Red Hot Mama: The Life of Sophie Tucker (Hardback)Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff (author)
- We can order this
The "First Lady of Show Business" and the "Last of the Red Hot Mamas," Sophie Tucker was a star in vaudeville, radio, film, and television. A gutsy, song-belting stage performer, she entertained audiences for sixty years and inspired a host of younger women, including Judy Garland, Carol Channing, and Bette Midler. Tucker was a woman who defied traditional expectations and achieved success on her own terms, becoming the first female president of the American Federation of Actors and winning many other honors usually bestowed on men. Dedicated to social justice, she advocated for African Americans in the entertainment industry and cultivated friendships with leading black activists and performers. Tucker was also one of the most generous philanthropists in show business, raising over four million dollars for the religious and racial causes she held dear.
Drawing from the hundreds of scrapbooks Tucker compiled, Red Hot Mama presents a compelling biography of this larger-than-life performer. Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff tells an engrossing story of how a daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants set her sights on becoming one of the most formidable women in show business and achieved her version of the American dream. More than most of her contemporaries, Tucker understood how to keep her act fresh, to change branding when audiences grew tired and, most importantly, how to connect with her fans, the press, and entertainment moguls. Both deservedly famous and unjustly forgotten today, Tucker stands out as an exemplar of the immigrant experience and a trailblazer for women in the entertainment industry.
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 539 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"Sklaroff does Tucker proud; this volume is a winner on every level that should find a well-deserved place in popular culture collections from the Borscht Belt to Tinseltown." * Library Journal, Starred Review *
"An enjoyable portrait of a remarkable woman." * Theater Jones *
"Sophie Tucker didn't influence Madonna or Lady Gaga- she anticipated them. . . . Sklaroff traces Tucker from her beginnings as a singing waitress at her parents' kosher restaurant through stardom and her genial fade into nostalgia." * Milwaukee Shepherd Express *
"Sklaroff celebrates Tucker as a pioneer who helped make possible the success of subsequent female performers who did not conform to conventional expectations of what a star's personality or physique should be." * The Jewish News of Northern California *
"This biography makes a significiant contribution to our understanding of American history...through the wealth of archival material on which it draws and its engagement with the cultural forces that shaped not only Tucker's life but also the lives of the female immigrants who shared her struggle to belong in a foreign environment." * Journal of American History *
"Tucker shines as the bold star of her own show in Red Hot Mama...What Tucker represents as a woman, a Jew, a businessperson, and an entertainer means that this biography is critical to appreciating many of these issues in our recent history." * American Jewish History *
You may also be interested in...
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?