Saturday, September 4, 2010

Carol Channing Can Do A Lot For A Corset

The First Traveling Saleslady is the first film in which Carol Channing sang a song. The movie is not available on DVD.

For the INTERNET WORLD PREMIERE, I set up my camera in front of the TV and, until a better version can be had, here is vintage Channing (with some faux piano help from Ginger Rogers) singing A Corset Can Do A Lot For A Lady from The First Traveling Saleslady.

In the clip, actress Molly and saleswoman Rose (progressives) try to interest
a theatrical producer in adding a number featuring their corsets -
despite his fears of reprisal from the Purity League (conservatives).


  1. I guess I really am looking at the only access to this song in the world wide web. How sad. I stumbled across it on youtube while I was looking for an audition piece, and I thought "That's the one!" It's such a quirky little song, but IMPOSSIBLE to find sheet music for.
    With further research, I discovered that apparently this film was awful, and that' why there is no score to be had (hence no music for this song.) All Movie Guide says this: "Whenever asked about First Travelling Saleslady in later years, Carol Channing would blithely refer to it as 'the picture that killed RKO'; she wasn't too far wrong in this assessment." Ouch.
    If you have any more information on that...I'd be glad to hear it.

  2. See? World Internet Premiere! (I just saw this comment almost a year later.) I had heard that Channing quote before. I still have the movie on my DVR; it is pretty awful but so great to see Carol all young and corsetted up.