BootLeg Betty

Think I Posted This On the Bette Board Once, But…

Live from New York

From Sinatra’s swagger to Moby’s mixes, the city’s had its share of the all-time-great gigs. A highly selective guide to the musical high notes that could only have been hit in this town.

By Mark Jacobson

Bette Midler
At The Continental Baths, 1970-1972

The joint was in the Ansonia Hotel, where Caruso and Stravinsky used to live, but now it was filled with a thousand men wrapped in towels, a full-time VD clinic, and a KY vending machine. Bette and her accompanist, the less-than-divine Mr. Manilow, entertained the troops. Stalking chlorine-drenched tiles like a pint-size Mae West, Bette advanced a bent rendering of New York cabaret tradition, a mix of Cole Porter, Pearl Bailey, and Mabel Mercer, with an occasional reprise of her days as Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, for old time’s sake. The only downside, according to Edmund White, was that Midler’s performances made “everybody stop their sexual activities to listen to her.”

The full article: Live From New York

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