[Marxism] Linda Ronstadt and "That Bad Eartha"

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Tue Jul 20 20:09:25 MDT 2004

The singer Linda Ronstadt was not just booed - she also got the boot 
after praising the filmmaker Michael Mooreand his new movie "Fahrenheit 
9/11" during a performance in Las Vegas. Before singing "Desperado" for 
an encore, Ronstadt called Moore a "great American patriot" and 
"someone who is spreading the truth." She also encouraged the audience 
at the Aladdin Casino to see the documentary about President George W. 
Bush. Some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the 
theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails 
into the air. "It was a very ugly scene," said the Aladdin president, 
Bill Timmins. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke 
loose." Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, said that he 
had not allowed Ronstadt back in her luxury suite afterward and that 
she had been escorted off the property. Moore released a letter that he 
intends to send to Timmins, saying: "For you to throw Linda Ronstadt 
off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me 
and my film, is simply stupid and un-American."

In the middle of a successful career, Eartha Kitt risked it all, 
speaking out in the "belly of the beast"--well, actually in front of 
Lady Bird Johnson at a White House luncheon in 1968. There was some 
criticism of Joseph Hansen, a long-time leader of the SWP, when he put 
her album cover "That Bad Eartha" on the front of Intercontinental 
Press. But I think Kitt would have loved it. I'm sure that Kitt as 
Helen of Troy and Catwoman [deja vu again] would have sizzled.

After winning a scholarship to the Katherine Dunham Dance School, she 
began to tour with the group and achieved her first professional 
success. As a member of the troupe, the sixteen year old Kitt toured in 
Mexico, Europe and South America as well as the U.S. Choosing to stay 
in Paris, she began to sing in nightclubs. Subsequently, Kitt became 
known as a singer and actress as well as a dancer. In 1950 she began 
her acting career as Helen of Troy in an Orson Welles production 
entitled Time Runs. In 1952 she starred in a Broadway musical, New 
Faces of 1952. She recorded a number of successful songs in the early 
1950s as well. Kitt continued to act in both theater and on film, and 
to perform in nightclubs.Unwilling to contribute to the discrimination 
rampant in American society, Kitt decided that she would not perform 
before segregated audiences and included that requirement in her 
contracts. She appeared in several films, including St. Louis Blues in 
1958 and Anna Lucasta in 1959. In the 1960s she played the role of 
Catwoman on the Batman television show. Kitt had seemingly achieved the 
American dream, and was a success in show business.

Her career took a different turn after she spoke out against the 
Vietnam War at a White House luncheon in 1968 in the presence of Lady 
Bird Johnson. As a result of her outspoken anti-war position, she was 
blackballed and was unable to find work in the U.S., with the exception 
of a few talk shows. Contracts were lost or cancelled. The CIA 
developed a file containing personal and professional information. 
Eartha moved to Europe, where she lived and worked for the next ten 
years, struggling financially and ignored by many friends. Kitt has 
said she would have spoken out even if she had known the consequences.

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