grandfather. The New York City press plastered the sensationalistic episode throughout the city, where Klaw became known as the "Smut King."

My grandfather's legal problems persisted for nearly ten years. Federal authorities intercepted his mail and bugged his phones. As late as 1964, Klaw was brought before a federal court on charges of conspiracy to send obscene material through the mail.

With the shifting political and social climate, Irving returned to filmmaking in 1963, producing two "lost" films: Larry Wolk's Intimate Diary of an Artist's Model and Nature's Sweethearts, co-directing the latter. Unlike, his previous films, both pictures featured a lot of topless women.

The legal and cultural ramifications of his twenty year career ushered America from the sexually conservative 1950s to the sexually charged 1960s. His impact on the exploitation films of the 1960s was profound influencing everything from Barbarella to Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!. In his book Sinema, Douglas Brode argues that Klaw's pictures of Bettie Page and "friends" inspired lesbian chic-- the notion of women as "bisexually sensuous"-- in both film and television. Rachel Schteir in the excellent Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show (Oxford, 2005) asserts that "[Klaw's] movies did more to spread striptease across the country in this era [the 1950's] than any one burlesque short. [...] What they did was spread striptease, drag strips, and burlesque comedy to a provincial audience. In essence, they were giving these audiences what they might see in Miami, Las Vegas, or some other cosmopolitan city." The contemporary popularity of his movies inspired the current neo-burlesque revival in major American cities.

In late 1955, legendary exploitation filmmakers David Friedman and Dan Sonney acquired the rights to both Teaserama and Varietease for $5,000. Sonney owned burlesque theaters on Main Street in L.A. and earned back the initial investment within a year. During the 1980's, Something Weird Video introduced the movies to a new generation. Both Teaserama and Varietease are currently available on DVD.

At the time of his death in 1966-- sixteen months before I was born-- my grandfather lived in relative obscurity. Few imagined that nearly forty years later, his movies would be considered softcore classics and major precursors to the sixties "nudie-cuties" and the later hardcore porn films. Or that two features (The Notorious Bettie Page [2006] and Bettie Page: Dark Angel [2004]) would be made about Bettie Page with my grandfather as major character and that DVD compilations of Klaw's films are bestsellers. Klaw's work influenced a generation of filmmakers, photographers, and entertainers including Russ Meyer, John Waters, Madonna, Missy Suicide, and others. Ironically, without my grandfather there would have been no Cinemax.



Thanks for the great article, Rick! We look forward to hearing more from Rick Klaw in the near future.

In the meantime, consider reading two more of Rick's pieces which touched on his grandfather, both found in the Austin Chronicle:

Little Underground Worlds"


"The Notorious Irving Klaw"

Discover Rick Klaw's Writing:

RevolutionSF

Blackbird Press

Mojo Press

The graphic novel, Weird Business

Geeks With Books

Geek Confidential: Echoes from the 21st Century

Austin Chronicle