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Diary of a Stewardess

Posted by Whitmore, September 22, 2007 10:55pm | Post a Comment


Only in the middle of Hollywood would you ever find a 7 inch record like this. Yeah it’s a theme song from a soundtrack, but not from your typical movie, this 45 pop record is from the soundtrack of a soft-core pornography hit called "Diary of a Stewardess." Imagine the treasures we could have unearthed if only Amoeba hadn’t opened its doors on Sunset Blvd, but instead, opened for business deep in the heart of the America’s well lit, scantily clad, steady-cam ready, zoom in, action, work-it-a-little-slower-honey, bedroom community known as the San Fernando Valley.

Released in 1972 and sung by Bob Grabeau, Diary of a Stewardess b/w Fasten Your Set Belts (released on Segue Records and based in Canoga Park!) is an actual artifact of the valley’s 1970’s pop-porn culture, a culture that resurfaced with the 1997 film “Boogie Nights.”  I bet many of our Dads saw “Stewardess” in a triple bill with “Deep Throat” and “Behind the Green Door.” Okay … maybe not your Dad …

The song Diary of a Stewardess was co-written by the legendary Buddy Feyne, celebrated for his swinging hep-cat lyrics and penning some of the biggest hits of the '30s and '40s, including Tuxedo Junction, Jersey Bounce and After Hours. During his career he wrote more than 400 songs collaborating with legends like Raymond Scott, Al Sherman, Avery Parrish, Louis Jordan, Erskine Hawkins, Lester Young, and even Milton Berle. Feyne’s compositions might even be considered essential to the hipsters of that era, actually any era, as a matter of fact: Bee Bop On the Range, After School Swing Session, Aristocrat of Harlem, Cream Cheese and Jelly, She Works In Men's Pajamas - the list goes on and on.  Feyne also wrote the original lyrics to something called Dolomite that a certain bon vivant named Rudy Ray Moore re-navigated into his own signature song.

Anyway, back to the soft-porn industry …

The former Jan Garber Orchestra crooner Bob Grabeau handles Diary of a Stewardess with a smooth and silky delivery and, I sense, a knowing wink. This probably isn’t Buddy Feyne’s finest work. There’s  a scribbled-them-out-on-a-napkin-at-Musso-Franks-during-a-two-martini-lunch-meeting vibe to them (“Though to some she’s just a stewardess, she is like a bird in search of happiness”), but it still works solidly for me! But then again, I’m a fan of Buddy Feyne! Check out these lyrics form Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid written for the Sid Torin Radio show:

Gotta get hip an' flip to the latest
People who love to swing with the greatest
There is a DJ Show at a station
Spinning the hottest tunes in the nation
Symphony Sid - a jive talkin' daddy
Pickin' the goodies, never a baddie

Better tune in this prince of the platters
Playin' 'em all and that's all that matters
Dizzy and Duke and Jane with a killer
Ella and Bing or Basie and Miller

Hey dad, I’m just hanging out here, just diggin’ on Buddy Feyne: a true blue hepcat.

Side Note:  Buddy Feyne sang live on CBS Radio during the 1930’s and is thought to be the first to sing the classic song Stardust on the air. He also served in the Pacific during World War Two with the 77th Infantry Division, winning the Bronze Star (for bravery; going behind enemy lines), and the Purple Heart. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1998 at the age of 86.

Relevant Tags

1970's (33), 45's (53), Adult (4), American Culture (94), Hepcats (5)