Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, May 16, 1959
May 16, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Mash Notes and Comments
"Dear Mr. Coates,
"As a student of one of our nation's most 'liberal' universities, I am at times confronted with strange class assignments.
"One such assignment I have is to give a positive seven-to-10-minute persuasion speech on becoming a nudist.
"Not being a nudist myself, I've found it rather difficult to find material concerning the subject.
"I remember, however, that you once did a television program on it, and interviewed some nudists."
"Could you possibly help me in researching the subject?"
(signed) Brenda Harris, UCLA.
-I'm surprised at you!
(Press Release) "The odds against a Samoa-born singer becoming a major artist on a major record label are, conservatively, about one million to one. Those things just don't happen.
"But in the case of Mavis Rivers, they did.
"Late in 1958, Mavis' agent brought her audition record to Andy Wiswell, a producer in Capitol's New York studios. When her voice came through the speaker, Wiswell immediately knew that here was a new star with overwhelming potential. Immediately, a contract was signed.
"Mavis was born in Apia, Upolu, Western Samoa, of English, Chinese, German, Samoan, Swiss and French ancestry. In addition to Mavis and her parents, a dozen more children filled the Rivers' home -- and nearly everyone sang or played.
"The Rivers family's regular Tuesday evening clambake became the event of the week on the island...
"In 1942, with the war at the height of its fury, 'Mavis and her family moved to Pago Pago, American Samoa, a staging area with thousands of troops surging in and out each week.
"'I've never in my life seen so many soldiers and sailors,' Mavis recalls. "We'd wake up in the morning, look out in the back yard, and find it full of tents.'"
(signed) Publicity Department, Capitol Records, Hollywood.
-Those weren't soldiers and sailors. That was the Arechiga family.
"As a taxpayer, I would like you to read this about the street maintenance crews that work around the Civic Center.
"Every morning there are two men who are forever leaning on their street brushes.
"They sweep together for a distance of 6 feet, very leisurely. Then some pretty gal comes along who works in one of the offices and the men stop their work for 10 minutes to talk to her.
"After a few more leisurely sweeps of their brooms they stop and talk some more.
"In another 30 minutes, maybe, they will have reached the corner.
"By then their other partner, with a stick and a box who is supposed to be picking up pieces of paper and debris from the grass and shrubs, has intercepted them several times and they've all leaned on their brushes while they chatted.
"All day long they loaf and ogle pretty girls and I'M PAYING THEIR SALARIES!"
(signed) D. T., Los Angeles.
-You're a real sport, mister. If you get any more openings, call me.