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Mae West

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. She was known for her lighthearted, bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence. She was active in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. The American Film Institute named her 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema.

West often used a husky contralto voice and was one of the more controversial movie stars of her day; she encountered many problems, especially censorship. She once quipped, "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." She bucked the system, making comedy out of conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays and continued to perform in Las Vegas and in the UK, on radio and television, and she recorded rock and roll albums.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 17th, 1893 (Brooklyn), Died November 22nd, 1980 (Hollywood)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1934 - 1970

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor PBS-79181 10-in. 4/23/1934 My old flame Duke Ellington Orchestra ; Mae West Dubbed recording from film : Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist  
Decca 87085 11/23/1954 Havana for a night Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87086 11/23/1954 I'm in the mood for love Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87087 11/23/1954 Pecado Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87088 11/23/1954 They call me Sister Honky Tonk Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87122 11/26/1954 Criswell predicts Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87123 11/26/1954 I want you-I need you Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87124 11/26/1954 Love is the greatest thing Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87125 11/26/1954 Frankie and Johnny Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87126 11/29/1954 If I could be with you Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87127 11/29/1954 All of me Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87128 11/29/1954 A guy that takes his time Mae West vocalist  
Decca 87129 11/29/1954 My Daddy rocks me Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15434 7/1/1970 The sayings of Mae West Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15435 7/1/1970 Mae West uncensored Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15436 7/1/1970 Mae West and friends Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15437 7/1/1970 Around the world with Mae West Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15438 7/1/1970 Mae West has the last word Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15439 7/1/1970 Mae West and W.C. Fields together Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15440 7/1/1970 I want you-I need you Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15441 7/1/1970 Mae West teaches a class Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15442 7/1/1970 A swingin' sermon (Little bar butterfly) Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15443 7/1/1970 Personal appearance Mae West vocalist  
Decca L 15444 7/1/1970 Mae West sings: Frankie and Johnny ; Mister deep blue sea ; My old flame Mae West vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "West, Mae," accessed January 20, 2021,

West, Mae. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 20, 2021, from

"West, Mae." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 20 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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