2019 - Celebrating 107 years of Frances Faye

Music Page





It's not dirty, it's the way I say it

DECCA (8/19/36)

No Regrets / You're Not the Kind of a Boy

INTERNATIONAL (1946) #12 F501-F508 Album of 4 records titled FRANCES FAYE

Boogie Woogie Washer Woman / Return to Sorrento

Personality / Drunk with Love & Purple Wine / Well All Right

All That Glitters Is Not Gold / I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me

CAPITOL (early 1950's)

#2224 Night and Day / Tweet Tweet Tweetheart

#2278 She Looks / I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate

#2347 My Last Affair / On a Raft in the Middle of an Ocean

#2390 There's a Bell That Rings in My Heart / A Fool in Love

#2472 Sometimes I'm Happy / I Was Wrong About You

#2542 The Dummy Song / Uh-Huh

#2604 Hey, Mister / Sorry Baby

#2842 Summertime / Mad About the Boy

There are many singles taken from the BETHLEHEM, IMPERIAL and REGINA ALBUMS.


"CONTINENTAL AMERICAN" (A&M 1974) Frances sang "Just a Gigolo" in duet with Peter Allen on his album.





Make it dark in case a tall fellow walks in sees me and flips

FRANCES FAYE (International 1946) see above.


FRANCES FAYE: I'M WILD AGAIN (Bethlehem 1955) Russ Garcia Arr.


PORGY AND BESS (Bethlehem 3-LP Set - 1956)

FRANCES FAYE SINGS FOLK SONGS (Bethlehem 1957) Russ Garcia Arr.





FRANCES FAYE IN FRENZY (Verve 1961) Russ Garcia Arr.


FRANCES FAYE: YOU GOTTA GO! GO! GO! (Regina LP - 1964) Arr./Cond.- Shorty Rogers

BAD, BAD FRANCES FAYE (Bethlehem - 1976) is a reissue of "FRANCES FAYE: I'M WILD AGAIN"

Faye's popularity performing in the mid 1970's brought many re-releases of the above albums but alas no new recordings. The Verve albums, Porgy and Bess; Bad, Bad Frances Faye; Caught in the Act 1 & 2, and No Reservations were all reissued mid decade.




Don't make it too dark - I might get snatched

FRENZY\SWINGING ALL THE WAY (2013 by Fresh Sounds)

FRANCES FAYE: NO REGRETS (2 CD set. Includes all Capitol recordings and Decca, 2 Soundies, early radio, many International cuts, I'm Wild Again, Relaxin') Great liner notes. By JASMINE with royalties to Fran's partner.

FRANCES FAYE: CAUGHT IN THE ACT ("CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2" 2 LP's) "Caught in the act, is there any other way? You gotta be caught in the act, otherwise it's not really hot."-FF Released in the early 90's it is the first and best Faye CD.

FRANCES FAYE SINGS FOLK SONGS (Several reissues - get the one with the outtakes.)


RUSSELL GARCIA & HIS 4 TROMBONE BAND (entire Faye album I'm Wild Again is included)

FRANCES FAYE SINGS / RUSS GARCIA CONDUCTS: The Complete Gus Wildi Recordings. (Frances Faye/Russ Garcia set was not ”complete.” Both I'm Wild Again and Folk Songs are included but Porgy and Bess cuts and previously released Folk Songs outtakes are not. The Faye CD used heaps of Burt Goldblatt's original artwork but sadly did not credit him - they did quote and credit me though.) See Gus Wildi's interview about Frances on the Bethlehem Page.

NO RESERVATIONS Fran's stellar Capitol Album released by DRG on CD in Februray 2007. No need to buy it if you already have the more inclusive and better NO REGRETS CD set above, though it has one new song. 5 albums yet to be re-released including the great VERVE lps. This CD has great sound but is most noteworthy for the great liner notes by Will Friedwald who twice before has written unflattering things about Frances. His notes are glowing and he has thru emails to me said he has changed his mind about her. Mark Trevorrow adds: the audio quality is STUNNING. But omigod, what was Capitol thinking, giving Fran these RUBBISH songs?? :-( ... I think you can plainly hear what she thinks of them in her vocal performances. Thank god she found Bethlehem!


Club Verboten, Capitol Sings Cole Porter, That Old Black Magic - the Harold Arlen Songbook, Songs for Sophisticats, The L-Word Soundtrack, Jazz Vocal Best Collection (Japan), I'm Wild Again & Relaxin' (Japan).




I'm not pretty but I'm wild

"DOUBLE OR NOTHING" (Paramount - 1937) "After You " (with Martha Raye, Bing Crosby & Harry Barris) Faysie played Martha Raye's sister; they were a singing act. She was in only one scene, singing this duet with Martha. Midway through the song, Crosby &Barris joined in.


"PRETTY BABY" (1978) Frances played the Madam.

"CHOP SUEY CLUB" (2001) with clips and interviews!!!!




With the kind of money I make, a man could never keep me




2 of 3 1942 Soundies: Well, All Right, I Ain't Got Nobody






Are you in drag tonight or is that your outfit?


6/20/36 "Shell Chateau" Bette Davis, Sally Rand, Edward Everett Horton, Frances Faye


8/22/36 "Shell Chateau" Tallulah Bankhead, Smith Ballew, Frances Faye


11/26/36 "Rudy Vallee Show" Vallee Orch, Frances Faye



"Paramount Is On The Air" Double Or Nothing (1937) Bing Crosby, Mary Carlisle, Martha Raye, Frances Faye. (15 mins)

November 13, 1945: Armed Forces Radio Service "SUNDAY SERENADE" Hildegarde hosted. Fran sang a boogie woogie version of "On the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, "chatted and dueted with Hildegarde on "Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup."

January 29, 1948: Hollywood's Open House. Program #32. General Entertainment Corporation syndication Frances Faye (vocals), Jack Pearl, Jim Ameche, Ray Bloch and His Orchestra. 1/2 hour. Frances sings a hot, "Boogie Woogie Washerwoman."

February 5, 1956: Frances performed on the nationally broadcast radio show: "The Monitor." Danny Kaye was another guest.

March 5, 1956 All Star Parade of Bands (NBC). Frances Faye 30 Minute Concert.at NYC's Cameo Room. Candido Camero on Bongos, Whitey Mitchell on Bass. Click for details.


April 28, 1957 Mitch Miller. Frances Faye and Buddy Hackett guests. (30 min)

April 30, 1957 Nightline (NBC, 60 min) Master of Ceremonies: Walter O'Keefe Guests: Charles Laughton, David Brinkley, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny, Leon Pearson, Eartha Kitt, Martin Agronsky, George Jessel, Frances Faye, Judy Garland. (Just look at that line-up, what a queer fest!)This listing was found on a Judy Garland site but a recording has not yet been found. http://www.zianet.com/jjohnson/radio57.htm

New York City:


9/2/37 WMCA Frances Faye, songs

5/11/39 WINS, Sunday Mirror "Flashes" Frances Faye to present several new songs.

7/2/43 WOR Bloch Orch, Frances Faye

7/30/43 WOR Bloch Orch, Frances Faye

12/8/48 WCBS Herb Shriner, Raymond Scott Quintet: Guest Frances Faye

11/17/45 WABC Report to the Nation: Danny Kaye, Ralph Morgan, Frances Faye




He plays on all the black notes - he's got good taste

Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, Oct 17, 1948)

Texaco Star Theatre with Milton Berle (NBC, January 25, 1949)

Morey Amsterdam Show (CBS, Janurary 17, 1949)

Morey Amsterdam Show (Dumont, May 26, 1949)

George Putnam (Dumont, May 31, 1949)

Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge (NBC, December 28, 1950)

Penthouse Party (ABC, April 6, 1951) NOT the Hefner show, a different series

Jackie Gleason Show (CBS, December 27, 1952)

CITY OF HOPE TELETHON (October 17th, 1953) XTLA LA.




STARS OF JAZZ (Sept 24, 1956) KABC LA

ED SULLIVAN SHOW (June 9, 1957)

ED SULLIVAN SHOW (May 22, 1960)



MARTY FAYE SHOW (February 7, 1961) Chicago


THE SUNDAY SHOW (August 1961) ATV, UK.

PM with Mike Wallace (New York, March 23, 1962)


THE LIVELY ONES (August 15 & Sept 1963)


FRANCES FAYE SPECIAL (April 17, 1965) Channel O Melbourne

FOODLAND SPECTACULAR (Australia 1968) Channel O Melbourne

STEVE ALLEN SHOW (May 30, 1969) KBHK Oakland




TONIGHT SHOW (July 9, 1969) TCN 9 Sydney


KUP'S SHOW (February 28, 1970 ), Channel 5 Chicago


FRANCES FAYE AT THE SILVER SPADE (February 15, 1972) Channel 10 Sydney



OVER EASY (12/13/77)


DON LANE SHOW (Australia 1979)

THE MIKE WALSH SHOW (Australia, 1974, 1979 - 2 Appearances)


The above list of known Frances Faye TV and radio guest spots is not complete by any means. Frances often was not satisfied with her American TV work. She had to wear outrageous gowns and wigs was always asked to perform the same songs. Roberta Sherwood (that wonderful cymbal banging, "sing out, Louise" style belter of the same generation) must have felt the same way. In the 9 uncovered TV appearances I have seen, she sang 'Up A Lazy River' 7 times!

Here is another example of a Frances Faye ommission. Again she was over looked, left out of history and very difficult to research. Ray Hagen writes:

The Ed Sullivan business puzzles me. I've heard from a few folks (including Teri) that she did the show 3 or 4 times, but I have an oversize book about the Sullivan Show, and in the back of the book is an alphabetical list of ALL the performers who ever did the show and the number of appearances, and FF's name is not included. I sure never saw her on the Sullivan Show, and I watched it regularly back then.




I can't. It gets too wild.


The acetate demo album has two medleys one on each side, with piano,bass, guitar and drums. It was titled 'Song Fest.'

side 1

Darktown Strutters' Ball, You're Heavenly, That Old Black Magic/I Get a Kick Out of You, How High The Moon/Tenderly (instrumental), April In Paris,Would I Love You, He's Funny That Way, Drunk With Love, Exactly Like You and I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me...time 17:20

side 2

The Man I Love, You Go To My Head, Get Happy, Last Night I Found You, Just One Of Those Things, Bewitched and Love Me Or Leave Me...time 16:20

(Very much in the style of the 1946 International Records and with a bold lesbian aside)

Adam Dugas writes: I am listening to that Frances demo for Capitol and really getting into it ...it seems more relaxed than many of the studio recordings, she seems to be a little softer, there are more dynamics than come through on the official records. I also feel it is the closest to being a live recording from the era (aside from "Caught"). It is just great fun, great listening.


Caught in the Act on some other wild nights




The next song is for Johnny Mathis wherever she is

Frances Faye played nightclubs about 11 months a year for 35 years of her 50 year career. She would play 2 or three shows a night. Here is a list of documented appearances, some of which lasted for months, and many repeat engagements. It is obviously only a very partial list of her bookings.

Manhattan: The Cotton Club, Le Martinique, Club Richman, Club Calais, The Famous Door, NYC Paramount, Barney Gallant's, The Simplon, Thru The Looking Glass, The Hickory House, The Yacht Club, Club 18, Leon and Eddie's, Bandbox, Pavillion, Ben Marden's Riviera, The Stable, Billy Rose's Casa Manana, Loew's State Theatre, The Patio, Greenwich Village Inn, Lou Walter's Latin Quarter, Cameo Room, Mother Kelly's,Basin Street East, The Spidletop, The Hippopotamus, The Grasshopper.

New York Area: Showplace in Lynbrook Long Island, Suburban and the Strand in Brooklyn, Cool Town Casino in Buffalo, The Beachcomber in Passaic, New Jersey, Totem Lodge in Averill Park.

Midwest: Chez Paree, Yacht Club, Rio Cababa, Trade Winds, The Living Room, Ratso's, The Sahara Inn, Chez Paris, Black Orchid, Le Bistro. Four Torches, Grand Opera House, Latin Quarter in Chicago.Detroit's Latin Quarter, Casanova and Bowery Cafe;

California: Slapsie Maxie’s, The Cameo, Casanova, Famous Door, The Interlude, The Crescendo, Mocambo, Ye Little Club, P.J.'s, Playboy Club, Ciro's, Slate Brothers, Studio One: The Backlot in LA. La Foy’s Supper Club, Sherman Oaks.


Top Drawer, Facts Number2 Nitery, House of Harris, The City, Mocambo, The Old Waldorf in San Francisco.


Las Vegas: The Biltmore, The Flamingo, The Riviera, The Thunderbird, The Frontier, Caesar's Palace, Tropicana, Sahara, Aladdin.


London: The Paradise Club, Talk of the Town, Playboy Club, Picadilly, The London Palladium.

Australia: Chequers, Lulu's, The Silver Spade, Sydney. S avoy Plaza, Lido and Elaine's, Melbourne.

Elsewhere: on board the S.S. Belgenland, Forty One Club, Billy Gray's Band Box, The Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Baltimore's Club Charles and Chanticleer, Frances played a lot of shows in Miami and Palm Beach. Miami bookings include: Versailles, Doral Hotel, Pago-PagoRoom in the Vanderbilt Hotel, The Latin Quarter, Slapy Maxie's and Eden Roc. Also: Chez Maurice, Montreal; Philadelphia's Latin Casino and Shangri-la; Boston's May-fair; Statler's Terrace Room in Pittsburgh.




That's not the lyric, but the music is a gas

In December 1957, In Hedda Hopper’s column it was reported that Fran had won the lead in the Richard Minsk musical “Speak Easy, Speak Low” in which she was to play a Texas Guinan type role.


In March 1962, Fran auditioned for the role of Belle Poitrine’s mother for the Broadway production of “Little Me,” the musical adaptation of Patrick Dennis’s wonderful book. She did not play the part.


On 8-18-1974, Maggie Daly reported in the Chicago Tribune that “Frances Faye, starring at Mister Kelly’s, and Francis Albert Sinatra are doing an album together. It will be called “Francis and Frances.”


Liz Smith reported on 11-26-1978 that, “Frances Faye buttonholed Rex Reed at The Hippopotamus and tried to talk him into writing her life story. Reed said he didn’t think the world was ready yet. If Faye does decide to talk, run for the fallout shelters." Press releases related to Pretty Baby document a book deal with Simon and Schuster for an autobiography.


Reported engagements to King Levinsky in 1933, Charles Center in 1951 and Regina Records President, Jack LaForge in 1964 never resulted in marriage.






You know the rest...


"PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE" Well, all right, Frances herself did not really appear in Ed Wood's classic, her name on a marquee is seen as the camera pans through the city. "Do you think brandy is fattening?"

"BEATSVILLE" There's a section of a poem by Rod McKuen (on his BEATSVILLE recordng, and may also reprinted in one of his books) called NO PICTURES PLEASE and it goes:

Mike, a few of the folksong kiddies got together

And wanted you to have this brand new plastic sealed album by Frances Faye.

Wear it out--in good health.

Mark Murphy's "LUCKY TO BE ME" 2002 CD has a song titled: 'Blues For Frances Faye' The song borrows a lot from "Frances and Her Friends" but is his own composition.

Peggy Lee gave Fran a plug on the CD first released in 2002, the lost 'LIVE AT BASIN STREET' closing night concert.

"GATE OF HORN" the Gibson/Camp album included song removed by lawsuit that lampooned FF. Copies of the first pre-release can still be found. It really is a fun little song, a gay send-up of 'Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier' from her "Folk Songs Album."

'The Boy From Oz', Broadway production 2004. A photo of Frances is prominent on the set.

Bob Downe "Greatest Hits." Miss Frances Faye is listed in the impressive liner notes as a source of inspriation to Bob, one of Australia's most colorful and outrageous entertainers. He quotes her on his live album.

Social Security Death Index: Frances C Faye 568-14-7872

"The L-Word," a lesbian themed TV series on Showtime featured Frances Faye singing Frances and Her Friends in the final episode of season one in 2004 and on the Series Soundtrack CD.

The Real Don Steele Show. Legendary DJ Don Steele loved Frances Faye's act. He credits her for a lot. He used to open his show the way Fran sang 'Night and Day', rhyming Marvin Gaye, Frances Faye, Frito Lay, Danny Kaye, etc. Several web and book mentions including "The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio" by Ben Fong-Torres. According to Don, "My two biggest influences were Elisha Cook, Jr. and Frances Faye...there was one album by Frances Faye performing live in Vegas. She had this routine, her timing and so forth, she was always a little dirty and a little risque, the tempo was always moving and I said, "That's the kind of act I'd like to put on, in my own way." http://www.reelradio.com

In the July 1956 issue of Screen Stories "Exclusive Report from Hollywood by Mike Connolly: Rock and Phyllis Hudson have been busy denying stories of marital discord, but the truth is that there's been trouble, deny it as they will. For instance, they went to the Interlude, a Sunset Strip spot, to see a wonderfully brassy entertainer named Frances Faye. Rock decided, in the middle of the show, that he wanted to go home. Phyllis said she wanted to stay. After a heated discussion he went home, she stayed.I ran this story in my daily column in The Hollywood Reporter. The Hudsons' phone immediately got jammed with calls from other reporters wanted verification. Rock and Phyl had to admit the incident, but denied that they had fought. Just before noon Phyl phoned. 'Look here, Mike Connolly,' she said, 'You've had it! What do you mean doing this to us?' I replied 'I didn't do anything, Phyl. You and Rock went out in public and created some news. I merely printed it!'"


Books Not Quoted Elsewhere on Site:

Marijane Meaker's 2002 book, "Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950's," is about her two-year affair with the writer Patricia Highsmith. They met at a Greenwich Village bar and were both writing lesbian pulp novels under pseudonyms Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich, M.E. Kerr. She described lesbian bars of that era, mentioning Frances Faye records being played in the background. She can be heard reading from the book and mentioning Faye at NPR's site: http://discover.npr.org/features/feature.jhtml?wfId=1303128

"My Worst Date," a novel by David Leddick. On page 115 a woman recalls seeing Frances live. She basically describes Caught in the Act #1.

The Croyden Bar. In "The First Time I Met Frank O'Hara: Reading Gay American Writers" by Rick Whitaker, Iannis Delatolas, Jane Bowles is described as living in NYC's Croyden Hotel on E86th in the 30's. The bar and Fran's famous malted are described on page 147. Fran is called the most inspired lesbian cabaret perfomer of all time.

"Queer Street" by James McCourt. This 2004 book is full of references to gay culture in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Frances is mentioned 3 times.

"From Drags to Riches" A biography of Charles Pierce. Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller are seen at a performace of Frances Faye.

"Education of a Felon" by Edward Bunker. on Page 207:"... as Perino's, Romanoff's, Chasen's, Edna Earle's Fog Cutter, and Don the Beac licomber's, and after that we went to hear Francis Faye at the Interlude, above the Crescendo.

"Maggie" By Maggie Trabber 1999. Frances and her partner are remebered trying on clothes by and spending time with designer Hall in Sydney in the early 60's. Her performances are recalled.

"Ignatius Rising" by Nevils and Hardy. Doomed writer John Kennedy Toole is a fan of Frances Faye.

"The Beatles/ Diary" Paul attends Frances's show at the Talk of the Town in October 1965.

"The Beatles Down Under" , 1985. Fran is pictured in full drag at Chequers with Ringo's replacement drummer. Their set is a triumph and Brian Epstein disapproves.

"Hollywood Diary" by Richard Lamparski, 2006. A must read. Drug use back stage in Fran's dressing room in 1953 with Johnnie Ray is briefly described.

From bassist Whitey Mitchell's upcoming autobiography:

 "After Julie [London] came the great Mel Torme and I stayed on at The Cameo for his engagement. Then the ancient and outrageous Frances Faye showed up with her terrible home-made piano playing, which she more than made up for with her bawdy hilarious routines, her orange hair, and her over-the-top Jewishness. If you didn’t know any Yiddish, you did after an evening with Frances Faye. During one of her shows I was onstage and was about to do a bass solo, but she stopped the music and said, 'Put down that bass and go home, you schmuck! You just became a father!'”



And now I'd like to present my ex husband on bass...

The albums "the Beguiling Frances Faye" (CL875) and "No Cover, No Minimum" (Decca) never existed. The first is a Frances Bergen album that was mistitled in a Jazz catalogue. The second is listed in some online discographies and attribute it to Decca. As far Decca is concerned Ray Hagen emailed:

Well, Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters is a friend of mine (as was [gay] sister Maxene till her death a few years ago), and they recorded with Decca, so I called her up to see if she or her husband Wally Weschler (an ex-musician) could get some Decca info on Frannie. They're still in touch with Decca-MCA guys. It turns out that both Patty and Wally totally adore Frances, and had just YESTERDAY gotten her FOLK SONGS CD. They have lotsa her old albums, and are especially enamored of the PORGY LP's. And Wally played piano for Faye during the mid-late 1930's in the Catskills, and thought she was one sensational stone gas gal. (He gave me a great quote: he once said to the manager of the hotel, "Frances Faye's comin' up here for the weekend, we'd better get another piano." He said she was always wrecking them - lids, keyboards, pedals - and they always had to call the tuner. But the audiences adored her.) Anyway, he promised to contact the Decca-MCA folks and try to get as much info as possible on any recordings she did for them.

Wally Weschler checked with Decca, and this the email he just sent me:"Checked with Decca regarding Frances Faye. On Aug. I9th I936 she recorded two sides: "No Regrets" and "You're Not The Kind Of A Boy." That's all the info they have in their logs."


Born Frances Cohen, she took the name Frances Faye, not Francis Faye or even Francis Fay, both errors have been on her album covers! Although a gay icon, Faye had a following of all kinds of people.

A few websites (and a published obituary which may be their source) report FF's birthday as November 2, but it is acutally the the 4th.

Danny Kaye was Frances's cousin, but not first cousin.

Frances Faye did not find Drunk with Love among Bruz Fletcher's personal effects and was not around LA when he commited suicide. Carson Cameron did not play as big a role in Frances's life as Wikipedia and Jonathan Wilson quoting Wikipedia have reported.

I keep reading that although a top notch entertainer, Frances Faye "did not have a great voice." I disagree! She did not have an achingly beautiful voice like Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day or a young Judy Garland; nor did she have nearly the range of Yma Sumac. But she did have a GREAT voice. Her voice is an essential element of her wonderful and unique sound. It is mostly because of her loud, scratchy voice that I truly love her music.

Copyright Tyler Alpern 2001 - 2019

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