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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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A Dirty Mouth: 1952

A Dirty Mouth: 1952

Martha Raye in 1952, probably on the set of NBC's All Star Revue, which would be rechristened The Martha Raye Show after the Big Mouth racked up big ratings as its host. From a series of photos made by Charlotte Brooks for the article "Perpetual Commotion," in the Oct. 7, 1952, issue of Look. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Electrolux Vac

I still use an Electrolux like the one Martha is using! Ms. Raye was always a favorite of mine.

That Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner

I remember we had one in my house when I was growing up - it had as much chrome on it as our Ford sedan and a "space age" look that evoked images of some kind of rocket ship.

Electrolux doors

The visible doors on the Electrolux swing inwards if you plug the hose into them, and give you a blowing hose instead of a sucking one.

Kids loved that feature.

Colonel Maggie

The Army had Martha tagged as a colonel but as an entertainer of troops she was second to none. She served as a nurse during WWII.

I saw her as a young Marine in the late 1960s overseas. She yelled out that she had given her all to the boys in World War Two, most of something to the fellows in Korea, and that she was just sorry that the fellows in Vietnam were going to catch the "old bothers".

Tears flow when I think about Martha.

Colonel Maggie -5th Special Forces Gp.Vietnam

While most know Martha Raye for her status as an entertainer over the years, she was also active in Military USO events for wartime troops. During the Vietnam War she she often appeared for US troops and was closely allied with and loved by members of the US Army's 5th Special Forces which made her an honorary "Green Beret". She was a nurse and assisted at times while in country.She is said to have been able to drink many a young SF soldier under the table. She was known by the 5th USSF as "Colonel Maggie" as a result of her honorary status as a LTC in the Army. She requested to be buried at Ft. Bragg, NC (home of the Army's Special Forces) in the Post Cemetery and special permission was granted especially for her. There she rests today, with the men she was so proud of and who were proud of her as well.

Open Circuit!

The shiny dots visible at the top rear of the Electrolux are the terminals for the plug at the machine end of the electrical cord -- so the poor Electrolux is entirely disarmed and helpless against Martha's mighty input!

Big mike for the Big Mouth

If there was ever anyone who didn't need the ultra-sensitive RCA 77DX ribbon microphone on that boom, it was Martha Raye. She could probably just shout into the end of the wire.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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