BetteBack December 11, 1973: Gosh, it’s Little Orphan Annie! Just when we need her!

New York Times
December 11, 1973

Bette Midler. "It was a remarkable adventure to return to Hawaii," Bette Midler said on the Tonight Show. The Johnny Carson program featuring Miss Midler performing a medley of songs from the 1940s and talking about her career will be shown on KHON, Channel 2, at 10:30 p.m., tomorrow. Star-Bulletin photo by Bob Young on September 6, 1973. Ran on Tuesday, September 18, 1973 and Sunday, August 21, 1977.

The nation was in sore need of comic relief last week.

And, against a background of gloom-on-gloom, with the house lights dimmed across the land, it got it.

Bette Midler opened at The Palace.

Flashy, trashy, and with enough warmth and energy to get the whole country through the winter, The Divine Miss M wowed ’em.

And the audience that responded to her with cheers, with laughter, with joy – was one that actually did represent the whole country:

“Straight and gay; aboveground and underground; unisex and duo-sex; Middle American and radic-lib; chic and frumpy; escapees from apartments for singles and escapees from retirement homes – they all turned out for the one performer on today’s scene they could all share with equal enthusiasm.”

Newsweek‘s Charles Michener probes into the Midler mystique (“an unmistakable vulnerability, a heart-stopping innocence . . . an intuition for what the public has been hungering for without yet realizing it”) and finds the enthusiasm well deserved. Bette Midler does have something for everybody.

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