I'm always interested in the real stories that are behind certain musicals - long time readers will remember my post on the background of Chicago .... but back to Melvin Zindler.
"Mr. Zindler, with his cheerfully admitted plastic surgery, closet of peacock fashions, blatant hairpieces and blue-tinted glasses, was best known for his first foray into investigative journalism, in 1973. He exposed a widely tolerated bawdyhouse known as the Chicken Ranch in La Grange. The case was the basis for the musical and movie “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
Mr. Zindler was an early consumer advocate and action reporter, campaigning against scams, medical abuses and unsanitary food conditions. His regular Friday “rat and roach reports” had the KTRK coffee shop closed for violations at least three times." (more)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a stage and film musical, based on a story by Larry L. King. Drawing from the true-life Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas, the original play addresses the issue of private behavior in conflict with public law. The real events adapted for the musical involved a zealous reporter (Marvin Zindler), whose coverage led to the closing of the Chicken Ranch. (more)
The film version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas presented some difficulties for its film company, Universal Studios, particularly with regards to advertising the film. In parts of the United States in 1982, the word "whorehouse" was considered somewhat obscene, resulting in the film being renamed The Best Little Cathouse in Texas in some advertisements, while television advertisements for the film were either banned outright in some areas, or the offending word was censored. During interviews, Parton sometimes referred to the film as "The Best Little 'Chicken House' in Texas".
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