Happy Birthday, Sophie Tucker!

Sophie Tucker albums from the 1960s

Sophie Tucker albums from the 1960s

Born on this date in 1886 was the woman known as “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker became a major influence on big-voiced performers like Ethel Merman, Mae West and Bette Midler. Her fantastic comical and risque songs definitely stand the test of time and make her one of last century’s great performers.

The albums above were produced during her later years when her singing voice may have waned, but rather than embarrassing herself pretending she was part of a younger generation–as Mae West tried to do  with unintentionally hilarious results–Tucker used her great stentorian delivery to wax philosophically on life and the grand way to live it.

Here are some good words to live by in the song “Be as Big as the World You Live In”:

…and watch her performing live:

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