Some of These Days, by Sophie Tucker
For the title of her autobiography, Sophie Tucker takes the name of her theme song, a phrase of promise and improbable hope, both melancholy and buoyant. It is (or was) the theme song of the immigrant, of the man who starts at the bottom of the ladder, the boy who may grow up to be president; it is (or was) the national motto of the land of opportunity. “Some of these days you’re going to be so lonely . . .” i.e., in the indefinite future everything will be turned upside down, the unloved will be loved, the rejector rejected, the poor, rich, and the ugly, beautiful. In other words, all the laws of probability will be violated; and the aptness of the title to the book is flagrant, for the whole career of this hefty chanteuse was an insult to the laws of probability.
Who would have thought that Sophie Abuza, a fat girl from Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of a poor Russian-Jewish immigrant and restaurant-keeper, would one day be dressed in silks and satins, singing before the crowned heads of Europe? This is the culmination, but the autobiography is a long graduated necklace of these triumphant paradoxes, these showy reprisals on nature and fortune. Who would have thought that the burlesque trouper who brought shame to the home of her respectable parents would one day be welcomed back to Hartford with placards and banners as the headliner in the big Hartford theatre? Who would have thought that the girl a two-by-four theatrical producer disdained as too fat would one day be pulling down two thousand a week? The life of this woman was a daydream come true. To all the scoffers, the doubters, the indifferent, she made the unanswerable retort of fame and financial success. She “showed” them again and again.
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