Clooney in 1954
|Born||May 23, 1928|
Maysville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||June 29, 2002 74) (aged|
|Resting place||Saint Patrick's Cemetery, Maysville|
(m. 1953;div. 1961)
(m. 1964;div. 1967)
Dante DiPaolo (m. 1997)
|Website||Rosemary Clooney Palladium website|
Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 – June 29, 2002) was an American singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the song "Come On-a My House", which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House". She also had success as a jazz vocalist. Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.
Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, the daughter of Marie Frances (née Guilfoyle) and Andrew Joseph Clooney. She was one of five children.Her father was of Irish and German descent and her mother was of Irish ancestry. She was raised Catholic. When Clooney was 15, her mother and brother Nick moved to California. She and her sister Betty remained with their father. The family resided in the John Brett Richeson House in the late 1940s.
Rosemary and Betty became entertainers, whereas Nick became a newsman and television broadcaster (some of her children, including Miguel Ferrer and Rafael Ferrer, and her nephew, George Clooney, also became respected actors and entertainers). In 1945, the Clooney sisters won a spot on Cincinnati, Ohio's radio station WLW as singers. Her sister Betty sang in a duo with Rosemary for much of the latter's early career.
Clooney's first recordings, in May 1946, were for Columbia Records. She sang with Tony Pastor's big band. Clooney continued working with the Pastor band until 1949, making her last recording with the band in May of that year and her first as a solo artist a month later, still for Columbia. In 1950–51, she was a regular on the radio and television versions of "Songs For Sale" on CBS. In 1951, her record of "Come On-a My House", produced by Mitch Miller, became a hit. It was her first of many singles to hit the charts—despite the fact that Clooney hated the song passionately. She had been told by Columbia Records to record the song, and that she would be in violation of her contract if she did not do so. Clooney recorded several duets with Marlene Dietrich and appeared in the early 1950s on Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town series on CBS. Clooney also did several guest appearances on the Arthur Godfrey radio show, when it was sponsored by Lipton Tea. They did duets as he played his ukulele, and other times she would sing one of her latest hits.
In 1954, she starred, along with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen, in the movie White Christmas . She starred, in 1956, in a half-hour syndicated television musical-variety show The Rosemary Clooney Show. The show featured The Hi-Lo's singing group and Nelson Riddle's orchestra. The following year, the show moved to NBC prime time as The Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney, but only lasted one season. The new show featured the singing group The Modernaires and Frank DeVol's orchestra. In later years, Clooney often appeared with Bing Crosby on television, such as in the 1957 special The Edsel Show , and the two friends made a concert tour of Ireland together. On November 21, 1957, she appeared on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford , a frequent entry in the "Top 20" and featuring a musical group called "The Top Twenty". In 1960, Clooney and Crosby co-starred in a 20-minute CBS radio program aired before the midday news each weekday.
Clooney left Columbia Records in 1958, doing a number of recordings for MGM Records and then some for Coral Records. Finally, toward the end of 1958, she signed with RCA Victor Records, where she stayed until 1963. In 1964, she went to Reprise Records, and in 1965 to Dot Records.
In 1976, Clooney signed with United Artists Records for two albums. Beginning in 1977, she recorded an album every year for the Concord Jazz record label,a schedule which continued until her death. This was in contrast to most of her generation of singers, who had long since stopped recording regularly by then. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Clooney did television commercials for Coronet brand paper towels, during which she sang a memorable jingle that goes, "Extra value is what you get, when you buy Coro-net." In the early 1980s, Jim Belushi parodied Clooney and the commercial on NBC's Saturday Night Live . Clooney sang a duet with Wild Man Fischer on "It's a Hard Business" in 1986, and in 1994 she sang a duet of Green Eyes with Barry Manilow in his 1994 album, Singin' with the Big Bands .
In 1995, Clooney guest-starred in the NBC television medical drama ER (starring her nephew, George Clooney); for her performance, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. On January 27, 1996, Clooney appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio program. She sang "When October Goes"—lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Barry Manilow (after Mercer's death)—from Manilow's 1984 album 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe , and discussed the excellence of Manilow the musician.
Clooney was also awarded Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.In 1999, she founded the Rosemary Clooney Music Festival, held annually in Maysville, her hometown. She performed at the festival every year until her death. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Russell Theater in Maysville, where Clooney's first film, The Stars Are Singing , premiered in 1953.
She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
Clooney was married twice to Puerto Rican movie star José Ferrer, 16 years her senior. Clooney first married Ferrer on June 1, 1953, in Durant, Oklahoma.They moved to Santa Monica, California, in 1954, and then to Los Angeles in 1958. Together, the couple had five children: Miguel, Maria, Gabriel, Monsita, and Rafael. Clooney and Ferrer divorced for the first time in 1961.
Clooney remarried Ferrer on November 22, 1964, in Los Angeles. However, the marriage again crumbled while Ferrer was carrying on an affair with the woman who would become his last wife, Stella Magee. The couple divorced again after she found out about the affair, this time in 1967.
In 1968, her relationship with a drummer ended after two years. At this time, following a tour, she became increasingly dependent on pills.
She joined the presidential campaign of close friend Robert F. Kennedy, and heard the shots when he was assassinated on June 5, 1968.A month later, she had a nervous breakdown onstage in Reno, Nevada, and was hospitalized. She remained in psychoanalytic therapy for eight years afterwards.
Her sister Betty died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1976. She subsequently started a foundation in memory of and named for her sister. During this time, she also wrote her first autobiography, This for Remembrance: the Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney, an Irish-American Singer, written in collaboration with Raymond Strait and published by Playboy Press in 1977.She chronicled her unhappy early life, her career as a singer, her marriage to Ferrer, her mental breakdown in 1968 and the diagnosis of bipolar disorder that seriously disrupted her career, concluding with her comeback as a singer and her happiness. Her good friend Bing Crosby wrote the introduction. Katherine Coker adapted the book for Jackie Cooper, who produced and directed the television movie, Rosie: the Rosemary Clooney Story (1982) starring Sondra Locke (who lip syncs Clooney's songs), Penelope Milford as Betty, and Tony Orlando, who played José Ferrer.
In 1983, Rosemary and her brother Nick co-chaired the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured, addressing the needs of survivors of cognitive disabilities caused by strokes, tumors, and brain damage from trauma or age.
In 1997, she married her longtime friend and a former dancer, Dante DiPaolo at St. Patrick's Church in Maysville, Kentucky.
In 1999, Clooney published her second autobiography, Girl Singer: An Autobiography, describing her battles with addiction to prescription drugs for depression, and how she lost and then regained a fortune."I'd call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility," she wrote.
A longtime smoker, Clooney was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of 2001.Around this time, she gave one of her last concerts in Hawaii, backed by the Honolulu Symphony Pops; her last song was "God Bless America". Her final show was at Red Bank, New Jersey's Count Basie Theatre in December 2001. Despite surgery and a long period of care following, she died six months later on June 29, 2002, at her Beverly Hills home. Her nephew, George Clooney, was a pallbearer at her funeral, which was attended by numerous stars, including Al Pacino. She is buried at Saint Patrick's Cemetery, Maysville.
Clooney lived for many years in Beverly Hills, California, in the house formerly owned by George and Ira Gershwin at 1019 North Roxbury Drive. It was sold to a developer after her death in 2002 and has since been demolished. In 1980, she purchased a second home on Riverside Drive in Augusta, Kentucky, near Maysville, her childhood hometown. Today, the Augusta house offers viewing of collections of her personal items and memorabilia from many of her films and singing performances.
In 2003, Rosemary Clooney was inducted into the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit and her portrait by Alison Lyne is on permanent display in the Kentucky State Capitol's rotunda.
Also in 2003, Bette Midler joined forces after many years with Barry Manilow to record Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook . The album was an instant success, being certified gold by RIAA. One of the songbook selections, "This Ole House", became Midler's first Christian radio single shipped by Rick Hendrix and his positive music movement. The album was nominated for a Grammy the following year.
In 2005, the album Reflections of Rosemary by Debby Boone was released. Boone, who was Clooney's daughter-in-law, intended the album to be a musical portrait of Clooney, or as Boone put it: "I wanted to select songs that would give an insight into Rosemary from a family perspective".
In September 2007, a mural honoring moments from her life was painted in downtown Maysville. The mural highlights her lifelong friendship with Blanche Chambers,the 1953 premiere of The Stars are Singing and her singing career. It was painted by Louisiana muralists Robert Dafford, Herb Roe, and Brett Chigoy as part of the Maysville Floodwall Murals project. Her brother Nick Clooney spoke during the dedication for the mural, explaining various images to the crowd.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Rosemary Clooney among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
|1953||Suspense||St. James Infirmary|
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. was an American singer, comedian and actor. The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. His early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Maysville is a home rule-class city in Mason County, Kentucky, United States and is the seat of Mason County. The population was 9,011 at the 2010 census, making it the 40th-largest city in Kentucky by population. Maysville is on the Ohio River, 66 miles (106 km) northeast of Lexington. It is the principal city of the Maysville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Mason and Lewis counties. Two bridges cross the Ohio from Maysville to Aberdeen, Ohio: the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge built in 1931 and the William H. Harsha Bridge built in 2001.
Bette Midler is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several Off-Off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following. Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist. Throughout her career, many of her songs became hits on the record charts, including her renditions of "The Rose", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Do You Want to Dance", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and "From a Distance".
Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician and producer with a career that has spanned more than 50 years. His hit recordings include "Could It Be Magic", "Mandy", "I Write the Songs", "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana ".
Deborah Anne Boone is an American singer, author, and actress. She is best known for her 1977 hit, "You Light Up My Life", which spent ten weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and led to her winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist the following year. Boone later focused her music career on country music, resulting in the 1980 No. 1 country hit "Are You on the Road to Lovin' Me Again". In the 1980s, she recorded Christian music which garnered her four top 10 Contemporary Christian albums as well as two more Grammys. Throughout her career, Boone has appeared in several musical theater productions and has co-authored many children's books with her husband Gabriel Ferrer.
"Sisters" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin in 1954, best known from the 1954 movie White Christmas.
"You'll Never Know" is a popular song with music written by Harry Warren and the lyrics by Mack Gordon. The song is based on a poem written by a young Oklahoma war bride named Dorothy Fern Norris.
"Come on-a My House" is a song performed by Rosemary Clooney and originally released in 1951. It was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, Armenian American Pulitzer Prize winning author William Saroyan, while driving across New Mexico in the summer of 1939. The melody is based on an Armenian folk song. The lyrics reference traditional Armenian customs of inviting over relatives and friends and providing them with a generously overflowing table of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods.
White Christmas is a 1954 American musical film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. Filmed in Technicolor, it features the songs of Irving Berlin, including a new version of the title song, "White Christmas", introduced by Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn.
The Edsel Show is an hour-long television special broadcast live on CBS in the United States on October 13, 1957, intended to promote Ford Motor Company's new Edsel cars. It was a milestone in the long career of entertainer Bing Crosby and is notable as the first CBS entertainment program to be recorded on videotape for rebroadcast in the western part of the country following a live performance for the east coast. Crosby arranged for this ‘live’ program to be ‘produced’ by his alma mater Gonzaga University in order that the profits could go to them in a tax efficient way. The program won the ‘Look’ magazine TV Award for ‘Best Musical Show’ and was nominated for an Emmy as the “Best Single Program of the Year”.
That Travelin' Two-Beat is a duet album by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney recorded in 1964 and released on Capitol Records in 1965.
"I've Got a Crush on You" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It is unique among Gershwin compositions in that it was used for two different Broadway productions: Treasure Girl (1928), when it was introduced by Clifton Webb and Mary Hay, and Strike Up the Band (1930), when it was sung by Doris Carson and Gordon Smith. It was later included in the tribute musical Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012), in which it was sung by Jennifer Laura Thompson. When covered by Frank Sinatra he was a part of Columbia records.
"Would You Like to Take a Walk?" is a popular song with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Mort Dixon and Billy Rose. It was added to the 1930 Broadway show Sweet and Low starring James Barton, Fannie Brice and George Jessel. The song was published in 1930 by Remick Music Corporation.
"Takes Two to Tango" is a popular song written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning and published in 1952.
"On A Slow Boat to China" is a popular song by Frank Loesser, published in 1948.
Selections from Irving Berlin's White Christmas is an album with songs from the 1954 movie, White Christmas. Among the featured artists are Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Trudy Stevens, with Peggy Lee, who was not in the movie, singing some parts. It is one of the last 78 rpm albums Decca produced.
Singer Rosemary Clooney is known for many songs, including "Come On-a My House", "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House". This is a partial discography.
"When the Red, Red Robin " was a 1926 popular song written, both words and music, by Harry Woods. The song became the signature song for singer and actress Lillian Roth, who performed it often during the height of her musical career from the late 1920s to the late 1930s.
Betty Clooney was an American singer, TV presenter and pioneer who briefly rose to fame in the 1950s with sister Rosemary Clooney. She led a very brief solo career, with songs like "Kiki" and "You're All I See". She married actor and musician Pupi Campo in 1955, and they had four children.
A Christmas Sing with Bing was a series of transcribed radio hours hosted by Bing Crosby and broadcast on Christmas Eve for eight years. Insurance Company of North America was the sponsor.
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