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Girl Power - 1933 Style



So I have a friend who has this hand-written letter from GINGER ROGERS to RUDY VALLÉE (Pictured). This letter, though not dated appears to be from c. 1933. At that time, Ginger was beginning her legendary association with FRED ASTAIRE. In the letter, Ginger informs Rudy that she has an understanding with the Famous Music publishing company to publish her original song, "The Girl Who Used to Be You" contingent upon Rudy mentioning the song on his radio show. This is the purpose of the letter.

What Does This Mean?

This right out of the MADONNA playbook in my humble opinion. In an age where women are making their voices heard for more diversity, inclusion and visibility (i.e., POWER) at a levels of the entertainment business, this letter is significant because it demonstrates a shrewd maneuver on the part of Rogers to assert more control over her own destiny by being more than a contract player. Indeed, if Ginger, like MARY PICKFORD before her, could straddle performing AND business affairs, she could own her destiny. I think this is what MADONNA meant when, in 1984, she told Dick Clark her objective was to "rule the world." Don't wait for someone to do it for you - MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR YOURSELF.


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