Listening To: Take It Off

Take it Off

No one’s practicing strip tease moves here or planning on a career in burlesque. But compilation CD’s often make for the best background music when you’re writing period noir (which I am…y’know: ‘The Stiletto Gumshoe’) and Take It Off – 50 Essential Striptease Classics is ideal listening for that kind of work. Sure, there are a few cliched stripper tunes, but there’s also film and retro TV theme songs and soundtrack music from Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip and Dragnet as well as some utterly perfect smoky jazz that can easily make you imagine yourself perched at the bar in a 1950’s cocktail lounge or roadhouse, or engaging in something naughty or nefarious (or both) in a run down hot sheet hotel or roadside motor court…just close your eyes for a moment and listen. Billy Vaughn, Buddy Johnson, Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein’s Studio Orchestra…man, this one’s perfect.

Jazz Noir

jazz noir

As if there could be something better to listen to when you’re writing noir-ish crime fiction, circa 1959?

I’m a CD and vinyl person myself. Old fashioned? Maybe. The Jazz Noir 3-CD set includes 60 pieces of jazzy 1950’s film noir themes and background tracks. A couple television series themes snuck in there too, but that’s cool. Touch Of Evil, The Man With The Golden Arm, Anatomy Of A Murder, 77 Sunset Strip, The Asphalt Jungle and so much more. Pure inspirational mood music, and I swear, it makes my fingers dance across the keyboard.

Frenchy

Jacqueline Beer 77 Sunset Strip

Jacqueline Beer as Suzanne, AKA ‘Frenchy’, the switchboard operator (and occasional agency operative) in 77 Sunset Strip, which ran from 1958 to 1964, and I believe is currently in reruns on one of those oddball cable TV channels (Antenna TV perhaps?). In the 90’s, Beer (real name Jacqueline Vangramberg) married noted adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and was able to use her amateur photography skills to assist in his work.

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