Not having anything else to post about, I spent the better part of an hour (okay, maybe not the better part) looking unsuccessfully for "An Occasional Man" from the movie The Girl Rush. The original version, I mean, performed in the movie by Gloria DeHaven. It's not anywhere, unfortunately. I guess this movie -- Rosalind Russell's consolation prize in 1955 for not getting to do a film version of her musical Wonderful Town (Paramount stepped in and offered her an original film musical instead, and this bomb was the result) -- is so obscure that nobody has posted a single clip from it anywhere.
A shame, because while the movie has the desperation typical of mid-'50s musicals (the product of a genre whose popularity had collapsed without warning), "An Occasional Man" is one of my favorite songs from this era of musicals, and I don't really remember how it was done in the movie. It's certainly right for Gloria DeHaven's voice, though. The song is by the team of Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, though I don't know which one was the lead writer on it. (Martin and Blane were both composer-lyricists, and their working relationship was similar to Lennon and McCartney: they took joint credit, but they tended to polish each other's songs rather than actually writing music and lyrics together. For example, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is almost entirely Martin's, while I think "Buckle Down Winsocki" was primarily Blane.)
It is an unusual song because it's sort of a subversive twist on the familiar subgenre of songs about lazy island paradises. Most songs like that are about how great it will be for a man to go down to said paradise where the girls are willing and wear nothing except a smile; Harold Arlen had had a hit song the year before, "Two Ladies In De Shade of De Banana Tree," that was exactly like that. But "An Occasional Man" is about an island paradise from the point of view of a woman who treats men as just another fun thing to enjoy on the island, like papayas and peaches. It's a song about anonymous, willing men, a paradise where a woman can just relax and enjoy sex with cute sailors without taking it seriously; it's a "girl in every port" song where the girl is in control. In that sense it's almost ahead of its time. And like a lot of Martin-Blane songs, it's funny, sexy and just a little campy (but not too much so).
The song had a few recordings, but nothing very big. Martin's friend Judy Holliday put it on her "Trouble is a Man" album (I guess that suggests that it's probably Martin's song) . The recording below (with pointless accompanying video) is by Anita O'Day; the Wikipedia entry says that Peggy Lee recorded the song, but she never did, even though it would have been perfect for her.