29 May 2012
America's "Girl Singer" Rosemary Clooney had a career that spanned six decades. She was a tireless performer, known for her work on radio, stage and motion pictures. At her peak in the 1950s, she had her own television show, featuring renowned conductor Nelson Riddle and dozens of musical guest stars. Most importantly, it showcased Clooney's simple yet dynamic style, and allowed her the freedom to choose the songs she wanted to sing. The songs from The Rosemary Clooney Show have been released for the first time on CD.
They're not Rosemary Clooney's best-known songs, but tunes, nevertheless, that thrilled millions of viewers on the singer's hit television show in 1956 and 1957. My Blue Heaven was one. Dream was another.
Rosemary Clooney's love affair with the American popular songbook began in her native Kentucky, where she and her sister Betty began singing as a duo. The Clooney Sisters were a short-lived act, and Rosemary went on to New York alone to seek her fame and fortune. Work came quickly. In 1950, she recorded her first big hit, Beautiful Brown Eyes. More hits followed including Hey There, which sold more than three million copies. In 1953, she was on the cover of Time magazine, opening the door to three choice movie roles and The Rosemary Clooney Show.
The Rosemary Clooney Show only lasted two years, but in those two seasons, Rosemary sang from almost every great composer's songbook. Among these popular music masters were Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Hoagy Carmichael.
Guests stars on The Rosemary Clooney Show were numerous, and included Johnny Mercer, Bobby Troup, Mel Torme, the avant-garde vocal quartet The Hi-Lo's, actor Boris Karloff, and Clooney's husband, Oscar-winning actor Jose Ferrer. Rosemary
Clooney was still touring and recording in the years leading up to her death. She was 74 when she lost her battle with lung cancer on June 29, 2002. Earlier that year, she was presented a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.