Tag Archives: The Divine Miss M

WATCH: Bette Midler’s Final Performance At The Continental Baths in NYC. (1971)

In the late 1960’s Steve Ostrow opened the Continental Baths in the basement of the landmark  Ansonia Hotel, which at one time was home to such greats as Caruso, Stravinsky, and Toscanini.

Famous for its lavish accommodations, the Continental Baths was advertised as being reminiscent of “the glory of ancient Rome.” The impressive features of this bathhouse included a disco dance floor, a cabaret lounge, sauna rooms, an “Olympia blue” swimming pool, and clean, spacious facilities that could serve nearly 1,000 men, 24 hours a day. (And many patrons did!)

One gay guide from NYC in the 1970s described the Continental Baths as a place that “revolutionized the bath scene in New York.”

An extra added attraction at the Continental was the first-class entertainment provided by performers such as Melba Moore, Peter Allen, Cab Calloway, The Manhattan Transfer, John Davidson, Wayland Flowers, and Madame and Bette Midler, who began her career by performing there with Barry Manilow in 1972.

Despite Midler’s constant complaints about “that goddam waterfall,” her poolside performances were so successful that she soon gained national attention, beginning with repeat performances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Many of those who were fortunate enough to see Bette’s early bathhouse shows attest to the fact that her greatest achievement in show business took place the night she convinced the otherwise shy Barry Manilow to accompany her on the piano while wearing only a white towel, which was considered “proper bathhouse attire.”

As the popularity of the cabaret shows increased, a wide variety of entertainers were invited to “give it up” at the Continental Baths, including the soprano Eleanor Steber, who gave a “black towel” concert there in 1973.

The list of visitors to the Continental Baths read like a “who’s who” of the entertainment world, from actors, singers, artists, and producers, to the mafia and even the Metropolitan Oper. They all paid a visit either to see Bette or have some fun.

And for those unfortunate souls who never descended into that legendary basement bathhouse, the Continental Baths were able to come to them in the form of the highly popular Continental Baths towel, which was sold by Bloomingdale’s department store at the height of the club’s fame.

During this period even the mainstream news talk show The Pat Collins Show broadcast live from the club. In one segment, Pat sat by the pool and interviewed proprietor Steve Ostrow while nude men, apparently indifferent to the television cameras, went splashing  (WCBS-TV received only one complaint about the program.)

Below watch one of Bette Midler’s final performances in its entirety at The Continental Baths. (With Barry Manilow on the piano of course)

Apologies about the quality of the videos below but it’s a miracle that it exists at all

Setlist:

“Friends”
“Fat Stuff”
“Chattanooga Choo-Choo” (Andrews Sisters)
“Superstar”
“Empty Bed Blues” (Bessie Smith)
“Marahuana”
“For Free” (Joni Mitchell)
“Easier Said Than Done” (The Essex)
“Chapel Of Love” (The Dixie Cups)
“I Shall Be Released” (The Band)

Ultrawoke and Trans Activists Go After Bette Midler. Oh No You Don't Even!

Bette Midler’s Tweet About Rand Paul Has Fox News and Conservatives In A Tizzy

A tweet made by the patron saint of gay men, The Divine Miss M. herself about Rand Paul and his arduous 7 hour delay of the  U.S. Senate voting on a two-year budget deal meant to avert a government shutdown has Fox News and some very overly sensitive CON-servatives in a tizzy.

Via FAUX News:

Bette Midler shocked the Twitterverse on Thursday with a post suggesting Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., should be physically attacked for his stance on the spending budget in the Senate.

Midler tweeted Thursday evening, “Where’s Rand Paul’s neighbor when we need him?”


Midler’s tweet was referencing a violent November incident during which Paul was assaulted by his neighbor and suffered several injuries.

Rene A. Boucher, 58, admitted to attacking an unsuspecting Paul in his yard and is facing 21 months in prison. Paul suffered bruises to his lungs and broken ribs, and contracted pneumonia following the attack.

One of Paul’s aides, Sergio Gor, called out Midler for a tweet that crossed the line.

“This is disgusting @BetteMidler calling for violence. She should be ashamed,” Gor tweeted.

Shocking and disgusting? They obviously don’t know Better Midler at all.

(Bette Midler imitation) Those dirty motherfuckers.

EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY! – Enter to Win Bette Midler’s New CD Collection “A Gift of Love”!

A Gift of Love FULL

My boyfriend Ernie were making out in the park the other night and he said to me “Soph”, He always calls me Soph.  “Did you know that Back2Stonewall.com in conjuncture with The Karpel are giving away TWO free copies of Bette Midler’s A Gift of Love new collection of 18 love songs from global superstar Bette Midler?”

 And I said “No Ernie I did not.  Tell me all about it!”

And he says “Soph”.  He always calls me Soph. “A Gift of Love  contains highlights from studio albums and soundtracks recorded for both Atlantic Records and Warner Bros. between 1976 and 2014.. And all you have to do is send a email to Will@back2stonewall.com with I LOVE THE DIVINE MISS M in the Subject Line and a short message saying why.  TWO winners will be chosen and the CD will be all theirs!”

 “Well Earnie”, I said.  “That’s Faaaaaaaaaaaabulous. We’ll enter as soon as we get home.  Now get a flashlight and get back to work.  You’ve been munching on grass for the last half hour!” *rimshot*

*Open to United States residents only. – Deadline for email entries December 4th 11:59 pm EST.

A Gift of Love – Available December 4.

A GIFT OF LOVE Track Listing:
1. “Favorite Waste Of Time”
2. “In This Life”
3. “The Gift Of Love”
4. “Bed Of Roses”
5. “From A Distance”
6. “Wind Beneath My Wings”
7. “Come Rain Or Come Shine”
8. “The Rose”
9. “As Dreams Go By”
10. “It’s Too Late”
11. “All I Need To Know”
12. “Every Road Leads Back To You”
13. “Shining Star”
14. “To Deserve You”
15. “Night And Day”
16. “(Talk To Me Of) Mendocino”
17. “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game”
18. “Let Me Just Follow Behind”

Bette Midler To Play Mae West In Biopic: “Come up and see me sometime you dirty motherf**ers!”

Bette Midler as Mea West

Deadline Hollywood reports that the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler will be starring as legendary screen star Mae West in an upcoming HBO biopic.

The Divine Miss M. is taking on the great Mae West. HBO Films has put in development Mae West, a movie about the true Hollywood original, with Bette Midler attached to star and executive produce. The project is the brainchild of William Friedkin (The Exorcist), who will direct and executive produce. Broadway heavyweight Harvey Fierstein, who recently penned the book for Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, is writing the script. Also executive producing is Jerry Weintraub, who executive produced HBO Films’ Emmy-winning Behind The Candelabra. Mae West, based on West’s autobiography: Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, chronicles West’s rise to stardom when she takes New York by storm after writing and starring in her scandalous Broadway show Sex and battles authorities over obscenity charges.

And before all the haters start in.  YES, Mae West was  in her early 30’s when she did the show Sex on Broadway. But if ANYONE was ever meant to play Mae West its Bette Midler.  Shes been playing West all her life and will be the first to admit it.

 

Tweet of the Week – Bette Midler Takes On The Tea Party, Defends the IRS

Bette Midler Tea POarty

You go guuuuuurl!

Needless to say that Brietbart.com and Michelle Malkins Twitchy is none too pleased.

But as the Divine Miss M has said in the past.  “Fuck em if they can’t take a joke and joke em if they can’t take a FUCK!”

Bette Midler Takes On The Tea Party