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Organ Orgasm
January 12, 2008 4:03 PM   Subscribe

This IS safe for work despite the title. I've never seen a woman touch an organ with quite as much enthusiasm and skill.
posted by nangsta (41 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was super Ms. Smith, now let's really get hot!
Let's go below the border for some south american jive...

[This is surreal]
posted by phrontist at 4:07 PM on January 12, 2008


I never thought I would ever say anything like this, but I want to be that particular Hammond Organ.
posted by loquacious at 4:07 PM on January 12, 2008


Maybe the first link was to go here?

And Ethel Smith is my new hero.
posted by nosila at 4:10 PM on January 12, 2008


She's no Lee Michaels. She's WAY BETTER.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:12 PM on January 12, 2008


Or here even?

She is soooo cool.
posted by nosila at 4:12 PM on January 12, 2008


I bet she was good in her day. The performance is, or course, dubbed over the footage. Tipoff: watch her hands on the octves in the intro, then the girl "playing" the congas. Still, fun in an old-timey way.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:15 PM on January 12, 2008


Do the young ladies with the crimson kneckware all work for a particular airline? I'd like to fly that airline. Does anyone know what it is? Do they play their instruments in lieu of an inflight movie? What a groovy airline.
posted by vrakatar at 4:15 PM on January 12, 2008


Ah, this must be it:
[Following high-profile radio and New York gigs] In 1944, Ethel Smith appeared with Xavier Cugat and Harry James in the musical numbers for Bathing Beauty, her first feature for MGM. In the film, Esther Williams starred as the swimming instructor at the all-girl "Victoria College." Red Skelton played her fiancé, a tunesmith ready to give up Hollywood for his amphibious sweetheart. Ethel Smith played a comic cameo as an "Assistant Music Professor."

In her big scene, some of the girls burst into her office. She is seated at the organ. They beg her to play. With dainty grace, wearing an impeccable peacock-blue cocktail dress and adorned with jewels, Miss Smith removes her wire-rimmed spectacles and lets rip with "By the Waters of Minnetonka" and "Tico-Tico." (An orchestra is cleverly concealed somewhere in the office.) Her perfectly coifed hair never musses, her beatific smile never wavers, and her spike-heeled feet never get sore as her whole body dances over the instrument. In "Tico-Tico," she even plays the organ with one hand and a large tambourine with the other. The girls get into the mood as they beat on bongos and tom-toms that just happen to be lying around.

Miss Smith reappears at the end of Bathing Beauty, playing alongside Harry James at a benefit show. During the performance of "Loch Lomond/I'll Take the High Note," Miss Smith is wheeled onstage while playing the Hammond. She eventually gets caught up in the revelry and does a high line kick as well as any Rockette!

posted by dhartung at 4:25 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her hairstyle was stolen by Mike Score AFoSG
posted by hortense at 4:29 PM on January 12, 2008


I am reminded of Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:35 PM on January 12, 2008


That's pretty sweet playing, but for some reason it reminded me of that infamous internet video with the small person dancing stop and go in time with music provided from a tape player by some guy laying on a couch. If I could even begin to think of how to search for it I would link it, but I'm sure someone knows what I'm talking about.

Ah, there it is, "small person breakdance" worked on a Youtube search. And no, I don't know why it reminds me of this. http://youtube.com/watch?v=qVHYg01lS8U
posted by Democritus at 4:40 PM on January 12, 2008


I've never seen a woman touch an organ with quite as much enthusiasm and skill.

You don't hang around churches too much do you? Why in some churches you might even see a man running his hands up and down his organ filled with the spirit of the Lord!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:43 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


. . . is it wrong that the second link in the parent post strikes me as far more sexist than about half the porn I've seen? If I were a woman, I'd want to flay whoever produced that.
posted by Ryvar at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2008


I've never seen a woman touch an organ with quite as much enthusiasm and skill.

Must...not...make...offensive/racism/sexism...comment.
posted by Demogorgon at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2008


Here's something I came across earlier that's kind of similarbut much less safe for work (no nudity, but you'll see what I mean)
posted by delmoi at 4:52 PM on January 12, 2008


A rather large victorian woman was making love with a waifish man. She said to him, "sir, I didn't realize that your organ was so small." To which he replied, "Madame, I didn't realize I'd be playing a cathedral!" *rimshot* [NOT VICTORIANIST]
posted by Pollomacho at 4:55 PM on January 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


hehe, it ends with windows 3.0's tada
posted by mattoxic at 5:15 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, that's one BIG tambourine sitting on top of that organ, though, I'll tell you that!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:44 PM on January 12, 2008


That was marvelous! Totally enjoyed that nangsta! Such zest. And the music is great in a Lawrence Welk on crystal meth kind of way.

Never saw any musician get that kind of delicate and vigorous action on an oversized tambourine either. Their outfits have a red tie at the neck vintage girl scout look going on.

She has a nice signature on her homepage.

Her architectural hairstyle got me Googling faster than one can say snood. Apparently it's a kind of hair roll, a top roll I think. A reverse French roll? Very Andrews sisters Boogie Boogie style.

Reminded me of Ernestine, Lily Tomlin's telephone operator character.

Fun! Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 5:56 PM on January 12, 2008


Listen while I play play play play play play
My big tambourine....
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:02 PM on January 12, 2008


Never saw any musician get that kind of delicate and vigorous action on an oversized tambourine either.

It seems to be Ethel's own unique take on the art of pandeiro playing. You'll note the gal behind Ethel's right shoulder is playing the pandeiro, in the usual Brazilian way.

By the way, the tune Ethel is playing is the immensely popular Brazilian standard, Tico Tico. There's a nice version of it for two guitars on YouTube here.

More info on the song here at Wikipedia.

The song was the feature of an excellent and pretty exhaustive WFMU post: 61 Versions of Tico Tico. Highly recommended. You'll note Ethel is featured prominently there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really hot as that may be, when it comes to sexy women playing the Hammond B3, none can compare to Barbara Dennerlein.
posted by sfenders at 6:37 PM on January 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


OMG! I just became lesbian!
posted by janetplanet at 7:01 PM on January 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


May I be among those who want to say, "Nice maracas Ms. Smith".
posted by X4ster at 7:06 PM on January 12, 2008


Obviously the sister of Jimmy Smith.
posted by sourwookie at 7:29 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, here's another YouTube clip (audio only) featuring a much better-recorded rendition of Ethel doing Tico Tico.

I have to say, upon listening to her versions, her phrasing of the melody is not the greatest: it's rushed here and there in ways that detract, IMHO, from the rhythmic interest that the song has in the hands of many other interpreters. It is a fun clip, though, with all those ladies gathered round the Hammond!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:35 PM on January 12, 2008


sfenders,

Barbara Dennerlein is fantastic. thanks for adding that flavor to the discussion.
posted by the sobsister at 7:53 PM on January 12, 2008


She's full of spunk!
(the safe-for-work kind.)
posted by not_on_display at 8:46 PM on January 12, 2008


The Subdudes used to rely on a tambourine for percussion. Live, miked to perfection, it worked like a drum set. Seems like they use a kit now, but here's an old example
posted by kozad at 8:53 PM on January 12, 2008


sorry, try this one
posted by kozad at 8:57 PM on January 12, 2008


Man, if I ever come back here as a sock-puppet after the inevitable ban, it's gonna be as Xavier Cugat .
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:18 PM on January 12, 2008


YOUR MOM TOUCHED ORGAN WITH SKILL
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:42 PM on January 12, 2008


Ethel's own unique take on the art of pandeiro

flapjax, boy, you know so many fascinating things about music, it's wonderful. I always learn so much from your comments.

Barbara Dennerlein

sfenders, wow. Just wow. Never seen anything like that.
posted by nickyskye at 10:45 PM on January 12, 2008


Wow, kozad. That sounded like Hall and Oates but worse.
posted by sourwookie at 1:59 AM on January 13, 2008


Barbara Dennerlein

One woman band.
posted by ersatz at 5:08 AM on January 13, 2008


Jebus this is so morbidly corny ! Additionally, my idea of wicked bitch fits perfectly these asshole smiling girlz ! I had to use I Love Lucy as a weaker poison antidote.
posted by elpapacito at 5:29 AM on January 13, 2008


I think I was born about fifty years too late...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:39 AM on January 13, 2008


Great clip, and flapjax, thanks so much for that amazing WFMU "61 Versions" post! One thing that annoys me, though, is that among all 61 there doesn't seem to be a single one that involves the actual Portuguese lyrics ("O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui, o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá..."). Not that I listened to them all, but I assume that the Les Baxter Trio, Liberace, the Bloomfield College Band, and Ferrante & Teicher didn't sing in Portuguese. Weren't there any versions by Brazilians available, or did he not look for them?
posted by languagehat at 6:35 AM on January 13, 2008


Though it's rushed a bit, it's all made up for by the great cinematography. That great show of her foot on the volume pedal, those circling shots taking you around the organ, the whole scene is so well directed that it pushes it to essential viewing for Tico Tico fans. The studio recording is unbeatable, but this performance is tops. Also, it seems to be the actual soundtrack. You would expect this to be dubbed, but it all seems to be a "live" performance. Am I wrong? Great video. Thanks for the link.
posted by JBennett at 7:31 AM on January 13, 2008


Organ Fascination
posted by jonp72 at 2:34 PM on January 13, 2008


Thanks for all of the excellent information and links. There is a wealth of other organ-tastic music and videos on the Hammond Organ fanatic's YouTube channel.
posted by nangsta at 3:59 PM on January 13, 2008


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