Bette Midler: Fried Eggs/Hello In There – 1976
Mister D: First time I saw Bette on Carson. She sang Am I Blue. My favorite group of the time was The Archies, But at my age (14), crying to an old tin pan alley blues song while tears ran down Miss Midler’s face stayed etched in my head to this day/ I stuck with her from day one. Fried Eggs, Hello In There, And Bette Midler
In college, I incorporated Bette into speech classes. First, we had to do a poem. I was really shy. I hated typical poetry, and at the last minute, I thought, “Hello In There,” but that wasn’t enough. She did a monologue called ‘Fried Eggs’ that segued perfectly into the song, and nobody should ever separate that monologue from that song on video bc they are one.
At the last minute, I added Fried Eggs. I knew I would get demerits for going over 4 minutes, but I said, Jiminy Crickets (I didn’t swear much until my sophomore year), I’m doing it. This was a big deal for me. I was too shy shy, hush hush, eye to eye (oops I’m in the ’80s) and I was PETrified Afraid to break the rules, but this was like a wake-up call, I believed in something, and I didn’t care. I got up and started with Fried Eggs.
I couldn’t stand still, so I followed hunches on how to move. The laughs were coming in the right places, and the teacher was smiling but had a look on her face like what am I witnessing here, I had tears running down my face. The classroom is silent. I meek said now, here’s my poem. Should I still keep going? The teacher said, yes, yes, keep going, So I read John Prine’s Hello In There. Then at the end, I was so embarrassed cause I was half singing and half talking, and I got to the part, “So if you’re walking down the street sometime and you should spot some hollow ancient eye, don’t just pass them by and stare, you stop…and say Hello In There…hello….” Well, during that whole last part, I was struggling to get the words out because of getting choked up; some class members were yelling you can do it, and I did.
I got a standing ovation in the classroom. My teacher, a Delta Burke type before there was a Golden Girls, came up and put her arm around my waist and said she had never witnessed anything like that before in any of her classes. First, a comic monologue with sad overtones, then that beautiful poem on the loneliness of aging. Where did you get this.? I said Bette Midler; She said the singer with the nasty mouth? I said she’s much more than that. Check the album out,
Then she said, I know that was the first poem for the day, but I don’t think anybody wants to follow that She said, Donnie set the bar a little high. so let’s quit for the day. I must process this. Anyway, I became a teacher’s pet, my confidence skyrocketed, and I had an A plus at the end of the term, and many classmates hated me. Things change, but again they don’t.
Updated: You know, I think that was my sophomore year. I can not tell you how beaten down I got freshman year. I was put on probation because my grades were low. Not because I was wild but because I never had friends and was very sheltered. When my mom and dad dropped me off, I had a meltdown. They were dropping me off in MS and returning to PA. My mom went to several dorm rooms to get guys to watch after me. I looked 14. I paid the price for that. I got over the hump in my second year because I worked in a factory for the summer. Overnight I blossomed. Things change when you go from an ugly duckling to a swan. And Miss M came to the rescue in what should have been my sophomore year, but I was a freshman again. Hopefully, I’ll write about that too
Bette Midler On The Dinah Shore Show 1977
Bette Midler sits with the gracious southern belle, Dinah Shore, to discuss her latest album. In this case, I believe it was “Broken Blossom’. They talk about auditions, the thoughts of moving to stadiums, and who picks the songs she records.