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Mean To Me
Jack Benny Presents
"Imitating Helen Kane"
In this clip from 1929 Jack Benny introduces vocalist Babe Blake, singing the Annette Hanshaw hit "Mean to Me" with the songs' musical composer Fred Alhert at the piano and lyricist Roy Turk looking on.
Babe Blake was an aspiring singer of the 1920's who like so many never got anywhere with her talent. If she sounds like an imitator of Helen Kane that's because she was, minus the trademarked "boop-boop-a-doop" of course.
Jack Benny was a popular comedian and entertainer discovered by MGM scouts who saw him at the Los Angeles Orpheum Theater. He was signed to a five year contract to MC all of the studio's proposed musical pictures beginning with "The Hollywood Revue of 1929". When the studio's next picture "Chasing Rainbows" proved to be a flop Benny was released from his contract and returned to Broadway appearing in "Earl Carroll's Vanities". In 1932 after making his radio debut on Ed Sullivan's program, Jack Benny grew eager to break into the relatively new medium himself.
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