Some “Stuff”


Stuff Like That There was written in 1944 by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The song was recorded in December 1944 by Betty Hutton and it charted on the Billboard charts in April 1945, peaking at #4.

The song was featured in the 1945 film, On Stage, Everybody, starring Jack Oakie and Peggy Ryan. As indicated by the film’s title, this is a “Let’s put on a big show” affair that was popular in the 1940s, set this time at a radio station. Veteran vaudevillian Michael Sullivan (Jack Oakie) refuses to admit that his brand of entertainment is all but dead, though his partner-daughter Molly (Peggy Ryan) is a little more progressive. After resisting the “newfangled” radio for several years, Michael becomes an enthusiastic supporter of the Airwaves, even unto helping organize a big-time variety show spotlighting new talent. Based on the ABC radio network program of the same name, On Stage, Everybody spotlights several promising newcomers (none of whom, alas, went on to stardom), along with such established favorites as the Four King Sisters, who sing Stuff Like That There. (To my knowledge, no recordings of the song by the Four King Sisters exists, so I cannot share with you their rendition of the song.)

Movie Card for  On Stage, Everybody

Movie Card for
On Stage, Everybody

In 1991, the song was once again used in a film, this time in 20th Century Fox’s For the Boys, starring Bette Midler as Dixie Leonard, a 1940s actress/singer who teams up with Eddie Sparks, a famous performer to entertain American troops during World War Two. Although the film is fiction, actress/singer Martha Raye believed that Midler’s character was based on many widely-known facts about her life and career with the USO and pursued legal action based on that assumption, but ultimately lost the case. The Caan character was generally believed to be based on Bob Hope.

Bette Midler in a scene from For the Boys

Bette Midler in a scene from For the Boys


The lyrics of the song in question recount how a lonely gal who used to think that “romance was bunk,” had her life changed by a man. And ever since that encounter, she now wants “some huggin’ and some squeezin’, some muggin’, and some teasin’, some pettin’ and some spoonin’, some happy honeymoonin’, some kissin’ and some hopin’, some missin’, and some mopin’, some leapin’ and some chasin’, some weepin’, and some pacin’ – and some stuff like that there.” Well, that’s what love will do to you!

Here are the entire lyrics of the song:
I was alone on a shelf in a world by myself
Oh, where could my prince charming be?
But a man came along, made my life like a song
And taught me these words of ecstasy, tenderly

I want some huggin’ and some squeezin’
And some muggin’, and some teasin’
And some stuff like that there

I want some pettin’ and some spoonin’
And some happy honeymoonin’
And some stuff like that there

I used to think that love was just a lot o’ rubbish
A mess o’ cabbage, a mess o’ cabbage
But now my attitude is wholly lovey dovish
And baby, you, you’ve done it

I want some kissin’ and some hopin’
And some missin’, and some mopin’
And some stuff like that there

I want some leapin’ and some chasin’
And some weepin’, and some pacin’
And some stuff like that there

And when I get a certain feelin’ I confess it
There’s really only one expression to express it

I want some huggin’ and some squeezin’
And some muggin’, and some teasin’
And some leapin’, and some chasin’
And some weepin’, and some pacin’
And some stuff, I want some stuff like that there

I used to think romance was bunk
A double mickey for the ickey
But all at once my heart was sunk
And baby, you, you’ve done it

I want some kissin’ and some hopin’
And some missin’, and some mopin’
And some stuff like that there

I want some leapin’ and some chasin’
And some weepin’, and some pacin’
And some stuff like that there

And when I get a certain feelin’ I confess it
There’s really only one expression to express it

I want some huggin’, squeezin’
Muggin’, teasin’ and some stuff
Stuff like that there, ooh

The only rendition of the song to make the Billboard charts was the recording by Betty Hutton, elder sister of Glenn Miller songstress, Marion Hutton.

Betty Hutton

Betty Hutton

Betty Hutton (born Elizabeth June Thornburg in Michigan in 1921), began singing as a child. She later sang on the street to help earn money for her family. In her teens, Hutton began performing in nightclubs. She later sang with bandleader Vincent Lopez’s Orchestra.

In 1940, she performed on Broadway in Two for the Show. Later that year, she appeared with Ethel Merman in Panama Hattie. Soon, she moved to film, brought out to Hollywood by a Paramount executive.

She soon moved to Hollywood, earning parts in 1942’s The Fleet’s In with Dorothy Lamour and William Holden and 1944’s The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, with Eddie Bracken. By the time Incendiary Blonde was released in 1945, in which she portrayed entertainer Texas Guinam, she had supplanted Dorothy Lamour as Paramount’s number one female box office attraction. She then portrayed the life of silent film star Pearl White on the big screen in 1947’s The Perils of Pauline. Hutton brought what could only be described as an “explosive energy” to her movie roles, and her platinum locks and her curvy figure quickly earned her nicknames such as “the Blond Bombshell” and “the Blond Blitz.”

In 1950, the actress tackled perhaps her most famous role in the hit musical Annie Get Your Gun, about famed sharpshooter and western star Annie Oakley. Hutton had two further major film projects: She starred in Cecil B. DeMille’s grand spectacular The Greatest Show on Earth and in the biopic Somebody Loves Me, based on the life and career of vaudeville singer and actress Blossom Seeley. These movies proved to be two of Hutton’s final big screen efforts.

By the 1960s, she had largely dropped out of sight. Hutton became a drama teacher in her later years and died in 2007 in California.

Her explosive energy can be heard in her recording of Stuff Like That There.

To listen to the song, click on the song title. To download a song, right click on the song title, then right click on Save target as

Betty Hutton, Paul Weston and his Orchestra Stuff Like That There

Extra bonus
Bette Midler
(from the motion picture soundtrack) Stuff Like That There

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pop Music

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s