Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Celebrity Jukebox #38: Raquel Welch

I think it's fair to say that Raquel Welch must be the oldest actress I've ever featured here. After all, she has been acting since One Million Years BC. 

When Stephen King wrote the novella that The Shawshank Redemption was based on, the poster on Andy DuFrense's cell wall was Rita Hayworth. In the movie, to better show the passage of time, he has three posters: Hayworth, Marilyn... and the iconic image above of Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC, surely one of the most famous posters ever printed... after that one of the tennis player scratching her arse. Iffypedia tells us "Welch helped transform America's feminine ideal into its current state", a statement which is as questionable as it is disputable. To her credit, Welch herself once said, "I was not brought up to be a sex symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one. The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous and fortunate misunderstanding". 

Whatever you think of Raquel Welch, it's fair to say that poster may well have decorated the bedroom walls of many of the songwriters below...

Not actually about Raquel Welch, just a girl with the same first name as her. However, Ms. Welch does get a mention... and extra points for rhyming her surname with "squelch".

I am not well.

What is this feeling that 
I'm not trying to squelch?
I don't know your last name,
I just know it's not Welch.

No question about this one though, from the man who wrote The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan...

I been collectin' matches for 20 years or more
I got about a hundred thousand books of 'em,
Sittin' in my end table draw
So that if Raquel Welch comes knockin' at my door
And asks me for a match, for her cigarette...
I'll be ready

And there can be little doubt that Gruff Rhys had Ms. Welch in mind when he wrote this for his Super Furries side project...

Oh Raquel
You've really got the power over me
Oh Raquel
Your silhouette's an hourglass indeed

I saw you as a movie star
And now you're riding in my car
Oh Raquel
You fill me with inertia, yes you do
Oh Raquel
I know this when I touch you, on a balloon

Your daddy came from Bolivia
Your Irish mother gave you star
Shine on

(In case you're wondering, Gruff did his research. Raquel's parents are Bolivian daddy Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo and Irish mummy Josephine Sarah Hall.)

OK, so those are the only songs I found with Raquel in the title. What about lyrical nods? 

Deep breath...


Oh, sorry... I mean...

There may not be much difference
Between Chairman Mao and Richard Nixon
If we strip them naked

There may not be much difference
Between Marilyn Monroe and Lenny Bruce
If we check their coffins

There may not be much difference
Between Raquel Welch and Jerry Rubin
If we hear their heartbeat 


Slightly less deep, yet somehow far less annoying, is the fact that Raquel Welch shares a birthday with Freddie Mercury, Werner Herzog and...

I am the birthday boy
Today's my day, mine to enjoy
I am the birthday king
Today of me I sing

Fred Mercury is dead and gone
Raquel Welch continues on
Werner Herzog's doing fine
It's their birthdays and mine

Then comes the "I'll have what she's been smoking" category...

I had the Story of O in my bucket seat
Of my wannabe Mustang
Auditioning for reptiles in their
Raquel Welch campaign

Glories of the 80s, you said
"I'm not afraid to die" I said,
"I don't find that remotely funny, even
On this space cake high"

Yeah, I'm not going to try to explain that.

Oh, look, here's a song with Two Parts! You have to scroll through to the beginning of Part 2, around the 4 minute mark, to hear a brief reference to Raquel... but I think it's just a playful nickname for Freddie's co-singer.

How about a word from Mr. Moonlighting himself?

You think that love's
What's on that silver screen
Raquel and Redford are the tops
You've been misled
By all those movies you've seen

Or perhaps you'd prefer something from the first Finnish band to ever chart in the UK?

My little lover's gonna be another copy of Raquel Welch, 
I'll build her a house and a maid named Jill
And spend the rest of my life down in Beverly Hills

Or a Christian Rock Supergroup? (Aren't they all?)

Remember Raquel Welch in that fur bikini
The dinosaur bird swooping down
Loana, the fair one, flailing and screaming
Soon as her feet left the ground
Sometimes there’s nowhere to hide
Just as well to surrender and go for the ride

Loana was the name of the character Raquel played in One Million Years BC. Clearly they're not Christian fundamentalists, otherwise they'd be rubbishing the film's depiction of dinosaurs which, clearly, never existed.

Oh, and here's our token Mark Kozelek track for this week...

The reason I love you number eight
Is because we rarely rarely fight and we get along great
And you're prettier than me, than Raquel Welsh or Sharon Tate
And that's the reason I love you number eight

All of which leads us to two very clear winners for today's Raquel-love-in. 

The first... is only... one of the greatest TV theme tunes ever written...

I've never spent much time in school
But I taught ladies plenty
It's true, I hire my body out for pay, hey hey
I've gotten burnt over Sheryl Tiegs, blown up for Raquel Welch
But when I end up in the hay, it's only hay, hey hey

And the second... is Loretta. 'Nuff said.

I'm glad that Raquel Welch just signed a million dollar pact
And Debbie's out in Vegas workin' up a brand new act
While the TV's showin' newlyweds, a real fun game to play

But here in Topeka, the screen door's a bangin'
The coffee's boilin' over and the wash needs a hangin'
One wants a cookie and one wants a changin'
And one's on the way


  1. Ah, The Unknown Stuntman ... there's a Proustian rush, right there.

    1. You're not supposed to eat the videos, Martin...

    2. Yup - read it this morning, and it's been stuck in my head all day. Mentions he's been seen with Farrah in the first line - probably not too often as they were on the verge of separating when The Fall Guy started, and divorced soon after

    3. Yes, that must have stuck in his craw.

      Still, another excuse to give it a spin when Farrah gets featured here...


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