Kai Winding, tram-man par excellence and winner of the second bone chair in playboy's First Annual Jazz Poll, dropped into our offices recently with a beautiful blonde on his arm. We thought Kai might be looking for his silver Jazz Medal, but he had quite another reason for the visit: the blonde turned out to be his wife, Jeanne, an ex-Latin Quarter lovely, and she wanted to be a Playmate. As we broke out the ice cubes, and talked of Playmates, jazz and such. Kai mentioned a record he had just cut for Columbia – a hip handling of the sexy old ballad, Frankie and Johnny. Maybe there was a picture story in it for us, he suggested, half-seriously. Maybe there was, we agreed, all-seriously, if Jeanne would portray Frankie in suitably Playmate-like attire and Kai, himself, would make the scene as the two-timing Johnny. Both the Windings thought this was a fine idea and since this September issue was close to deadline and Kai's Septet had a date in St. Louis the end of the week, we had to set up and shoot our story in a day-and-a-half. Before the able lens of David linton, a cool interpretation of Kai's Columbia etching was achieved and a considerable amount of fun was had by all concerned. Columbia was so pleased, they are using the playboy photographs for the EP and LP jackets.
Monster notes from all over: when we were in Hollywood recently, being fed crepes suzette by Jayne Mansfield, we picked up some bracing intelligence regarding the shudder-flicks. Following the fashionable trend toward waxing almost all sound track music, hi-fi sets everywhere can soon swing and sway to the Love Theme from The Monster Who Conquered the World. A film obviously designed to cash in on the current popularity of both rock 'n' roll and creature films is the one that was called I Was a Teenage Werewolf when we saw it at a West Coast preview, but which Herb Gold, phoning from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, swears is titled I Was a Teenage Vampire in its eastern release. "Maybe they cleaned it up for Boston," says Gold.
A gun – a monstrous, ornate, phallic cannon – is the star of The Pride and the Passion. The time is Napoleonic, the place is Spain and the gun is the Big Bertha of its day – the largest hunk of artillery in the world. It belongs to the Spanish army, which has abandoned it in an ignoble retreat from the French invader. A rugged band of peasants, led by shoemaker Frank Sinatra, yearns to reactivate the gun in the Spanish cause, and they are aided by Cary Grant, a British naval officer who supplies the ordnance know-how the peasants lack. Sophia Loren is the wench in the machinery, unwittingly piling love rivalry on top of the two men's other troubles. The scenes which feature the gun are exciting, spectacular and worth viewing, whether said gun is being dragged from the mud by a cast of thousands, dangled off the side of a gorge to conceal it from the enemy, or cut loose and allowed to roll pell-mell down a hillside, raising dust, flattening trees and scattering sheep in its path. Unhappily, the scenes in which the lesser characters (that is, the people) prevail are not so good: they suffer from inept directing and potluck acting. Grant is convincing and vital in a one-sided, sobersided role; Loren acts as well as she has to and is sublimely sensual; but Sinatra is woefully miscast – as the earthy, authoritative man of the people, he is devoid of earthiness, authority, even energy, and is merely a Speedy Gonzales accent, with legs. Frank can be fine when he has direction, but Stanley Kramer (who once was content to be just a producer) can only direct guns.
If you ever think of your neighbor as someone who should have his head examined, you may be more kindly disposed toward him after reading Irving Wallace's The Square Pegs (Knopf, $5), a biographical survey of offbeatitis. The author devotes himself to nine wacky examples of eccentricity, including cookie magnate Wilbur Glenn Voliva, who spent much of his time and fortune until his death in 1942 in attempting to prove that the earth was flat. But we have an especial fondness for Timothy Dexter who amassed a fortune by sending coals to Newcastle on the advice of a practical joker. With childish innocence, Dexter invested his savings in a boatload of Virginia soft coal which arrived at the precise moment when Newcastle was paralyzed by a coal strike. Bids for the shipment were enormous and thus was established another financial dynasty. At a time when books like The Organization Man and A Surfeit of Honey are telling us about American conformity, you can't help but get a kick out of Wallace's adroit portraits of "some Americans who dared to be different."
Maurice's in Philadelphia (211 S. Quince St.) is an atmospheric spa sequestered on a Shinbone Alley sort of street. Here, about eight years ago, a longhair fan, Maurice Rotenberg, took over three 250-year-old houses, knocked out some walls, and set up a dozen small rooms where old-master addicts could sip and munch by candlelight to golden sounds via jukebox. The motto is "Food for the stomach and food for the soul," and patrons still speak in shocked tones of the night Sammy Davis. Jr.. slipped one of his own blues-shoutin' discs on the turntable. The menu and bar items are named for composers, conductors and opera artists: order a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Club Special and you'll end up with a tuna salad double-decker. A cheese blintz is a kitchen concerto to Giuseppe Verdi, while the strawberry shortcake stands as a sweet memorial to Golden Age baritone Titta Ruffo. The barkeep will whip up a martini if you ask for a Ludwig von Beethoven. The rest rooms, of course, are marked "Tristan" and "Isolde." Corny? Maybe. But it's a good spot to tote your girl if she's cold to the Crew Cuts and melts to Moussorgsky. Open daily 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 next morn; Sundays, 2:30 P.M. to 9:30 that night.
Students of Bird calls can have a field day with eight LPs under the general title The Genius of Charlie Parker (Verve, Vols. 1 through 8). Recorded between 1950 and 1954, the year before his death, they show the immortal Yardbird in a delicatessen of settings, from big band to string ensemble to various small combos. Five of the LPs include alternate takes never issued before; one of these is a disc consisting entirely of previously unreleased material recorded three months before he died, Parker Plays Cole Porter (Vol. 5). No personnel data is given for this one, but our spies found out it's Walter Bishop on piano and Billy Bauer on guitar. In fact, there are no recording dates and the information is very sketchy in several of the liner notes; but ornithologists will find enough magnificent alto work to compensate for a multitude of productionsins. On a limited-budget basis we'd take Vol. 4 (Bird & Diz), and Vol. 8 (Swedish Schnapps), which despite its title was Ampexed in New York with such all-American boys as John Lewis, Ray Brown and Max Roach.
In Hollywood, a town famous for sport shirts and informality of dress, Maurice Perlmutter made a fetish out of his clothes. He had 15 dark blue pin-striped suits in his closet. He had two dozen plain blue silk ties and all his shirts were white broadcloth with detachable stiff collars. He always had a shine on his shoes and he had never been seen in public with his collar unbuttoned, his tie loosened or a hair out of place. If he looked like a bookkeeper at least he looked like a successful one. In his quiet, fatherly way he had kept a great many household names out of the bankruptcy courts and the clutches of the Internal Revenue Department. The combined yearly gross incomes of his clients would have been enough to buy any three large cities in the country but he treated them all as his spoiled, foolish children and had been known to turn at least one of Hollywood's most famous glamor names over his knee and not for the usual Hollywood reason. He considered himself a fair, stern, just and sorely tried man. He hadn't been to a movie since Vilma Banky retired so he was not overly impressed with the importance of his clients.
Etiquette is the body of truce terms between those natural enemies, host and guest, which prevents them from killing each other on sight. Behind this truce, a silent subtle war goes on, move and deadly countermove, for entertaining is social warfare. There is even a uniform ("What shall we wear? Black tie?").
Most are familiar with the tale of Frankie and Johnny. John Held, Jr., illustrated the famous ballad with authentic woodcuts for one of the early issues of Playboy and recalled that he had learned it from a colored piano Player called "Professor," in a parlor house run by a lady known as Madam Helen Blazes. Now jazz trombonist Kai Winding is telling a hip version of the done her wrong kick on a new Columbia EP (B9991) and LP(CL999). We were charmed by this modern treatment of the classic story and thought it might be fun to illustrate it Photographically. So here it is, as told by Mr. Winding, with Kai's lovely wife, Jeanne, as Frankie, and cool Kai himself as that cat, Johnny.
Gentlemen, it's true. Women are difficult creatures to understand. Show me, if you can, the man who is truly capable of assaying whether her "no" means "no" or "maybe," whether the miss in question really digs you the most, as her words so artfully claim, whether she's cooperative, gullible, a blabbermouth, possessive, demanding, or a pretty sincere egg beneath it all.
The man with an eye for the niceties of living invariably does a certain amount of his entertaining at home in his bachelor quarters. And if he has a real flair for it – if he is just as assured and authoritative about dining at home as he is when it comes to ordering a justright dinner from a carte du jour written in French script – he presides over the occasion himself.
"Of course if there had been any justice in the world," said Burrows, depressing his cheeks grimly, "if we ourselves had shown any degree of responsibility, the two old ladies would have been minced, would have been incinerated. Their ashes would have been trampled into some Serbian field or scattered in the sea off some Dalmatian island, like Drool or Snot. Or they would have been sold into slavery to the Bogomils. Or just simply crept up on (continued on page 58)Blooper Girls(continued from page 33) from behind and murdered at their typewriters. I used to dream about it, old man."
Coming up: those fine fall days. There'll be a nip in the air, red-and-gold palettes daubed on the trees, a pleasant hint of wood smoke on the crisp autumn breeze – all of which spells football games, country weekends, and all the other harvest time pleasures that take a man out of town. It's a wonderful time to pile in the Porsche and whisk out to the countryside to poke around those auctions held in the old barns, visit the county fair or look in on the local sports car rally, skeet shoot or horse show. And there is a kind of elegant, casual clothing to go with the atmosphere. This year's crop of sartorial suggestions is unusually stimulating, and the big news is in sweaters – heavyweight, lightweight, bright in color or richly dark – often replacing jackets for casual ease. Cardigans are going great guns: finespun alpaca with big sleeves that allow you plenty of swing-space for active sports, or heavier ones, striped and piped with color, or sleeveless ones for wear under your jacket. Cashmeres still rate high, but luxury lurks too in the shetlands, lambs' wool and orlon knits as well.
This month, the credit for Playmate discovery goes to a sharp-eyed space salesman on playmate advertising staff. During a call on the account executive of a hot ad prospect, our boy's peepers lighted on 117 pounds of pulchritude named Jacquelyn Prescott. She is this particular exec's valued private secretary, troubleshooter, human tickler file and all-'round Girl Friday. It seemed to our salesman that she would also make a most valued Girl Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so when he finished his pitch to her boss, he tried one on her. He learned that Miss Prescott is talented as well as efficient and beautiful: she makes a hobby of sketching, he found out, and harbors a secret desire to design the costumes for a lavish Broadway musical. As we said, this fellow is a space salesman, and he successfully sold this sexy secretary on the idea of occupying space on a certain triple-page center-spread. He sold the exec on advertising in Playboy,too.
"You've got a pretty fair line-up here, Abdul, but the trouble is, you lack depth. Now, if I were you I'd trade off one or two of your veterans for some promising young rookies. Thatway you'll have plenty of reserve strength in case any of your first stringers give out and have to lay off for a while."
Everett Lindsay once had a dream which he never forgot. He had dreamed that he was walking across a misty park at night. He was aware of weeping willow trees wrapped in fog. He'd been smoking his pipe, and the damp smell of the lush grass mingling with the odor of the smoke had been very pleasant. Apparently he was on a stroll, the kind he often took alone around his home, although the park was unfamiliar. He was enjoying the walk when suddenly he saw a figure emerging from an eddy of mist. It was a man dressed in old clothes, with the flabby, whisker-specked face of a derelict. This man was carrying a gun, and Everett stopped, astonished. The man, wearing no particular expression, raised the gun and just before he fired, Everett thought, I'm going to die and it's utterly meaningless for this man is mad and he's never seen me before and I'm dying because I'm guilty of one simple misdemeanor – being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The man had fired, and Everett experienced a gray, painless burst of light and his last thought was, this is what instant death is. Beyond pain.
"Virtue may flourish in an old cravat," muttered Oliver Wendell Holmes – possibly an acceptable epigram to his hirsute contemporaries, whose beavers covered their own cravats and rendered newness or oldness largely academic. But for today's clean-shaven urbanites, virtue flourishes in the neckwear above, combining as it does the old and the new. These freshly-minted neckties are really old buddies done up with a clever twist: colorfully striped rep silk (English import) turned inside out to show off the subtle nature of the beast. Subdued stripes take the place of your faithful black knits, can be knotted felicitously with your more actively-patterned raiment – checked and herringbone sports jackets, tartan plaid, striped or checked shirts. In softer lights, the tie takes on the appearance of solid black; in the midday sun, the muted stripes can be seen for all to admire. No self-respecting tie-rack should be without several; those shown, only $2.50 each.
After several decades of going that away, Western movies are now going the way of all flesh. And we don't mean horse flesh, pardner. The current crop of cowboy flickers includes as much horsing around the bunkhouse as the old corral. Even the Indians are getting into the act. In a new United Artists release, Gun Fever, a nobly-stacked Ceylonese actress named Jana Davi plays an Injun gal who is asked, not to bite the dust in the classic cowboys-and-In-dians tradition, but to peel off her buckskins, saunter into a river and wash the dust off her attractive torso, then saunter out again. Sad to relate, a good bit of this scene has been cut from the final footage released for Gun Fever, so Jana's elegant epidermis is viewed only by actor-director Mark Stevens, his movie crew, and the million-plus readers of Playboy, Despite the capricious clipping of this particular film, however, the horse-kissing, shucks-ma'm style of cowboy who rode off into the sunset with only his guitar for solace is clearly a thing of the past. The posse can still be counted on to head the rustlers off at the pass, but meanwhile, back at the ranch, a prairie pretty is usually rustling up a pass or two of her own with a cowhand who was smart enough to stay behind. A change for the better, say we; a welcome breath of fresh air in the hitherto stuffy Wide Open Spaces.
Round 10: "The old man and the sea" The first thing i saw when I hit New York was Hemingway's picture on a magazine cover. There he was big as Life. That's why he wanted me to get to New York, I thought. So I'd see it. I looked it over and saw it had a new book of his in it. Must be that left hook he told me about, I thought. Almost bought one too. Wanted to look it over. But I wasn't going to break a life-long rule for him or anybody else. It wasn't the 20 cents. It was the principle of the thing. I had to go to the dentist's anyway. Had a broken tooth. I could wait and get the magazine there.
You'd best write fast if you expect to snag any Caribbean space in November or December, when the holiday cruises add spangled festivity to relaxed shipboard life. Queen of Bermuda sails from Gotham on December 20 (on a 16-day, $400-up circuit) and winds up in Panama, with plenty of time ashore at six of the jazziest Carib ports of call. Or grab a week's leisure in Nassau, flying from New York and sailing back, with a full measure of sunny island fun for $250 up.
The Second Annual Playboy Jazz Poll is something every Playboy reader will want to dig: be sure to watch for the ballot in the October issue and vote for your favorite jazz performers. Also in October: