Ok, we'll wait while you flip to page 19 and check the eagerly-awaited winners of the first annual Playboy Jazz poll. But as soon as you've cheered raucously for the winners and shed a manly tear or two for the losers, report back here pronto for a foretaste of all the other good things in this issue ...
A passle of men have come along with a passle of books concerning the arts of the gullet, and the season of cold days and long nights seems a good time to report on them. Accordingly, we spent a couple of jolly weekends cooking, eating and drinking -- all in the line of work, of course -- and can report that the following merit your attention:
It would sound a little silly to say that a new star is born with Bells Are Ringing. Judy Holliday was a star when she left Broadway for Hollywood seven years ago, following a triumphant three-year run in Born Yesterday. She is still one of the most delightful comediennes of stage or screen, but for her return to Broadway she has added a little something that Tinseltown never saw. The prodigal dumb-dora hoofs a bit, now; and she can put over a song -- sentimental or saucy -- with the best of them.
Candlelight gleaming on paneled walls, pewter mugs, ancient maps -- and on the table a difh of efcallop'd York River Oyfters: you're back somewhere in the hushed graciousness of the 18th Century (complete with huge napkin tied around your neck by costumed waiter) at the dexterously reconstructed King's Arms Tavern in Williamsburg, Va. President Washington dined here, of course, and if you intend to follow his example, we suggest you reserve a table ahead of time -- for lunch between 12:30 and 2:30, or dinner between 6:00 and 8:00. The original Brunswick Stew served is a culinary pearl, and makes a memorable at-home dinner for eight jaded palates: start with six pounds of fresh chicken cut in pieces, cook slowly (remember: a stew boiled is a stew spoiled) for 2-1/2 hours in a gallon of distilled water; bone and dice the pieces and drop them back in the broth, along with 2 cups of lima beans, 4 cups of chopped and peeled tomatoes, 2 sliced onions, 2 cups of chopped okra, 4 diced medium potatoes; season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper and 1 tablespoon sugar; simmer about an hour, and stir from time to time; toward the end, dump in four cups of fresh corn-off-the-cob. Serve with several frosty bottles of champagne or an intelligent Chablis.
More folk-song platters than you can shake a dulcimer at came sailing our way this month. "She proceeded to test if my muscles were right, Till I smoked that cigar without striking a light," sings stringy-voiced Oscar Brand on one of 17 rowdy American Drinking Songs (Riverside 12-630); while erstwhile gospel singer Ed McCurdy is given to Elizabethan exhortations like "Let her face be fair, let her breasts be bare, And a voice let her have that can warble; Let her belly be soft, but to mount me aloft, Let her bounding buttocks be marble" on a disc called When Dalliance Was in Flower and Maidens Lost Their Heads (Elektra 110), a collection of transparently-veiled phallic ballads, grown respectable and recordable by virtue of their antiquity. A better disc, however, from the standpoints of liveliness, tunefulness and variety, is A Young Man and a Maid (Elektra 109), on which cosmopolitan stage-and-screen actor Theodore Bikel joins up with Cynthia Gooding to sing songs of love in English, French, Mexican, Yiddish, Slavic and Russian: old favorites like Greensleeves and Auprès de Ma Blonde are here, as well as a lot of less familiar ditties which we thought top-drawer listening. A disquieting, though minor, feature of both Elektra liners are drawings by one W. S. Harvey which are, in part, out-and-out swipes from Steele Savage's Decameron illustrations.
"I'm neither a wife nor a mother," wails Judy Holliday to husband Richard Conte who is responsible for the circumstantial limbo of her eight-month pregnancy. This is Full of Life, a full-of-laughs domestic comedy which finally gives a real vitality to that anemic category of films which is usually filled with limp, wearisome husband-wife spats and the scatterbrained nonsense now associated with I Love Lucy. It has a genuinely tender, literate script by John Fante overflowing with warm good humor about the problems of childbearing, particularly how to prepare the home (and the husband) for the advent of the little stranger. Biggest surprise: Judy, who has dominated every film and play she's been in (see Theatre), gives Met opera star Salvatore Baccaloni tacit permission to upstage her at every opportunity. As her Italian father-in-law, a huge, burly stonemason, Baccaloni is a roguish, scene-stealing riot, roaring disapproval in a foundation-shaking basso profundo at his son's disinterest in impending paternity, going off on a wine toot, wrecking the couple's stucco house so that he can build them a stone fire place, and affectionately admonishing Judy for not planning to give her future child a religious upbringing. Baccaloni's outspoken, likeable lug nets him acting honors second only to Judy's.
All the cats joined in to make the first annual Playboy jazz poll the biggest, most successful popularity poll ever conducted in the field of jazz music. The last of the more than 20,000 ballots are in and the more than 430,000 individual votes have been counted. The winners, selected by readers for the 1957 Playboy All-Star Jazz Band, are a real Who's Who of jazzdom.
With all due respect to the discovery of fire, bottle enthusiasts everywhere agree that civilization didn't really get started until the first batch of mash began to ferment in the first prehistoric crock, "How else could poor, puny Man ever have survived the dinosaurs?" they ask. "What other cultural influence can account for such developments as marriage, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and non-objective art?"
Black art is throwing a party, see? His real name is Arthur Schloggenheimer, but we call him Black Art on account of him being a wizard. Sort of a gag, see, because he is really very serious and raises the dead and all that kind of stuff.
Sociologists have recently unearthed the not-so-startling fact that men are naturally polygamous. We like to collect things, they say. We like to amass a plurality of everything from books to blondes, Rolls Royces to redheads. Take (and please do) the case of one wildly original eccentric who stashed away the most complete and colorful collection of "Thimk" signs on the entire eastern seaboard.
Last summer, June to be exact, we ran a picture story about a girl on a date in Las Vegas. The girl, Sally Todd, was an exceptionally fetching citizen and she kept returning to our editorial mind long after the issue had passed into the sturdy cordoba binder on our desk (with magazine's name and emblem stamped in gold leaf, $3). Sally was so very charming on that date, thought we, how still more charming it might have been if we had arrived for that date a few minutes earlier. It was such an interesting idea that we decided to do just that on a different date night and lo, a fetching Miss February.
From the moment Tad peeled back his lids and popped the contact lenses down onto his eyeballs, I knew that something deep and strange was happening within him. He used his black plastic spectacles, plus the toupee and a fresh General Electric suntan, for the usual vocalist visiting his Saturday afternoon disc show. The kids in the studio audience liked his fresh, unlined, 44-year-old juvenile face, even in the glasses, which made it look maybe 28 instead of his usual 23. "Glad you could fall up to my pad, Dad," he would chant to a high school electric guitarist. "Why so sad?"
George Washington, we fear, did not always practice what he preached. And he was forever preaching. He formulated some rules of etiquette that included such tidbits as: "Sleep not when others speak" and "Let your countenance be pleasant, but in serious matters somewhat grave." And, for all we know, George may have practiced these preachments diligently. One preachment he obviously did not follow, however, was this: "Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals." All the evidence points to the contrary -- the good general not only took great delight in his victuals, but didn't care who knew it.
Along toward the end of '56, the author of the following article, teen-ager Pamela Moore, created a sensation with her book Chocolates for Breakfast, a candid and revelatory portrait of upper crust sex jinks among today's gilded youth. Being younger -- and in some respects bolder -- than Miss Françoise (Bonjour Tristesse, A Certain Smile) Sagan, Miss Moore, undaunted by some shocked reviews, still rushes in where her older sisters fear to tread. Here she sounds off against what she considers the terror with which most American men regard sex, and the harm that ensues for one and all. Some of us will forgive her blanket denunciation of all of us; others will find their hackles rising. And there will be those (we suspect a good many Playboy readers among them) who will suspect her of having what must be a limited acquaintance with Homo Americanus in his more relaxed and carefree manifestations. In any case, we think this candid tongue-lashing by a forthwriting miss deserves an airing among her scattergun targets, who may find it as impudent as it is revealing.
Sharp men-on-the-move have long ago latched on to the abbreviated word as a succinct aid in getting their points across. Such hoary linguistic short cuts as VIP, PDQ, SOP, SRO, FYI and BMOC have done yeoman service for many years and today, the MAW, or Man Around the World, employs more than ever the trimmed-down title as a right-to-the-point, time-saving expedient. And so it is with international air lines: witness the colorful baggage tags affixed at airport check-in counters. These bear a three-letter code abbreviation for the destination city. Adopted by the Air Transport Association for international use, the tags permit speedy, simple handling of luggage at any terminal in the world. Most hip travelers will recognize in a trice that PAR is Paris and MIA is Miami, but not all code names are such a breeze. To test your savvy of these official place names, ponder the 15 abbreviations below. A score of 12 or better rates you as a full-fledged international gadabout; anything under 10 indicates you're a SAH, or stay-at-home.
For the third consecutive February, this magazine takes pleasure in reporting the progress of its favorite valentine, Jayne Mansfield. We rather like to feel we've had a bit to do with the to-do over Jayne these past two years. In February of 1955 a then-unknown Miss Mansfield was featured in Playboy as Playmate of the Month. That same February, the Brothers Warner signed her up and she appeared in a number of minor movie parts in stuff like Illegal, Pete Kelly's Blues and suchlike, whereupon she came to the attention of eagle-eyed Julie Styne. Styne was producing a comedy called Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and the script required the services of a big, bounteous blonde. We're going to let you guess just which big, bounteous blonde got the part, but the show opened in October 1955 to what they called "mixed" notices, while audiences and critics alike were notably unmixed in their enthusiasm for Miss Mansfield (her costume in the show was a bath towel).
The doctor and his pretty young patient were talking by the side of the fire. There was nothing really the matter with her, except that she had one of those little feminine ailments from which pretty women frequently suffer -- slight anemia, nervous attack and a suspicion of fatigue, probably of that fatigue from which newly married people often suffer at the end of the first month of their married life.
One of the lushest, most untouristed sports in the world is tiny Antalya on the Turkish Riviera, a cluster of redroofed villas, Roman ruins and wisteria-hung balconies crowding a glassy, green harbor. In early spring, it's bathed in sunshine and cut by mountain streams running through town to a rocky Mediterranean cove. You can swim of a morning under cliffside waterfalls cascading into the warm sea; then, in the afternoon, zip down ski trails among 10,000-foot peaks in the Taurus range just an hour away -- with powder snow resplendent through July. You get there by coastal steamer from Istanbul, and the 10-day round trip, plus a full week at this Turkish spa. will run you under $100 -- for two! Of course, the tariff to Turkey is something else again.