"The Rise of Rosemary"

Newsweek, November 19, 1951

Most rising young popular singers do their solo turn at the Paramount Theater in New York billed as the "Extra Added Attraction." Frankie Laine started that way, and so did Billy Eckstine and Patti Page.  selected few, however, wait until they are established enough to come on as star of the show, before they play the Paramount. That is what Rosemary Clooney did. She could have gone into the Paramount with less than top billing last winter after the success of her Columbia recording of "Beautiful Brown Eyes." But she chose to wait. Came "Come On-a My House," and last week Rosemary opened at the Paramount as the star of the show.

Waiting time for Rosemary has been relative, anyway. She is just 23 and has been working on a career as a solo vocalist only two years. For three years before her decision to go it alone, she and her younger sister Betty were singers with Tony Pastor's band. Since both girls were under 18 when they began with Pastor, a chaperon was called for. Uncle George Guilfoyle, their mother's brother, was drafted to tour with them and, says Rosemary, "a Victorian maiden aunt had nothing on him, he was that strict."

The Clooney sisters got their job with Pastor as a result of radio work over station WLW in Cincinnati. The girls were born in Maysville, Ky., where their grandfather was the perennial mayor, but moved with their family to Cincinnati when Rosemary was 13.

The blond singer made her first big impact on show business through her appearances during the summer of 1950 on the TV Songs for Sale program. At that time she made $150 a week. Just recently she and Jan Murray, the m.c. for Songs for Sale, had a significant reunion in Washington, when she appeared on the comedian's stage show for $3,500 a week. But the Clooney climax came last June with the release of the Saroyan "Come On-a My House," featuring Rosemary and Stan Freeman at the harpsichord (see cut).

Teen-agers and grownups are not the only ones to appreciate Rosemary's smooth, effortless, and unaffected delivery. Two releases last year, "Me and My Teddy Bear" and "Little Johnny Chickadee," turned out to be unexpected kiddie hits, and Columbia expects her newest, "Suzy Snowflake" backed by "Little Red Riding Hood's Christmas Tree," to head the tots' Christmas Hit Parade.