I had an early start this morning meaning I’m getting to my core workout a little earlier than usual and, later, it’ll be outside for a drill run. Right now though, it’s all about the planks, push-ups, squats and crunches for Day 50 of my 100 Day Challenge (click HERE) and this ‘Early Recordings from 1927-1930‘ album by Libby Holman.
So let’s first deal with the obvious: who is Libby Holman?
Elizabeth Lloyd Holzman, best known as Libby Holman (May 23, 1904 – June 18, 1971), was an American torch singer and stage actress who also achieved notoriety for her complex and unconventional personal life. In 1904, the wealthy family grew destitute after Holman’s uncle Ross Holzman embezzled nearly $1 million of their stock brokerage business. At some point, Alfred changed the family name from Holzman to Holman.
Holman was married three times, and had a variety of intimate relationships with both men and women throughout her lifetime, earning her more than a few raised eyebrows at the time. Her famous lesbian lovers included the DuPont heiress Louisa d’Andelot Carpenter, actress Jeanne Eagels and modernist writer Jane Bowles. Oh, and here’s something interesting, she was also suspected of murdering her first 20-year-old husband Zachary Smith Reynolds, heir to the Reynolds tobacco fortune.
So, yeah, she was a bit controversial and, hey, who doesn’t love themselves a good ‘ol murdering millionaire Jewish lesbian heiress?
Not this guy.
For many years, Holman reportedly suffered from depression from the combined effects of the deaths of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the recent presidential election loss by Eugene McCarthy, the deaths of young men in the Vietnam War, her anguish over the untimely death of her own son and the illness and rapid deterioration of her friend Jane Bowles. On June 18th, 1971, Holman was found nearly dead in the front seat of her Rolls Royce (talk about a way to go!) by her household staff. She was taken to the hospital where she died hours later. Holman’s death was officially ruled a suicide due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning.
I found this record in an old stash I had put away separate from my main collection and forgotten about. As I was flipping through that stack yesterday, deciding if there was anything I could bare to part with (tomorrow is garbage day) I found it and paid it a little more attention than I had in the past and I figured that this morning’s mat session wold be the perfect opportunity to finally “realize” this album.
This album then is a collection of her musical recordings for such productions as ‘Merry-Go-Round‘ (1927), ‘Rainbow‘ (1928), and ‘Gambols’ (1929). I’m not familiar with any of them honestly, nor am I big “musical kind of guy” but I am open to experiencing different things and, you know, it’s really not that bad. I can actually see myself putting this on again in the future as it has a certain, shall we say, ‘je ne sais quoi‘ about it that for whatever reason appeals to me.
Judge me as you will.