Location: Santa Monica, California
How did you first discover Betty? As a wee boy I had always hated musicals, especially Busby Berkeley with the geometrical patterns made of dancing girls. I used to writhe on the floor in mental agony when my mother took me to see such a movie. There was no action and the music was trite. I wasn't acting up. I genuinely found them unbearable - like Chinese water torture. My mother had to give in and take me home before I went out of my skull. There were four movie houses in Perth and I used to go a lot. One week when I was 11 or 12 I had seen all the movies I liked so there was no alternative but to go see this musical Annie Get Your Gun at the "Kings", trusting that it could not be too bad. As soon as I heard a couple of lines of Betty singing "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun", she got through to me. The melody was good and the words were amusing and puzzling for me. "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" What did that mean exactly? I had a vague idea. But Betty put such conviction into the song. I felt like she really meant it! And of course her antics with smashing her hat on her head and crooking her leg around her rifle. I was entranced by her in that song. I had never seen anyone like her and the reason for that was that there wasn't anyone like her and never will be. I even went back to see it again!
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" as explained above. No one has ever interpreted a song so well as did Betty in that movie.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? Annie Get Your Gun as explained above. The first musical I ever enjoyed in my young life. All the songs were so good. I also loved "The Girl That I Marry." Betty just put so much energy and verve and sincerity and conviction into everything and she was utterly perfect for that role. "Anything You Can Do" was also so amusing and convincing. Judy Garland would have been such a (insert a raspberry/Bronx cheer here) in that role. Judy was burned out by then. I think I read that Ethel Merman was in the original stage show. I hated and abominated her. She had a voice like a bloody fog horn or rusty trumpet. So thank God she didn't get the movie role. If she had I would have been out of there like a soul escaping from hell. How anyone can hold still for Ethel Merman I will never know.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? All the DVDs of unpublished movies but the whole site is a labour of love and a work of art. Even Betty would have been surprised to see it all.
Other favorite Betty memories? Don't have any direct memories of her. I had forgotten about her mostly until Annie was released on VHS in 2000, which I promptly bought and loved to see again after 50 years. Then I was amazed to see her with Robert Osborne on TCM shortly before she died. It certainly is tragic what happens to so many great stars but she had it good while it lasted.
Location: Yavne, Israel
How did you first discover Betty? When I was 14 years old my dad bought me Annie Get Your Gun. At first I didn't like it, but after a while I saw it again and I loved it. I think that I ran this movie about 30 times and I know all the songs. After I saw the movie and enjoyed it, I checked in on the International Movie Database (imdb.com) about Betty and saw that she passed away the week earlier. Now I have about five more movies with Betty.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? "It's Oh So Quiet", "A Bushel And A Peck", "Blue Skies" and "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief". I also love the songs from Annie Get Your Gun. I listen to them when I'm angry or sad because they give me something that helps me feel better.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? I think my favorite movie is Annie Get Your Gun because this is the first Betty movie I ever saw and it's the one that triggered me to be her fan.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I love everything about it, especially the press and photos part.
Location: Taunton, Massachusetts
How did you first discover Betty? In The Perils Of Pauline when I was 13.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun" because her delivery was sensational and "They Say It's Wonderful". I cried then when I first heard it and I still cry because the emotional way she sang it.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? Big surprise--Annie Get Your Gun, because I loved all the songs and the amazing way she put them over, The Greatest Show On Earth because her acting was first-rate and her acrobatic skills were amazing, and believe it or not, Spring Reunion. It was great to see Betty in a drama as a more subdued person.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? If I absolutely must pick one, it is the inclusion of all those wonderful Betty Hutton films for us to watch right on the computer!
Other favorite Betty memories? I lived near Rhode Island when she ended up at the rectory as a cook. There were lots of tidbits of news about her situation. Before that she was doing musical theatre around the area. I got tickets to see her in Anything Goes and couldn't wait to see her in the starring role. After the show was going for ten minutes or so, I suddenly got the sinking feeling that she was not going to appear. It was not until the intermission that we were told that Betty would not be appearing due to ill health. I was heartbroken! A few days later on, the papers said she was back in the show, so I got tickets again. But, indeed, she was in such bad shape that the whole show was eventually cancelled. I watched the papers for those Betty Hutton tidbits and was more sad for the way her life was going than for me to have missed seeing her. A few years later in 1983 I was ecstatic to see her "bouncing back" on that PBS show Jukebox Saturday Night. I taped it on my Betamax machine, and until recently could not watch it because my Beta VCR was not working. Now it has been fixed and I am so happy!
Location: London, United Kingdom
How did you first discover Betty? When I was very small, I was watching "the Afternoon Movie" with my mother, and this blonde dynamo came onscreen singing an ecstatic song. I asked my Mum who this was, and she told me all about Betty Hutton, including how she had stepped out of the limelight and was living quietly.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? "I Wish I Didn't Love You So". Betty is great with novelty numbers and I love them, but she truly shines in her ballads.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? The Perils of Pauline. When I was 18, I became very ill. With one other exception, it is the closest I've come to losing my life. My sanity and my soul were nourished by Betty Hutton and my beloved VHS of The Perils of Pauline. There were some days when I watched it six times or more. I'd just get to the end, rewind and watch again. Those were dark, difficult days, and Betty was the only person who kept me smiling for any length of time. I still know the songs, and most of the dialog, by heart.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I love all the rare video and audio, and I deeply appreciate finding out about new Betty items that are available.
Other favorite Betty memories? Years after my illness, I tried to track Betty down by mail, in order to share my experience with her. Thanks to the stellar appreciation society which ran several years ago, my story was finally shared with her, and I'm told she was pleased. In the precious few years between that time and her passing, I was able to send her holiday and birthday greetings, and always received gracious responses from her. Last year, I received as a gift a brooch that was owned and worn by her, and I wear it proudly. It is such a small thing that links us, but one that I treasure nonetheless. She didn't know it for a long time, but she made a huge difference in my life, and I will always be grateful.
Location: New England
How did you first discover Betty? My family had a VHS copy of Annie Get Your Gun for as long as I can remember. One day I decided to watch it and I instantly fell in love with Betty Hutton's energy and screen presence. I fell out of the Betty Hutton phase for a couple months, but in January of last year, I just started back up again. I bought all of her songs and I read everything I could find. I went on YouTube and watched video after video and then I found one uploaded from SatinsAndSpurs.com with the comment to go to the website to see the whole movie. I went instantly and I have seen almost all of her movies on SatinsAndSpurs.com and I've seen a couple movies multiple times.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? I love all of Betty's songs but my favorite is "I Wake Up In The Morning Feeling Fine". Red, Hot and Blue was a great movie and that was my favorite song. It's bouncy, catchy and loveable.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? My favorite Betty film is Happy Go Lucky. She is so energetic and funny in that movie and the Hutton/Bracken team is amazing. The music score in the movie is awesome and I have seen the movie about six or seven times!
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? My favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com is the Betty Hutton Radio! I listen to that all the time and I know the lyrics to all of the songs.
Other favorite Betty memories? I have a neighbor who was a huge fan of Betty Hutton when she was a big star and I enjoy talking to him about Betty and her movies and music. It's nice to share these things with people who know what I'm talking about. People in my generation have not even heard of Betty Hutton and I have been trying to get more people interested in her. My neighbor is helping me get into retirement centers to sing my favorite Betty Hutton songs and make some older folks happy. I sing a lot and I act all the time. My dream part is to be Annie in Annie Get Your Gun because I want to be just like Betty Hutton! I know how much that part meant to her and right now it means the same to me!
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
How did you first discover Betty? I'm a big fan of anything USO related during WWII. When I watched Bette Midler's For The Boys I fell in love with the number "Stuff Like That There". After looking it up I found out about Betty. It was love at first sight.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? I'm a sucker for "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief". It's one of those melodies that stick, and Betty wails on it. But my absolute favorite is "Murder, He Says." Betty didn't hold anything back on it, and it cements her as one of those artists who broke all the rules back then, and even now. I love to sing along with it, pretending she's next to me.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? I know it isn't everyone's favorite, but I love Here Come The Waves. Betty's portrayal of identical twins was flawless, and it showed everyone she could play subdued and then turn around and be wacky. Also, the mirror choreography in the dancing in the opening number was amazing. Also, it was great of Betty to want to do a movie drawing attention to the WAVES back then, showing us that she was always a supporter of America's enlisted.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I love HuttonTube! I love being able to see so many Betty things, when most of them are hard to track down. I love the interviews of when Betty got older.
Other favorite Betty memories? Betty symbolizes to me a woman who worked hard, but didn't really compromise herself. She feeded off the audience, and loved each one honestly. People liked her, but at the same time, she was a potty mouthed, tomboy-ish, hard-working, blue-collar woman who never really fit in in Hollywood. I grew up in Newport, R.I where she found solace in her later years, but didn't discover her until after she left. It's crazy knowing that this woman I idolize now was only three blocks away from me as a kid.
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
How did you first discover Betty? I had really gotten into music from the Big Band era and had happened to see the Bette Midler film For The Boys. I was particularly impressed by a song she sang called "Stuff Like That There". It had a kind of energy that even in swing music was hard to find. In a quest to find more songs in that style, I discovered that the original had been recorded by a singer named Betty Hutton. The rest is history.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? Of course many of my favorites come from her early Capitol singles: "Doctor, Laywer, Indian Chief", "It Had To Be You", "His Rocking Horse Ran Away", "Stuff Like That There", etc, but some of my more-listened to favorites include "A Bushel And A Peck", "Hit The Road To Dreamland", "Murder, He Says" and "Orange Colored Sky", which, like "It's Oh So Quiet", I feel describes the feeling of falling in love better than any ballad!
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? I'm one of those fans that's more or less impressed by mostly anything Betty did, so this is hard for me. I think Betty's best quality films are her biopics: Incendiary Blonde, The Perils of Pauline, Annie Get Your Gun and Somebody Loves Me. Although her earlier films had weaker plots, she was absolutely adorable in them (especially in The Fleet's In, Happy Go Lucky and And The Angels Sing); and I appreciate the maturity she showed in her later films. Although it wasn't her best film, for me, "Spring Reunion" showed a great deal of promise and I truly wish Betty had continued to act in movies.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I think HuttonTube is my favorite part. It has been very diffcult and time consuming to track down these old videos and to make them available on the Internet, but I feel like I'm helping preserve a part of forgotten history. It's one thing to read about something Betty did, but a completely different experience to actually be able to view it!
Other favorite Betty memories? I am the webmaster of SatinsAndSpurs.com. The site hasn't even been up and running for a year but I've already been able to connect with so many great people and participate in many great things, such as writing the liner notes for the Sepia Records release of Betty Hutton at the Saints & Sinners Ball and contributing an article to In Tune International magazine.
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
How did you first discover Betty? I first became aware of Betty when Turner Classic Movies aired her "Private Screenings" interview in the summer of 2000. I was immediately interested in learning more about her.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? I like all her songs, especially her ballads. But my favorite is “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.” I first saw a clip of her performing that song in The Stork Club when I watched the TCM interview and I was just bowled over by her talent and energy.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? It’s difficult to identify my favorite film because I like them all so much, but Annie Get Your Gun is at the top of my list. Betty was perfect for that role – she gave it everything she had – and it shows! I also love Incendiary Blonde, The Perils of Pauline, The Stork Club, And the Angels Sing, Somebody Loves Me, and The Greatest Show on Earth.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I love everything about it and I’m amazed at all the effort that has gone into it.
Other favorite Betty memories? I ran the International Betty Hutton Appreciation Society (IBHAS) from 2001 to 2007. During that time, I published 17 commemorative booklets totaling about 1,200 pages. I received the sweetest written “thank you” from Betty – she said my work was the greatest thing she’d ever seen. Because of my interest in Betty, I made many new friends all across the country, many of whom are like family. Although Betty’s personal life was not always happy, she loved performing and she knew she brought lots of happiness to her fans. I think that gave her a great sense of accomplishment.
Name: Bruce K. Hanson
Name: Edmund Arredondo
Location: Berkeley, California
How did you first discover Betty? My folks took me to see "The Fleet's In" when it first opened. I was hooked.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? "I Wish I Didn't Love You So". I was 13 and beginning to fall in love with love. Betty touched me when she sang that song. I knew just how she felt.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? Well, "Annie Get Your Gun" had everything going for it. But I just love anything she's in. She's one of a kind.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I have no favorite part. It's the whole thing. You haven't missed a trick, you little tease.
Other favorite Betty memories? I got to see her perform twice. Once at the Curran in San Francisco and later at one of those Automobile Shows. I did get a chance to ask her what became of the other two duets she did with Perry Como and she yelled "I wish I knew". Another time, I called to say hello to my friend Edmund and he put her on the phone and she wished me a happy birthday. Before "Red, Hot and Blue" was released, I had learned the titles of the four songs that she had coming out on Capitol Records and had a dream with four songs with those titles. She really made me nutty. In High School in Oakland, our Social Studies teacher told us to write about someone we admire. I wrote about Betty and I was flunked and yelled at by the teacher.
Location: Hagerstown, Maryland
How did you first discover Betty? I was aware of Betty's name as an actress and singer for a few years, but never really knew anything about her. It wasn't until I heard Kelly Clarkson sing "Stuff Like That There" on the first season of American Idol that I began my quest, not realizing it would lead me to Betty. I researched the song because I liked it so much. Found out that Bette Midler did a version, but the original was by Betty Hutton. I downloaded Hutton's version and fell in love with it. Interestingly, "Stuff Like That There" is, in my opinion, so vocally unlike many of her other well known songs...yet it introduced me to Betty and I am still collecting her music and movies.
Favorite Betty song(s) and why? It's a tie between "Murder, He Says" and "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In a Hurry". I love how they start off with her lovely singing voice, then she breaks into the raucous Betty we all love.
Favorite Betty film(s) and why? Hands down, it has to be "The Stork Club". Her comedic talent, beautiful singing and drop dead gorgeous good looks make this movie a joy to watch over and over. I never get tired of this movie.
Favorite part of SatinsAndSpurs.com? I really enjoy the "Press Center" and all the articles on Betty's life throughout her career.