Liberace and the Boogie Woogie

by alphamonkey on August 15, 2007 · 8 comments

in Music Videos

Hard to believe, but this is posted completely free of irony: Liberace has become an easy shorthand for everything cheesy and let’s face it, flamboyant, but interestingly enough Liberace’s insistence on not being gay was rooted not in self-hatred, but because he was deathly afraid that his sexuality would overpower his talent and accomplishments in the history books.

You know, he had a point. Liberace was a phenomenally successful entertainer (not to mention supremely talented), so much so that his show out performed ‘I Love Lucy’ for a time. While it’s easy to remember only his camp-fest appearances on shows like Batman (which, c’mon…were effin’ brilliant), it’s worth noting that Liberace shared the stage with the likes of Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., and (best of all in terms of awesomeness) the Muppets.

Hell, I even own one of Liberace’s cookbooks (which rocks). Bet you didn’t know he was a fairly accomplished cook, did ya? So in a way, Liberace had a point in trying to keep his sexuality from overshadowing his talent in the public’s fickle eye. So let’s take a moment and watch this great entertainer do what he did best: Putting some serious classical chops to work on having fun with contemporary pop music via this clip from his television show, where the bejeweled one throws down some boogie woogie fun. Now c’mon…doesn’t he just seem like the guy who’d be a blast to have at a party?

I love this clip for Liberace’s trademark self-deprecating wit, as he makes a joke mocking the fact that his audience was largely comprised middle-aged women only to follows it up with a great aside about Tiny Tim.

Watch it to the right, or via El ‘Tube.

Thanks to Mr. Dante Fantana’s Visual Guidance for the find.

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  • Sebastian

    Very well put. You have idintified something that was Liberace. Bonus points for you.
    At your sevice at any time. We rock around the clock.

    /Z aka mrdantefontana

  • Sebastian

    When here… Don’t you think it’s time to check the spelling of my blog in your fine sidebar. I’m not the fonata kind of type.
    But thank you for having me. That is what counts in the long run. 😉

  • .alphamonkey.

    I’m trying to decide whether I’m ashamed that I missed spelled it, or that it took 4 months for anyone to notice.

  • Your Good Twin

    Well actually, I DID just happen to know that.

  • Sebastian

    alphadonkey – I noticed it right away back then. I just didn’t say anything proud just being on that list.
    And now you’ve messed it up even worse…
    It will probably take me 4 months for my shrink to help me recover from that.

    /Z aka Mr. Dante Fontana

  • .alphamonkey.

    Yah, sorry. I have a sidebet with your therapist.

  • BAD

    I still am reeling from the fact that no one questioned his sexuality.

    I saw a picture of him wearing sequined red white and blue stripped short shorts, a blue cape with stars on it, and a smile that could only be on a man who loved such outfits. I thought to myself, it is so glaringly obvious people must have just been blinded by the light.

  • .alphamonkey.

    I don’t think there was any doubt in most people’s mind that Liberace was gay. I mean hell, he got sued for palimony by an ex-lover. He was also a fixture in the tabloids. Wikipedia references an article from early in his career which stops just shy of outright labeling him gayer than gay.

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