Playboy wouldn't be Playboy without cartoons. Great gusty quantities of full-color, full-page cartoons fill the magazine every month, to say nothing of frequent multipage cartoon spreads and the less flamboyant but no less funny black-and-white chucklers that pepper the back pages. These cartoons are created by the most gifted coterie of dotty draftsmen ever assembled under one aegis. High time, then, to spotlight such vitally important chaps on this Playbill page.
Anyone who doesn't know by now that the Soviets invented everything hasn't been doing his party-line homework. For fresh evidence, we submit the case of the American tourist traveling in a Russian train who pulled one of the small new transistor radios from his pocket. A Soviet citizen, fascinated by the gadget, finally blurted: "We have lots of those. What is it?"
Early in Edward Mannix' An End to Fury (Dial, $4.95) our hero, Vince Boyle, a would-be writer, stands on the Florida strand and yells in the direction of Cuba and Ernest Hemingway: "Hey, Ernie -- I'm drunk and you can go to hell!" But it's James T. Farrell he should have cocked his fist at, for this first novel is a raw, rowdy, randy rendering of an Irish slum family -- the Boyles of Jersey City -- seen mostly through the hard eyes of the aforementioned Vince. What plot there is concerns Vince's love-hate for his family and his effort to find himself after a hitch in the Navy and a stint with a carny. But it's the full-length portraits of the Brueghelian Boyles which are the book's standout feature. Unfortunately, Mannix, who can really write, is preoccupied with the priapic. Result: what could have been high-fission fiction is notable chiefly for its phallic fall-out.
In San Francisco, jazz -- modern, contemporary, West or East Coast, and just plain swingin' -- has always meant going to the Black Hawk. But the scene has been considerably enlarged in the last year and a half with the opening of the Jazz Workshop (473 Broadway, just off Kearny St.). Owner Art Auerback, a young (31) San Francisco attorney, says, "About three weeks before opening we were sitting around the place talking about the kind of policy we'd try, when a real beat-looking chick stuck her head in and asked if we'd audition a trio. That was Jean Hoffman -- she plays electric piano, straight 88s and sings; we listened to her, and everybody was gassed by her style, so we fed the three of them for three weeks, they opened, and the people started pouring in. Ralph Gleason liked her, Herb Caen wrote about her, she made a couple of LPs for Fantasy, stayed with us for three months, and then went on the road with a bunch of Eastern bookings." Art followed up Jean's success with jazz and poetry sessions featuring Bruce Lippincott, and then really hit it big earlier this year with another group out of the Northwest, the Mastersounds. The group is co-op, with no leader. Buddy Montgomery, the vibist, does most of the writing and arranging, his brother Monk plays Fender bass with Benny Barth on drums and Richie Crabtree on piano. These sounds really made it in the Bay Area and kept the Workshop stuffed from June through October. The group, whose World-Pacific LPs of The King and I and Kismet have been hot national sellers, returned to the club in February and will remain through April. The Workshop is a pleasantly modern place with a brown-and-white motif throughout. Paintings of jazz personalities by Jan Hillcourt and Bill Weber are on the walls, and a large graphic by Bill of a group blowin' up a storm backs up the bandstand. There's never a cover or minimum; the drinks are much better than most nightclubs deliver and they go for 90¢. Art does all the talent booking himself, most of it straight through the musicians, instead of the agencies. He's excited about giving young groups their first club dates, and between discoveries he's featured soloists like Sonny Rollins, LA tenor man Harold Land and Buddy DeFranco. One of his ideas is to develop a really swinging local rhythm section and to bring in big name horns to blow with it. Sonny Stitt is signed, as well as Horace Silver.
Most people thought James Jones shock-laden novel about the scrapping brothers Hirsh was turgid, but thanks to director Vincente Minnelli's incisive interpretation of a zippy, sexy screenplay by John Patrick and Arthur Sheekman, plus rocking performances by all hands, Some Came Running will knock you down and stomp all over you, it's that good. Story, backed by a dissonant Elmer Bernstein score, slows up only rarely. Just after World War II, ex-GI Frank Sinatra, still in khaki, returns to his Indiana home after a long stay away. A tough, wiry guy with writing talent, he's got bad memories of stuffy elder brother Arthur Kennedy and his snarly wife Leora Dana. With him is jolly, sloppy but poignant strumpet Shirley MacLaine, whom he can stomach only when pie-eyed. Frank acts fairly square with his brother, the wife and their teenage daughter, Betty Lou Keim. He even falls respectably in love with a cold mackerel of a schoolmarm, Martha Hyer, who's interested only in his literary output. Between times, though, he cats and souses around with high-livin' gambler Dean Martin. They even set up a ménagé à trollop with Shirley and Dean's besotted ladyfriend, Carmen Philips. There are roaring, dramacharged and funny scenes to relish. To add to the picture's other virtues, Shirley MacLaine turns in an especially first-rate performance, and Martin and Sinatra work together like they meant it. An amusing note is, Dean never takes his hat off.
It would be gratifying to see what Sam Levene could do with a good play for a change. Even with a slapdash paste-up of gags and bedlam like Make a Million he is undoubtedly one of the most engaging comedic actors in the business. This time he's a TV producer whose quiz show survives the late house-cleaning only because his leading contestant is a sweet and innocent little Southern gal who has taken the public fancy. Unfortunately our heroine stepped into a hotel one day to get out of the rain, and she is currently pregnant. This spells curtains for the show, unless the father is found and highjacked to the altar. Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore, the authors, have trumped up a mixed bag of soldiers and civilians to keep their plot boiling, and director Jerome Chodorov can turn the stage into a cornucopia of comedy given half an opportunity. That's about all he gets, plus some reliable help from Don Wilson as a paunchy patriarch from the Pentagon, Conrad Janis as the daddy-to-be everyone is searching for, plus Neva Patterson and Ann Wedgeworth. None of this would be worth a second thought without Sam Levene in command with his alternate rages and terrible moments of calm, the eyes that widen in self-pity, the hands that beg for justice, and the voice that snarls while his face broadens in risus sardonicus At the Playhouse, 137 West 48th St., NYC.
That limb we climbed out on last October for the latest and coolest in vocal units clearly isn't going to let us down. The trio then called the Dave Lambert Singers and now known as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross has come up with a second set of lyricized Basieisms, Sing Along with Basie (Roulette 52018, stereo or monophonic), and this time they're reinforced by the Basie band itself, including Joe Williams, who joins them as a fourth voice and even reenacts the Jimmy Rushing role on renovations of two blues, Rusty Dusty and Goin' to Chicago. On the back of the LP are all the lyrics -- a smart idea, since it's not always easy to follow Jon Hendricks' brilliantly written lyrics as they rocket along.
It seems there was a beautiful young actress who had caught the eye, the fancy and the heart of George Jessel. Whenever he spoke of her, his eyes would grow misty and his voice would take on the rhapsodic resonance he usually reserved for testimonial dinners. "Her sneezes," Mr. Jessel would swear on a stack of Varietys, "make Debussy sound like a bum." He showered her with his attentions; his devotion to her became a Broadway legend. Then, on the very eve of what was to be their wedding day, she made one request that shattered the romance forever. "No, no, no!" -- Mr. Jessel's outraged response could be heard from Lindy's to Sardi's. "I am willing to share my income with you, I am willing to share my home, my dressing rooms, yea, my very life with you --but share my billing? Never!"
The young man who is Shoe now recognizes that his choice of shoes is due for a change from the styles of yesteryear. The main trend, and one we applaud, is the ascendancy of conservative continental styling over the traditional British. For generations the Britons' brogan -- heavy, solid, and frequently stolid in appearance -- had been the U.S. ideal, without too much reflection on the fact that British notions of footwear reflect a climate rather more grim than our own. Aware of this, and of the fact that few of us spend much time tramping through furze and gorse, all but a few die-hards will abandon the heavy wing-tip shoe and the brutal blucher done up in cordovan or thick calfskin and about as hefty as a football shoe. For every one of these rugged anachronisms there is now a pleasing variety of acceptable masculine styles, just a few of which are shown on these pages. Today, the big, bulky jobs with the thick soles are definitely non-Shoe.
Brigden Cole had a rough problem. He pondered it, hunched over his desk, his fingers chasing each other through his hair, his shoulders moving irritably against the stretch of his jacket. Miss Irvine's light voice, her enunciation very precise, made a kind of soothing background for his thoughts. Miss Irvine was reading Keats' The Eve of St. Agnes to the class.
The rain in Spain was mainly on the wane while Silverstein was there -- for in addition to the well-known Hispanic sun, there was Shel's own private stock of sunshine which he never fails to sneak past Customs wherever he goes.
Nobody knows for sure how the country of Andorra, in the Pyrenees, got to be there. In Andorra itself, they say that the place was founded by Charlemagne, in 784 A.D., when the Andorranos helped him fight the Moors; "He who helps Charlemagne doesn't rue the day," Charlemagne is said to have said, at any rate, and created Andorra in a trice. Indeed, the Andorranos of today call themselves the sons of Charlemagne, and the Andorran national anthem, which loses almost everything in translation, has it that:
People who live in the glass houses of Manhattan, and other similarly centralized urban areas, are almost literally a stone's throw from anything that interests them. Not so in the far West. The spaces there are still wide-open, and people who inhabit places like Los Angeles (the spreadest-out city in the whole U. S. of A.) find that an automotive bauble like a Mercedes Benz is as much a necessity as a luxury. Take, as an exuberant example, Audrey Daston, a lovely Los Angel who maintains that her sports car has become a veritable way of life. To prove her point, she let us follow her one afternoon as she lunched at an out-of-doors restaurant and drove to Don Loper's in Hollywood, where she bought a bathing suit and a new dress; then we tagged along up the turnpike until she found a cozy cove on the coast, and photographed her for posterity as she changed into her swim suit for a private splash. The vast expanse of California countryside has led to a kind of drive-in living: as you barrel down the boulevards you can find roadside retreats catering to most every need--marketing, movies, banking, everything. But, though you drive until you cover the entire state, searching diligently as you go, we venture to suggest that you'll find no sports car companion half so engaging as our March Playmate, Miss Audrey Daston.
That handsome hunk of electronic equipment nestled at the foot of this page between the twins, who symbolize stereo's dual sounds, is a dual preamplifier built by Fairchild and designed by Raymond Loewy. In real life, it is, if you will, the brains of a modern stereo rig. That is, its knobs, dials and switches at your finger tips permit you to select the mode of operation of your stereo system, to balance its sound, and otherwise to temper it and make it swell forth or diminish to suit your personal preference.
Recently faced with an hour to kill before climbing into the threads to attend a cocktail party, I glanced pessimistically around my apartment for something to read and found nothing except a copy of The Journal of Air Pollution, the previous Sunday's funnies, The Complete Plays of Björnstjerne Björnson and several contemporary novels about young men with talent, good jobs, large incomes, devoted wives, beautiful mistresses, charming children, homes in the suburbs, lively glands, all the gin they can drink, and problems. Somehow, I could not feel for them. Almost at the desperate point of snapping on the TV, I suddenly remembered a little booklet published in London in 1828 which had found its way to me. I fished it out from under Smokey Stover and rubbed my fingertips over it, sensuously, for I am (if I may coin a word) an antiquophile. That is to say, I am fascinated, infatuated, charmed and seduced by old things: old printed things, in particular. Old placards and handbills, old theatre programs, old menus, old newspapers, magazines and books. I love their archaic typefaces, their obsolete spellings, their quaint layouts, I even love their occasional broken type. It is a silly, irrational, useless love, I know; sillier than most loves, less rational and less useful. But there it is. Bring me within visible range of a first folio or a yellowed, crumbling poster or even (such is my sorry state, so far am I gone) reproductions of these things, and you will see a man shaken by lust. Understand my gladness, then, as I stroked this reproduction -- faithful even to age specks -- of The Art of Tying the Cravat: Demonstrated in Sixteen Lessons, Including Thirty-Two Different Styles, forming A Pocket Manual; and Exemplifying the Advantage Arising from an Elegant Arrangement of This Important Part of the Costume; Preceded by A History of the Cravat, from its Origin to the Present Time; and Remarks on its Influence on Society in General. The author was given as H. Le Blanc, Esq.
An important conference was held late last year in the New York, executive offices of 20th Century-Fox. Under discussion was a new title for a recently completed Western movie. A Dorothy Parker devotee had come up with Enough Rope, but the Powers said no. Not enough B.O. appeal. Insufficient bazazz. "It just lays there." Other titles followed: Rope Law, The Hell-Bent Kid, Fast Draw at Fort Smith, Quick Draw at Fort Smith and, finally, just plain Quick Draw. Charlie Einfeld, Fox' Eastern publicity chief, shook his head. "Westerns," he said, "are doing lousy business. Can't we get something a little flashier?"
Feminine beauty has its fads and fashions, every bit as much as the raiment that clothes that beauty, and the ladies seem to possess the Procrustean faculty of altering their very bodies according to the dictates of style.
Changeable as March weather, this short reversible cape with Loden cloth to windward will handily bounce the iciest blasts, while its flip side of water repellent cotton sheds spring freshets with ease. It's available in camel or dark gray, and the tab is a slight $25.
There is no greater anxiety for a mother than to think she will see her daughter leave on the arm of an unknown man, perhaps a rough fellow without any feeling, who on the wedding night will have the audacity to lie next to her. Perhaps that explains why mothers-in-law are so bitter.
The Hawaiians, in case you didn't know, are one of the few folk on earth who have no word in their language for weather Reason, of course, according to the natives, is that it's always the same and that same is perfect. And the airlines flying there back up the boast: you can enjoy your stay for any length of time and if the temperature has dipped below 75° for half your visit, you collect full price of your round-trip ticket. If you don't care to wing there, you can hop aboard the Chusan, a glittering white British cruise liner that is held by the cognoscenti to be one of the best afloat. She pulls out from San Francisco on the last day of May, complete with a pair of orks and a pair of swimming pools, for 14 days and nights, with Hawaii as her destination. Tab starts at $300 (round-trip only) and winds upward.