Gwen Verdon - Single Ladies (1969)
Gwen Verdon - Single Ladies (1969)
June 1, 1969 (Ed Sullivan Show): Beyoncé has freely admitted that she copied this clip for her legendary "Single Ladies" video. Ironically, the older video is in bright color, while the recent copycat is in black & white.

This song is titled "Mexican Breakfast," and was written by Johnny Mandel, who also wrote the theme to "M*A*S*H." As far as I can tell, the title wasn't intentionally racist. It was written for the Broadway musical "Sweet Charity," which premiered in 1966, and, at this point, it had just been made into a film. Both starred Gwen Verdon and were choreographed by her then-husband, Bob Fosse.

Gwen Verdon was one of the foremost dancers in Broadway history, known for her roles in the musicals "Can-Can" (1953), "Damn Yankees" (1955, and its 1958 film version), and "Chicago" (1975, in which she originated the role of Roxie Hart, to Chita Rivera's Velma Kelly). She and Bob had a daughter, Nicole Fosse, who is also an actress and dancer. Gwen kept acting right up until her death (1925-2000).

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