Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to the three D's of music: Lorna Dallas, Doris Day, and Ervin Drake!

“Wrinkles are hereditary. Parents get them from their children.” – Doris Day, 90 today!

 Que Sera, Sera

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here's what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
Love Me or Leave Me
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

Now I have Children of my own
They ask their mother
What will I be
Will I be handsome
Will I be rich
I tell them tenderly
 Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera

I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about peopleDoris Day

Happy Birthday to three of the music greats, Lorna Dallas, Doris Day and Ervin Drake.
Mark Saxon, Ervin Drake, Edith Drake, SGA Board member Janie Ross Coulter and Songwriters Guild of America President Rick Carnes.

Lorna Dallas
They were all born to create. They all met their goals. I don't think any of them have any competition in their respective areas of exprtise.
Every day, in our local paper, the famous birthdays of the day are listed. Interestingly enough, neither Ervin Drake or Doris Day are mentioned today!  
Doris Day (born Kappelhoff) was born in Cincinnati on this date in 1924. She would go on to do films with Cary Grant and Rock Hudson and Jumbo! She married four times; Her first husband was a psychopathic sadist and her third marriage was to a man she trusted implicitly-Marty Melcher.
This severely dented her faith in men.
There are many twists and turns in her story. I have even heard that the film New York, New York is loosely based on her first marriage. 

Lorna Dallas was born in Carrier Mills, Illinois and graduated with honors from Indiana University School of Music.

The voice lessons started with the incomparable PW Sherman in Harrisburg when she was 12…and continued with the equally incomparable Virginia MacWatters at IU. But wait. . . how did she get there. . . and here now? She went from winning a national talent contest in high school (the finals in Town Hall in New York) to Indiana University to the Metropolitan Opera National Company (her debut was as Susannah in The Marriage of Figarro) to London to star as Magnolia in the record-breaking revival of SHOW BOAT with  Dame Cleo Laine.

Ervin Drake, born Ervin Maurice Druckman (April 3, 1919) is an American songwriter whose works include such American Songbook standards as It Was a Very Good Year. He has written in a variety of styles and his work has been recorded by musicians from all over the world in a multitude of styles.

In 1983, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

All three of them have contributed so much to the world, especially to the world of cabaret. If you're reading this blog, you have probably experienced, in one way or another, the magic of these three, either as a member of an audience, or, if you are an entertainer, in the case of Doris Day and Ervin Drake, singing their songs. All three of these artists have a distinctive style that required a lot of soul-searching, risk-taking, creativity, and honesty.
 Lorna Dallas and Ervin Drake, I know personally, the other I have dreamed of meeting my entire life.
Doris Day moves me like no other singer. When I was a kid, Judy Garland was number one.
As I've gotten to know Doris, through song, she is tied with Judy Garland.

This past summer, I did a sit down interview with Jackie Joseph, a friend of Doris Day's, and a regular on the Doris Day Show, which I watched in the seventies. She, along with my friend Paul Brogan, are my one degree of separation.
When her third husband died, the box office queen reluctantly started doing The Doris Day Show on CBS. Critics panned the show, but the public still adored her.

Doris Day is a living legend.

She never really enjoyed being thought of as Miss Goody-Two Shoes.
 In addition to being a great singer, she was a true bona-fide movie star. During the sixties, due, in large part, to her pairings, not only with Rock Hudson, but some of the biggest male stars in Hollywood, she was the number one female box office star. You can see for yourself all day today.  Turner Classic Movies is devoting 24 hours to Doris Day.
Performing at an Ervin Drake tribute at The Iridium last year

She was also a fashion icon. She dressed so exquisitely that girls all over America desired to wear the kind of swishing skirts that were her trademark. 
If you have Sirius XM radio, tune to the Siriusly Sinatra program on Channel 71 this Saturday 12 Noon Eastern, 9am Pacific time.
Host Nancy Sinatra will have Doris Day as a guest in a RARE interview. Doris Day was a sparkling jazz singer.
I have been listening to Doris Day as I write my blog.
I have almost 500 Doris Day songs on my Ipod and it is on shuffle.
Her glorious voice has been wafting through my house all day.

Most singers, even highly successful ones, tend to sell for a year or two and then fade. Doris' sound is as relevant today as it was in her heyday. Last year, a CD of previously unreleased material was released and moved to the top of the music charts.
Doris Day with Debbie Reynolds (whose birthday was April 1st)
Doris' story is a story of inspiration. When she was thirteen, she was in a car hit by a train and for a while she expected to be cripled for life. In 1975, she joined forces with A.E. Hotchner, the author of Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir, to write her autobiography entitled Doris Day: Her Own Story. This book included candid interviews with her son, Terry Melcher; her mother, her friends, and many of the people she had worked with including Bob Hope, James Garner, and Jack Lemmon.

Last night, I watched Lady Gaga on David Letterman. 

It's obvious that she is bigger than life on stage. She has a great presence and as I watched her in performance at the soon to be shuttered Roseland, two thoughts ran through my mind.
Number one, would she be doing the same type of act in two years and number two, what has happened to the music industry?
That is not to take anything away from Lady Gaga's enormous talent. Watching what I could see of her last night was a huge lesson in concentration. The cameras were all over the place. It was hard to get the continuity or fluidity of what she was doing. The dancers didn't seem like dancers as much as well timed gymnastics. I'm reminded of what Gene Kelly once said. He said when you can no longer say what needs to be said, you sing it. When you can no longer sing it, you dance it. I don't see any rhyme or reason for most of the "background" dancers of today's performers, except to over stimulate the senses.

Monday Night, I watched Dancing With The Stars and cried through most of the show. The dancers were to reflect the "stars'" most important years in their lives. It was incredible to see the choreography to reflect that. Happy Birthday to all these great artists! I still hope to get that Doris Day interview some day!

HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY, DORIS DAY! Please celebrate this great DAY (pun fully intended) later this month, at 6pm on Sunday, April 27th, at BIRDLAND... Karen Oberlin will be with the amazing Tedd Firth and the killer Secret Love Septet... Along with special guests Sean Harkness and Eric Yves Garcia. Please join them and celebrate the 90th birthday of this amazing icon!

Thank you ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the FIRST Fifty years of  Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive celebration of Hello, Dolly!  If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!
If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


If it's true that men are such beasts, this must account for the fact that most women are animal lovers.
Doris Day


Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Doris Day ~~~~~ Do Do Do

                                                     Keeping Entertainment ALIVE!
                                                         Richard Skipper Celebrates



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