From birth to age 18 a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35 she needs good looks. From 35 to 55 she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash.
I've never sung a single song in my whole life on purpose to shock anyone. My 'hot numbers' are all, if you will notice, written about something that is real in the lives of millions of people.
Gradually, at the concerts, I began to hear calls for 'the fat girl'.... Then I would jump up for the piano stool, forgetting about my size [145 lbs at age 13], and work to get all the laughs I could get.
Even though I loved the song [My Yiddish Momme] and it was a sensational hit every time I sang it, I was always careful to use it only when I knew the majority of the house would understand Yiddish. However, you didn't have to be a Jew to be moved by 'My Yiddish Momme.' 'Mother' in any language means the same thing.
I would start off with a lively rag, then would come a ballad, followed by a comedy song and a novelty number, and finally, the hot song. In this way, I left the stage with the audience laughing their heads off.
Once you start carrying your own suitcase, paying your own bills, running your own show, you've done something to yourself that makes you one of those women men like to call 'a pal' and 'a good sport,' the kind of woman they tell their troubles to. But you've cut yourself off from the orchids and the diamond bracelets, except those you buy yourself.
Playing two months or more in one city meant new songs all the time. If people paid their dimes to see and hear Sophie Tucker, they didn't want to hear the same songs over and over or see the same clothes.
From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash.