Frankly, I've learned that the best therapy is to make a lot of money. That's why I'm a psychiatrist.
Yes, we've found yet another therapy cover, Sim Albert's 1954 sleazer Woman-Crazy Doctor, for Croyden Books with Lou Marchetti art. These covers are so fun to riff on. We've done it multiple times, and you can see those posts by going to this link, and following the subsequent links in that entry. This is the second book from Albert we've read, after 1953's so-so Confessions of a B-Girl. Here he tells the story of a psychiatrist named Horton Foote who, in his desire to bed his beautiful patient Norma Strothman, hires her as his secretary. Surely that's against the Hippocratic oath. Do psychiatrists take the Hippocratic oath? *checking internet* Yes, they do. But oaths were made to be broken.
Horton has other women he sees—hence “woman-crazy”—but Norma remains his overriding pursuit, and of course it wouldn't be a sleaze novel if he didn't succeed. Actually, the book could be called “Man-Crazy Patient,” because it's Norma's suddenly awakened sexual desires that drive the plot. She just can't get enough lovin'. Into this scenario Albert mixes manslaughter, concealment of a corpse, and attempted suicide, making the tale crime novel-adjacent. He even manages to occasionally interject genuinely affecting emotion. In short, we were surprised at his competence. So surprised, in fact, that if we can find another effort from him, he's earned another go-round.
It's getting late, fellas. I really should be in bed with someone by now.
Sim Albert's 1953 Croyden Books novel Confessions of a B-Girl, which features cover art by Lou Marchetti, tells the story of a New Orleans stripper named Peg Christy who wants to get out of the racket before it turns her into a prostitute. She takes in a naive nineteen-year-old who's arrived in town penniless, and when the girl's hot uncle shows up Peg suddenly develops the courage to take a stab at reform and romance. Of course, she sort of forgets to tell uncle hunk she's a nightclub dancer, and that, along with the club owner's homicidal streak and her young roomie's assorted problems, provide the drama in the tale. Sleaze digests generally give you sex, misunderstanding, sex with the wrong guy, heartbreak, sex, and redemption, and Confessions of a B-Girl does basically that, but with less sex, and a dose of surrogate motherhood thrown in. It's no better than average quality for the genre, but we're glad we bought it because we're suckers for novels about burlesque dancers. Marchetti's art, by the way, fits nicely into our collection of bar covers, which you can see here.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1947—Edwin Land Unveils His New Camera
In New York City, scientist and inventor Edwin Land demonstrates the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera, which contains a special film that self-develops prints in a minute, goes on sale the next year to the public and is an immediate sensation.
1965—Malcolm X Is Assassinated
American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, who shotgun him in the chest and then shoot him sixteen additional times with handguns. Though three men are eventually convicted of the killing, two have always maintained their innocence, and all have since been paroled.
1935—Caroline Mikkelsen Reaches Antarctica
Norwegian explorer Caroline Mikkelsen, accompanying her husband Captain Klarius Mikkelsen on a maritime expedition, makes landfall at Vestfold Hills and becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica. Today, a mountain overlooking the southern extremity of Prydz Bay is named for her.
1972—Walter Winchell Dies
American newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell, who invented the gossip column while working at the New York Evening Graphic, dies of cancer. In his heyday from 1930 to the 1950s, his newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, he was read by 50 million people a day, and his Sunday night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people.
1976—Gerald Ford Rescinds Executive Order 9066
U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signs Proclamation 4417, which belatedly rescinds Executive Order 9066. That Order, signed in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, established "War Relocation Camps" for Japanese-American citizens living in the U.S. Eventually, 120,000 are locked up without evidence, due process, or the possibility of appeal, for the duration of World War II.
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