It’s a tropical thunderstorm/;
No, it’s Bette Midler
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1973
No one could say that success has crept up on Bette Midler â€” it burst upon her like one of those tropical” thunderstorms that sometimes hit her native Hawaii. Unknown only -a short time ago, she has become’ one of the most popular, young talents in America today.
“She’s the most dynamic person Dwight and I have worked with in several years. In this business, newcomers are alwaysÂ likened to other stars. Bette has the individual qualities of a lot of others but all rolled into one, she’s not like any of them. She’s just one of a special kind,” exclaimed Smith.
And Bette Midler laughs through it all. When Bette laughs it’s as though all the floodlights have suddenly beenÂ switched on.
“When did I realize I was finally a star?,” she echoed a questioner. “I haven’t realized it yet! It all seems like a fairy tale, and mine’s not really a fairy tale life. So it’s hard to believe it’s me people are talking about.”
One of Bette’s particular specialties is her vivid interpretation ‘of the tunes from’ the 1940’s, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” (Mister D: she ended up singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) one of the numbers she sings in the Bacharach specialâ€” â€”makes it easy to jump to the conclusion that Bette has seized upon a gimmick.
“What really happened,” she explained, “is that I was brought up in the ’40s and and the records my parents had were, of course, of the ’30s and ’40s. I found myself fascinated by the music but even more fascinated by the women singers. Like the Andrews Sisters, whom I imitate in ‘Chattanooga.’ – “I never intended to concentrate on the oldies. . .in fact, I don’t. I sing contemporary numbers as well. But everyone has seized on the way I sing the oldies, so I guess that’s my strength.”
Who cooked up “The Divine Miss M?”
“That just happened, too!” she answered. “I was always imagining myself as the people I wanted to playâ€”real people and characters alike. I seemed to feel their presence and would be carried away by them.
And people started saying, ‘Isn’t she divine!’ Before I knew where I was, I was being called ‘Divine’ and it stuck.”
Bette’s exuberant vitality is one of her most appealing characteristics.
“I was hyper-active as a child!” she explained.
“I could never sit still or stay in one place.” But it didn’t get her into trouble. “T watched other people getting into trouble instead!”