More on Madame Spivy
Culture to Buffalo in the 90's (S-101-A) (written/Everett Marcy-Prince
Below, scans of the discs from the set
Below, later reissue pressing on NYC label, said to have been pressed in 1946
(Gala 5001 V-3) (written/John LaTouche-Spivy)
Below, scans of the discs from the set
Below, inside covers of the set
appears to be another version of the set,
Below, scans from eBay, of Sound Apparatus Co discs
of the Fleur De Levy SOUND 1/2
autographed card (image from eBay), Francis Williams was a jazz trumpeter;
This rest of this page is about gathering info on Spivy from the web, and there's not much of substance available....and it doesn't always last...
For as long as it's there, here's a rare clip of Spivy in an early 50's episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents ("Speciality of the House"), found on a Paul Lynde tribute site
and some pics I grabbed from it:
Above left, from Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV), 5/1/37
Above, from Reno Evening Gazette, 1/13/71
Date of birth: September 30, 1906, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of death: January 7, 1971, Woodland Hills, California, USA.
Appeared at Tony's on 52nd St. in 1936.
Madame Spivy is probably
best remembered ( in the USA)-- for the period when she entertained
nightly in her own club called Spivy's Roof-- @ 139 E. 57th St. from
1940 to 1951. .
Following this-she ran clubs in in Rome, Paris and London.
Returning to the USA-she -became a character actress with film roles in several well known movies:
The Outsider (1967) (TV) .... Della
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) .... -------Female Berezovo
Requiem for a Heavyweight
(1962) .... aka Blood Money (UK)
All Fall Down (1962) .... Bouncer
Studs Lonigan (1960) (as Mme. Spivy) .... Mother Josephine
The Fugitive Kind (1959) .... Ruby Lightfoot
She also did allot of TV work:
Notable TV Guest Appearances
"Daniel Boone" playing "Tatama" in episode: "A Matter of Blood" (episode # 4.14) 28 December 1967
"The Wild Wild West" playing "The Axe Lady" in episode: "The Night of the Skulls" (episode # 2.13) 16 December 1966
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Bartender" in episode: "Holloway's Daughters" (episode # 3.19) 11 May 1966
"The Aquanauts" playing "Mrs. Greeley" (as Spivy) in episode: "The Defective Tank Adventure" (episode # 1.19) 22 February 1961
"Peter Gunn" playing "Flo" (as Spivy) in episode: "Dream Big, Dream Deadly" (episode # 3.11) 12 December 1960
"Adventures in Paradise" playing "Mother Hubbard" (as Spivy) in episode: "The Violent Journey" (episode # 1.24) 28 March 1960
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Spirro" in episode: "Specialty of the House" (episode # 5.12) 13 December 1959
She retired in 1967 and died in 1971 at age 64.
---An author of that
era described her as follows:
You can listen to songs of Madame Spivy at:
The below recordings info is from: http://www.hensteeth.com/sblue.html
Exclusive issues below
from unnumbered album "Seven Sophisticated Gay Songs by Spivy"
released by General.
--New York City, late
"We'd wait an
hour or so, drinking expensive shots of Old Crow or Seven-and-Sevens.
Then a bright spotlight would appear, Spivy would arrrive, sit down
in front of her black piano, clear her throat, and start singing.
The one I remember best of all is "The Cat." I cannot for the life of me remember more than a couple of lines of Hamlet that I was taught in that Prussian military school. I still have trouble remembering which novels were written by the Bronte sisters and the ones that came from the pen of Jane Austen. But to this day I can recite most of the words of "The Cat," along with the intonations, the riffs (and the pauses for laughs) exactly as it has been tricked away in my memory-bag for the last fifty years. As I sit here, it comes out just so:
This all came up while
I was researching another New York regular of those years, Isaac Bashevis
Singer. His story, "The Beard" just happened to bring to
mind another of Spivy's songs. Both concerned themselves with a lady
with a beard. Singer's was a lady of some solemnity, a lady whose
husband would never let her shave, a woman who took to wearing a fedora
and smoking a cigar.
I was sixteen when I first came into Spivy's Roof. In those supposedly less enlightened times in New York City, they figured that if you were old enough to get through the door alone you were old enough to drink, even to listen to "blue" songs --- not very provocative now; quite on the edge back then.
I was probably much too innocent to think of Spivy's sexuality ... outside of her racy songs, as if that had any thing to do with it. I was certainly not thinking of what we now so correctly --- if not a little scientifically --- call "orientation." The concept of women loving women just didn't exist in the groupthink of that era, any more than the thought of our loving those we were so casually rooming with in our loco parentis schools. As, for instance, that pink-cheeked, blonde-haired James Downey who lived just down the echoing hall from me, with the perfect teeth and a devastating smile, who unknowingly won my heart entire. Although I never told him. Or myself.
I probably just thought of it as a "friendship," as in "we were good friends." Although I suspect his nigh-about-perfect thighs and hairless, well-muscled chest entered into far too many of my dreams, especially during the near-incessant self-caresses that went on, so quietly, in my bed, some time after lights out.
But Spivy didn't just fade away. She later appeared in the movies The Manchurian Candidate and Requiem for a Heavyweight. She starred in several episodes of Hitchcock Presents. And, eventually, she died, of cirrhosis, in Woodland Hills, California, in January of 1971.
For me she didn't belong west of the Hudson. It was too far, I think, from that sophisticated, very sly, caged-in world of post-WWII New York ... where she brought culture to Buffalo, told of the adventures of "that pansy cat," and sang of the mysterious lady who