The word on Sinatra, the man and the voice, is an important part of the November playboy. Long popular with our readers (see Jazz Poll results, any year) as well as our editors, Sinatra is explored as an American phenomenon and love god in a three-dimensional study by Robert George Reisner, Curator of the Institute of Jazz Studies in New York and co-author of our probing essay on Bird (January 1957).
Playboy, November, 1958, vol. 5, no. 11. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co., Inc., Playboy building, 232 E. OHIO st., Chicago 11, ILL, Entered as second class Matter August 5, 1955 at the post office at Chicago, ILL., under the ACT of March 3, 1879. printed in U.S.A. contents copyrighted @ 1958 by HMH publishing Co., Inc. subscriptions: in the U.S., ITS possessions, the pan American union and Canada, $14 for three years, $11 for two years, $6 for one year, elsewhere Add $3 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals, change of address: send both old and new addresses and allow 30 days for change. advertising: main advertising office, Howard Lederer, Eastern manager, 720 fifth ave., New York, N. Y., CI 5-2620; Western advertising office, 232 E. OHIO st., Chicago 11, ILL., MI 2-1000; Los angeles representative, fred E. crawford, 612 S. serrano ave., Los angeles, CAL., DU 4-7352; San Francisco representative. A. S. babcock. 605 market ST., san Francisco, CAL., YU 2-3954.
While scouting for the snazzy holiday gift items that appear elsewhere in this issue, we ran into a few grand giveables which, while not ideal for the urban young man or his playmate, would obviously gladden the heart of someone, somewhere. Like so: for the busy man who totes his lunch on busy days, a lunch kit and matching vacuum bottle with attractive Zorro drawings (full-color action scenes) on the side. From Toujours Manure, two pounds of vitamin-packed cow manure, loaded with CD (chlorophyll derivatives) and packed in attractive Christmas wrapping. A Rust Map of the United States (suitable for framing) showing the different rates at which rust eats through an uncoated steel test panel – in all cities over 10,000 population. For the handy man, a standard-and-Phillips reversible screwdriver that comes with matching tie clasp and cuff links set with miniature replicas. For the happy home owner, a Rain-Vert Downspout Diverter for – uh – diverting downspouts. And the ne plus ultra: a single-control, clutchless, hydraulic No. 904 Hog Dehairer that dehairs up to 125 hogs an hour. Should you be at a loss for hairy hogs, they're yours at $195 per porker or $155 in larger quantities, the perfect companion for the dehairing machine. Joyeux Noël.
We bow to no man in our respect for Duke Ellington, but we can only recommend his new version of Black, Brown and Beige (Columbia CL 1162) with reservations. Progress means change, but the converse is not necessarily true; in rewriting his most famous extended work, Duke has (a) eliminated several of the most attractive themes, (b) taken the sensuous Come Sunday motif away from Johnny Hodges, for whom it was ideally suited, and given it to three other guys, (c) equipped it with lyrics that are not merely un-Ellingtonian but actually sound as if they could have been written by Nick Kenny, (d) topped it all off with the 23rd Psalm sung by Mahalia Jackson, which would be great in suitable surroundings but is jarringly out of context here. If you've never heard the original (excerpts from which will be reissued soon by Victor), you will find many admirable moments here, but the work as a whole just doesn't come off.
When winter woes make you yearn for the hot, dry, bright air of the desert, you might well think in terms of Palm Springs, a short hop on the freeway from the smog of Los Angeles, and a dandy place for sunning, swimming, tennis, riding, romancing and the like – and eating. If the last is on your mind – as it will be, thanks to the desert climate – we recommend the following dinner haunts for a long weekend of happy gourmandise. First night: try a huge charcoaled steak at the Saddle and Sirloin, which looks Western as all get-out but understands the niceties of big-city service. Second night: make the scene at The Sands, for a fresh fowl done to a gorgeous turn in most any style you may choose, from American roasted to Italian cacciatora – or a succulent broiler. Third night: try the boneless mountain trout, amandine, served with tossed green salad at the Biltmore (its semicircular dining room overlooks the lighted pool, beside which you can enjoy your sundown cocktails). All three places have extensive menus (the Biltmore's is the most impressively varied), expert chefs, superior service, pleasing decor, and bartenders who comprehend the construction of the martini, extra dry.
Tennessee Williams' shattering dissection of the hate, spite, greed and guilt that seethe through a lushly appointed Southern mansion has been translated to the screen with whiplash impact in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, powerfully and inventively directed by Richard Brooks. Though adaptors Brooks and James Poe have gotten out into the sunlight a couple of times, they've confined most of the raw emotional outbursts of husbands, wives and sisters-in-law to various rooms in the manse, the roof of which threatens to blow off periodically from all the bitterly drawled and shouted recriminations bouncing off the walls. The basic plot's sort of similar to the play: On hand to celebrate the 65th birthday of Big Daddy (Burl Ivies), who has just flunked a cancer test but doesn't know it, are his two sons and their wives, plus assorted neighbors. Son Brick (Paul Newman), a brooding former football star kept indoors by a busted ankle he got trying to do the high hurdles with too much alcohol ballast, is uninterested in his pretty wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor), who wears her desperate love for Brick like a lavaliere. Their scraps, stemming mainly from her vain efforts to wean him from the bottle, are chortled at by Brick's oafish brother Gooper (Jack Carson) and Gooper's fruitful wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood), both avid for the old man's wad. They think their herd of kids gives them the odds, but Big Daddy likes Brick best and he still gets rutty when he sees Maggie. Perplexed by Brick's behavior, Big Daddy hounds him for an explanation. Brick surlily refuses to account for his rebuffing of Maggie till Big Daddy denies him his redeye. The explanation Brick gives in the movie is not the same one he gave in the play, of course, since references to homosexuality, however covert, are generally eschewed in American pictures: hence, at this point, the whiplash impact becomes a dull thud, the previous mounting expectation is revealed as a fraud, and you begin to think Brick's outraged cries against "Mendacity!" were meant to apply to the script.
At two a.m. on Saturday, March 22, 1958, a Lockheed Lodestar carrying biographer Art Cohn and mogul's mogul Mike Todd crashed in a valley in New Mexico. Neither man lived to complete the last chapter of The Nine Lives of Michael Todd (Random House, $4.95). That, in the form of an epilogue, is supplied by Art Cohn's widow. This burly bio is neither an apologia nor an indictment, but rather a rare and rowdy account of the roller coaster career of a showman who was a blend of P.T. Barnum and the Don Quixote Todd never finished filming. Yeah, there are bits of sentimental corn sprouting in the book, but in a field as large as Todd's, some of it was bound to grow. At eight, Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen (Todd's real handle) was a shill for a carny pitchman; at 18, he was prexy of a two-million-dollar-a-year construction company; at 20 he was stony broke, existing on his wife's dole of a dollar a day. At 37, he had four plays running at once, netting him 20 grand a week. The following year he went bust again, but still managed to cajole half a million dollars from believing backers to launch two more shows. He was the gent who took the G-string off the banjo and hung it on Gypsy Rose Lee, and he was also the wheel behind the longest-running Hamlet ever to hit Broadway. While his enemies cynically grumbled that Todd had one more 'd' than God, he produced 16 plays during his life that grossed a hefty $18 million; but the gross on Around the World in Eighty Days may run to a whopping $100 million all by itself. Asked why he took a liking to Todd, author Cohn recounts a day during the shooting of World, when Todd stood on the deck of the paddle-wheeler that was bringing Phileas Fogg back to England, and noticed hundreds of sea gulls following the ship. "They're following us for the garbage," the first mate explained. "Garbage!" shrieked Todd. "No sea gulls following my boat are going to eat garbage. Toss them some decent food. We go first class." He did, all the way.
Jack Cole is dead. His passing, at 43, was both untimely and unexpected. Cole began contributing to these pages early. Up till 1954 he had worked almost exclusively in the comic book field, having created a wry satire of the Superman-Captain Marvel-type strip titled Plastic Man. Happily for all concerned, he decided to turn his talents in the direction of magazine cartooning at precisely the same time that playboy began publishing. The first drawings he submitted were rejected, but they carried a note back with them expressing considerable interest in his style and asking him to send others. It was a style that was to become more closely identified with the magazine than any other artist's.
He was a marvelous lover. You know, the real thing in bed. No gentleman, though; I mean, he stank in a revolving door and in an elevator he was absolutely hopeless. But, Lord, he had all this terrifyingly adequate equipment and nothing, nothing, fazed him ... on the floor, in a chair, on top of a desk, leave it to him to figure something out. At a soda fountain (and don't think sodas were beneath him), he was shy, embarrassed, even grotesque, but making love, he had maddening control and strength and tenderness. Well, he was pretty interested in making love.
From the San Francisco poets – that beat breed of jazz-backdropped cellar-dwellers – the name of Lawrence Ferlinghetti stands out among such similarly standout names as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Kenneth Rexroth. Poets, pundits, hippies and chippies have hailed him; "He is quite possibly," said jazz critic Ralph Gleason, "the most important poet now writing in America." Satirist John Keefauver, a native of San Francisco's artiest exurb, Carmel, was fascinated by Ferlinghetti's recent highly praised volume of verse, "A Coney Island of the Mind," and has written for us an appreciative parody that not only echoes, joshes and synthesizes the original, but also comes comfortably close to being an insightful poem in its own right.
What the gentleman prefers at yuletide, clockwise, from six o'clock: Bell two-channel stereo amp-preamp, potent power-and-control source for all hi-fl needs; $169.95. Zenith transistor, trans-oceanic portable radio, both standard and short wave, runs on flashlight batteries; $275. Herman Miller elegant chair and ottoman, in rosewood, with leather covered foam rubber cushions and aluminum base; $600. Subscription to Playboy, $6 a year, $150 lifetime. Hawthorn's The College Years, edited by A.C. Spectorsky, a compendium of the best writings on college life; $7.95. Loyal's eight-day leather clock with brass markings; $35. Riding boot cigarette lighter in polished cordovan; $20. Cigarette box in gold-tooled leather with transistor radio; $65. Walnut record cabinet holds 200 LPs in numbered sleeves; $139. Portable Dictaphone records 60 minutes per magazine, includes mike, tape, batteries, case; $308. Bushnell's Bino-foto adds 7-power telescopic lens to any still or movie camera, can also be used as regular binocular; $84.50. Here it is fitted to a Rolleiflex, with 3.5 Xenotar lens; $217.
In A matter of days now, certain men in practically every state of the union will be tromping out of the woods with dogs and guns, their game bags filled to the legal limit with things furred and feathered. That they will have enjoyed the hunt there is no doubt – but whether their fallen quarry will put them in ecstasy as tasty table fare is something else again. Too often does the ring-necked pheasant turn out tough as timber, the mud hen muddy, the wild duck dry as Ibsen's play of the same name.
You're at this cocktail party, and you and four other guys are off in one corner yacking it up. It seems that all of you have some pretty terrific jokes to unload – some proper, some not so proper – and you are quite a spectacular island of jollity.
The BB used to be a small pellet of lead used by sub-adolescent boys in their Daisy air rifles, but a young French lady with those initials has effected a complete semantic switch and made the letters her very own. She's accomplished this by dint of her prettiness, her pert-ness and her penchant for appearing in motion pictures in a state of undaunted undress. Not that she has ever gone completely jaybirdsville in any of her movies, more's the pity, but parts of her have. She has let slip a towel from a bit of behind in one film, blithely bared a breast or two in another, undraped an umbilicus in yet another, and flashed finely-fashioned thoroughbred limbs in all. The sum total of all these parts, if one has a retentive mind (we do, when it really counts), is The Compleat Brigitte in top-to-toe, fore-and-aft, clockwise-and-counterclockwise nudity. Since every U.S. cinema-lover may not have been fortunate enough to see Brigitte's films in all their original uncut glory, we have assembled on these pages a kind of anthology of her most handsome hunks, selected from her more prominent pictures. This is a public service feature.
They left Stukey's Pad around eight in the morning; that was the kind of weekend it had been. Early to bed, early to rise. Stukey laughed, squinting through the dirt-stained windshield of the battered Ford, pushing the pedal until the needle swung 20, 30 miles over the speed limit. It was all Mitch's fault, but Mitch, curled up on the seat beside him like an embryo in a black leather womb, didn't seem to care. He was hurting too much, needing the quick jab of the sharp sweet point and the hot flow of the stuff in his veins. Man, what a weekend, Stukey thought, and it wasn't over yet. The fix was out there, someplace in the wilds of New Jersey, and Stukey, who never touched the filthy stuff himself, was playing good Samaritan. He hunched over the wheel like Indianapolis, pounding the horn with the heel of his right hand, shouting at the passing cars to move over, move over you son of a bitch, watch where you're going, stupid, pull over, pull over, you lousy...
You've Probably Seen Joan Staley on that bluishly-blinking box in your fun room, because she has appeared on Studio One, Perry Mason, Shower of Stars and other TV slots. 21-year-old five-foot-fiver Joan is an American girl with an international upbringing: as the daughter of a Navy chaplain, her traveling couldn't have begun much earlier, for she was born in an airplane high in the clouds between France and Germany. She spent her first year of high school in Chicago; her second year in Washington, D.C.; her third in Munich; her fourth in Paris. Starting out in the lively arts as a concert violinist, she switched focus to acting and singing and plans to stick with these until fame and fortune accrue in large glittering heaps. Sweet, smart, talented, with eyes of blue and hair of blonde, Joan Staley is a pert Playmate who can drop around and be our own private Late Late Show any night.
This was the first time Johnny Knight had been on the carpet, and he knew it might well be the last – at least as far as Inter-Ocean Airways was concerned. Of course they kept him waiting. He sat quietly, his big hands folded in his lap, until finally the door marked Chief Pilot – Private opened and a girl came out.
Hannibal needed a whole menagerie of elephants, horses, donkerys and leopards with spears attached to get him over the Alps but shel silverstein needed only his sketcbook his pencil his beard and his lively curiosity.Entering switerzland shel got right into the spirit oc things (as he always does) donning the required sweater lederhosen and pointy shaving brushed hat; inverstigating the cuckoo clock situation checking out the native quail; venturing a scratchyu yodel and blowing hot bells with a combo of swiss bell ringers. He also found time to sketch his own highly personal impressions of Switzerland for playboy.
For Him The gift means more when it's patently the product of forethought. This magnificent monogrammed or custom merchandise must be ordered well in advance for yuletide delivery. Clockwise, from six: Britannia pewter tankard with glass bottom; $12 each or $125 for 8 with case. Town Crier cocktail shaker, rings while you shake up stingers; $25. Hasselerbring carving and bar set with stag handles, walnut case; $400. Aluminum and steel Maryland duck press; $75. Brass-trimmed ice caddy holds 10 gallons; $75. Calfskin made-to-order riding boots; $115. Custom riding britches; $125. Custom Winchester shotgun, hand-carved stock, hand-engraved breech; $1556. Monogramming iron; three letters, $3.95; custom design, $8-$12.
In the wee small hours of the morning, when the whole wide world is either fast asleep or wide awake, depending on what social circle you prefer, the voice of Frank Sinatra-bittersweet, magical, lean, insinuating, nudging, shrugging (yes, this man can shrug his voice)-weaves itself into the day-and-nightdreams of America's womankind. Hat set cockily on the back of his head, raincoat draped carelessly over a bony shoulder, this hip brand of love god, so different from the lush and limpid-eyed love gods of yore, casually ambles into the phantasies of females young and old, dances on the ceilings near their beds, bids them come fly with him down to Acapulco Bay. And if the real Sinatra were to make the offer, a goodly number would hop at the opportunity.
Of All Amateur Sports, it is likely that skiing has had the most compressed and varied history. In a couple of decades, give or take a year or three, it has evolved from an arcane, perilous and arduous activity for the rugged few, to a hugely sprawling, wonderfully enjoyable, international winter pastime. Its devotees are legion and each one is a zealous propagandist for the sport and is apt to find himself mouthing the cliche, "Skiing isn't a sport – it's a way of life." And so it is: from those first brisk days when the ski buff starts scanning the skies and poring over weather reports, to the day when the first snowflake falls, the excitement mounts, the plans are made, the gear and tackle and garb are taken out and lovingly gone over, and thousands upon thousands of people happily turn their backs on the tropical resorts which used to be winter's only saving grace, to turn their eyes toward high country and the world of slopes, trails, log fires, hot grog, mountain – top sun decks and the joyous, informal camaraderie of the ski resorts.
It's no news that the humble, homespun greeting card of yore has been outdistanced in recent years by the "studio card" – a sophisticated gag message, toney and tart, sometimes biting, often sexy, with sharp, clever artwork to match. Now, photographs of full-figured fillies are being used to good effect by a little Los Angeles outfit called ink, inc. Adman Jack Roberts dreams up the concepts and photog Hal Adams (who has done a respectable number of Playboy Playmates in the course of his career) snaps the shutter. The cards are, as they say, for all occasions, and include such sentiments as "So you did the birds and bees scene – Congratulations! I hear you got a little honey!" (decorated by a bare-bosomed beekeeper); "We'll have a ball at Christmas ... if yule log time with me!" (with a cool yule cutie kneeling at the holiday hearth); and, of course, for that most special of all occasions, "Wham! Bam! Thank you ma'am!" (a nightied nifty in the company of her great and good friend, the rabbit).
January is carnival kick-off month in many Caribbean isles, including Trinidad and the French West Indies. At Martinique and Guadalupe, in particular, carnival comes as close to a booze-and-broad-happy bacchanal as anything you're ever likely to see. Add to this: exotic atmosphere that might have been dreamed up by Maugham and Conrad in tandem, the pungent beauty of the uninhibited mulatto girls, whose passionate dancing of the beguine on a Saturday night at places like Le Select Tango is dazzling, Creole grub like calalu herb soup and agouti stewed in white wine, Parisian shopping at prices that put Paris to shame, the totally disordered friendliness of staff and management at the two tiny hotels on Martinique. You'll have a mad old time of it for sure.