I’m sitting here one hour into 2009 (Sydney, Australia time) having just finished my Smirnoff Ice. As one does, I’m reflecting back on 2008 and in particular, the recent and totally unexpected loss of the legendary Eartha Kitt.
I guess that Eartha was a good age but to me, she seemed timeless and that she would live forever. Sadly, she passed away on Christmas Day.
I first became aware of Eartha when I was a child watching the 60s Batman TV series. Eartha took over the role of Catwoman for the third and final season. I found Eartha to be very exciting and trust me, no one could be more cat-like.
During the 80s, as I was coming out on the gay scene in Adelaide, Eartha came to my attention again via the dance hits Where Is My Man and I Love Men. I loved the songs and I loved Eartha’s voice and I loved Eartha’s image in the I Love Men video clip which I had recorded from TV.
I got the subsequent album plus a greatest hits of her older stuff with such alluring titles as C’est Si Bon, Let’s Do It and I Want To Be Evil.
Towards the end of the 80s, Eartha was back with a new single and a new album. The single was Cha Cha Heels backed with My Discarded Men, collaborations with Bronski Beat. I just loved both of these songs and played them to death.
I have a few Eartha CDs in my collection and I have been playing a selection of her songs tonight. She is one of those singers/interpreters who just simply owns a song, injecting her own personality and attitude into every note.
Eartha Kitt was an integral part of my childhood via Catwoman and an integral part of my coming out via her music. She will be very sadly missed.