Eartha Kitt purrs through two Donovan songs like a kitten drunk on catnip. Her post-orgasmic take on “Hurdy Gurdy Man” gives new meaning to organ grinding. And with her sultry rendition of “Catch The Wind” she curls her tongue around each syllable and then launches them into the air like opiated butterflies.
And this is what he turned into? What a complete shock…
So although it’s fairly well-known what a crazy motherfucker Phil Spector is, it’s still somewhat surprising to see that he never even went a little bit out of his way to at least try to affect an air of bare minimum congeniality, or to be charming, or attempt to appear SANE, even when he was on television. From the get-go, he’s hostile to Merv (how can you be hostile to Merv?) and becomes increasingly irritated and paranoid throughout the interview.
By the time Spector alludes to hitting Merv and a very unimpressed and composed Eartha Kitt—who hits him hard with her well-delivered Socrates quip—the audience is hissing and booing him.
The CIA kept a fat file on her romantic life after she made Ladybird Johnson cry. When invited to the White House to discuss President Johnson’s plans to combat crime, Kitt spoke so vehemently against the Vietnam War as to bring the First Lady to tears, saying, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They will take pot…and they will get high. They don’t want to go to school because they’re going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam.”
After that, it’s really no surprise when her CIA file refers to her as a “sadistic nymphomaniac.” But really, knowing Eartha, they could have just asked.
Angelitos Negros, a ballad protesting racial discrimination, was written in 1948 by legendary Mexican actor and singer Pedro Infante. It is the title song of one of the classics of the golden age of Mexican cinema.
In addition to Eartha Kitt, Angelitos Negros (also known by its English title, “Paint Me Black Angels”) has been covered by Roberta Flack and Cat Powers.
Eartha is mesmerizing, relying upon nothing more than her extraordinary presence. As she weeps, she sings:
Though the Virgin may be white,
paint me some black angels,
for they go to heaven, too
as all good black people do.
Paint me some black angels now
In its unadorned purity, this video is absolutely perfect and the quality is amazing. I wonder when, where and by whom this was filmed.