Eartha Kitt 1927-2008

In tribute to the legendary Eartha Kitt who has died at the age of 81, here’s her 1962 live performance of I want to be evil. She was still gigging until a couple of months ago. The Guardian obituary details her extraordinary life and career and there are more clips at the Guardian blog.

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  • OC

    I loved her in “Eric The Viking”.

  • dewi

    Way too many good people died this Christmas.

  • Just after hearing Miss Kitt died, Nina Simone’s I got life came on the car radio, appropriate I though. It got me to thinging about where the next generation of radical entertainers are going to come from.

    What a battle cry for humanity Nina’s song is, no matter what our circumstances, there is more to life than being a cart horse for the rich and powerful.

    Talking of scum, I never new Miss Kitt payed for her honesty by being black listed. Apparently whilst staying in the Johnson White House, on being asked about Vietnam, she told Lady Bird and her husband and assembled guests, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and smoke pot.” (If only Gerry Adams when he had the chance to tell GW Bush some home truths, had shown Miss Kitts courage)

    [How history repeats itself, the only difference being the meat grinder is Afghanistan today.] For her honesty, to obtain work, Miss Kitt was forced to move to Europe, Americas loss our gain.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    “I never new Miss Kitt payed for her honesty by being black listed.”

    Glad to enlighten you on that. Although it’s also worth noting she returned to Broadway in 1978.

    “there is more to life than being a cart horse for the rich and powerful. Talking of scum..”

    *shakes head*

    Try to keep to the actual topic, Mick.

  • “Try to keep to the actual topic, Mick.”

    “Oh, you are awful Peter, so masterful”

  • Right on, Mick Hall, about the virtues of Ms. Kitt.

    Her telling it like it was about the Vietnam War helped see the end of LBJ.

    Obviously, the Johnsons had invited her to perform at the White House in the expectation that the black performer would be so taken by the experience that she would perform as the expected “house slave”.

    If it hadn’t been for the dirty tricks on other white trash – especially Nixon, Republican Vice Presidenial nominee Spiro Agnew, and the people at the National Reconnaissance Office who stopped LBJ’s efforts to end the war – it might have really succeeded.

    At least her efforts helped get LBJ, the most manipulated President of all time, to throw in the sponge over Vietnam.

    Still, she was not allowed employment in the USA until the war was finally ended.