0

3

 

3

1

 

0

9

 

M

U

S

I

C

 

 

0

3

 

3

1

 

0

9

 

M

U

S

I

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 
       
 

Purr-fectly Eartha!

   
 

Cat Among The Pigeons!

   

 

  

 

She personified a certain irresistibly devilish, feline sexiness.  Dressed in tight leather bodysuit and mask, she slowly exhaled the word 'purrr-fect' with a delightfully playful precision in her signature role as Catwoman on the hit television series Batman.  The many qualities that endeared her to the public were all present in that one gesture: strength and vulnerability, elegance and kitsch, and a certain kittenish mischievousness.  Born in 1927 in South Carolina, Kitt moved to New York as a young girl where she eventually rose to become a Broadway, cabaret, television and film star.  The African-American Kitt used her stardom to fight for civil rights and against all forms of discrimination, and was famously banned from the White House in 1968 by Lady Bird Johnson for expressing her views on the Vietnam War. 

Kitt could infuse the slightest bit of innocent bawdiness into almost any performance.  In her rendition of Santa Baby, her raspy voice teases Old St. Nick himself: 

Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
…Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you'd check off my Christmas list...

Kitt's versatility was remarkable: she began her career as a dancer for the Katherine Dunham Company, starred in the 1978 Broadway hit Timbuktu! and even climbed the disco charts with the 1983 hit Where is my Man?  She learned and recorded in several foreign languages, including French.  In her splendid rendition of the Turkish song Üsküdara, Kitt effortlessly switches between English and Turkish:

Üsküdara "Gideriken bir mendil buldum
Mendilimin icinede lokum doldurdum
On the way to Üsküdar I found a kerchief
And I filled the kerchief with Turkish Delight


Then after finishing her English narration of this sensual and playful song in a uniquely Kittian gesture she adds the following personalized rasping coda to the song: "Oh those crazy Turks!"  To which one can only add: "Oh that crazy Eartha!"

Earth Kitt, an American legend, passed away in 2008.

 

Listen: Eartha Kitt, Purr-fect Greatest Hits  

Listen: Eartha Kitt, l'album on iTunes 

Permalink   Save to del.icio.us    Digg This! 


 

 

 


       
 

 
       
   

Subscribe About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Editorial Policy Unsubscribe

Press Archives Search  

 

 

 

©2009 eCognoscente 

All design and illustration by Anita Itty