Variety Reviews
Rosemary's performances

Submitted by: ClueKnee Fan

Reviews from the 50's

Reviews from the 60s

Reviews from the 70s

Reviews from the 80s

Reviews from the 90s

Rosemary Clooney - Songs 18 mins.
Hippodrome, Baltimore - April 25, 1951

With a background of name-brand stints and video appearances, this good looking chirp has what it takes to hold her own in theatre and nitery dates. Nicely gowned and giving out with an aura of wholesome charm she punches out a good mixture of pops with ample voice and a good feel for the right phrasing. Smartly contrasted routine includes "From This Moment," "Be My Own," an elaborate "Lullaby of Broadway," One More Time," and for the enthusiastic response. Encores with her current disclicks, "Beautiful Brown Eyes" and Shot Gun Boogie."

Rosemary Clooney - Songs 40 mins.
Sands, Las Vegas - May 18, 1955

Smartly gowned in blue lace, covered with iridescent sequins, the star is a poiseful warbler and shows unmistakably the great distance she has travelled since the heyday of the Cooney Sisters with the Tony Pastor Orch. 'We're In the Money" and Cole Porter's "Delightful, De-Lovely" get the show on the road swiftly for the girl with the infectious grin. "Hey There!" "This Old House" "Make Me Feel So Young" and "Tenderly" are also boffo. Alone with the piano, helmed adroitly by her conductor, Buddy Cole, Miss Clooney delivers a touching "Danny Boy," and her three biggest hits: "Come On-A My house," "Botch-A-Me," and last summer's "Mambo Italiano." The ovation at the conclusion of her stint brings the headliner back to dedicate her final selection to her new baby son Brahms "Lullabye."

Rosemary Clooney (with Buddy Cole)
Riverside, Reno: Performance on June 21, 1958; Review in June 25, 1958 Variety

Rosemary Clooney -enceinte and lovely- is playing her Reno return to by-reservation-only audiences. And the personable three-times-a-mother draws full houses twice nightly in her limited nine-day engagement. Onstage for 35 minutes with a 13-title repertoire of both new and old, Miss Clooney (Mrs. Jose Ferrer) captures patrons with opener "Give It All You've Got" and holds positive support to final encore with a well received lullaby. She wins enthusiastic response with a smooth, convincing "Tenderly" and a three-title mélange of her record hits, including "Come On-A My House." Newer pops are "Surprise" and "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans." Duoing with Buddy Cole on "This Old House," both rate strong endorsement. Her "Summertime" offering done with only a pin spot, commands respectful silence. Throwing fun bits at her condition, she explains her sack dress is "not exactly an endorsement for the current styles" but with four babies in four years, "I'm getting used to it."

Sands, Las Vegas: Performance on July 2, 1958: reviewed in July 9, 1958 edition of Variety

Rosemary Clooney has been away from the strip too long -about three years- and it's nice that JackEntratter has lured her back. She appears onstage in a tent dress, explaining that she's not doing it to follow the current styles, but simply because she's pregnant. Miss Clooney's distinctive voice sounds better than ever as she effectively sells such numbers as "Give It All You've Got," "Tenderly," "I Miss New Orleans," "This Old House" (with her 88er Buddy Cole) "A Foggy Day" and "Come On-a My House." Her songs get masterful backing by the Antonio Morelli orch(17).

Harrah's Lake Tahoe, June 6, 1960 - Variety (6/15/60).

"The name of Rosemary Clooney is a potent lure for this plush nitery, and with this playback the toplined singer is again proving her worth. The catalog is basically the same (as expected and for good reason: it's proven). But enough new titles and lines are included to make it a new show, albeit the routine stays close to the types she scores best. Radiant and personable, Miss Clooney works the big room to perfection and has no problems with immediate aud rapport. She clicks with initial "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and takes complete control for full outing. With Buddy Cole handling and arranging the 88ing, and conducting from the keyboard, she essays such as "tenderly" and "Foggy Day," among others. Beg-off is "Mickey Mouse."

Waldorf-Astoria in NY, September 21, 1960:

"Premiering the new season of the Waldorf's Empire Room and her first time in this location, Rosemary Clooney delivered with authority, personality, and professional sleekness. Erring perhaps by not doing five minutes more -one or two numbers- she left'em hungry (usually a wise show biz credo) but her impact did warrant a little more generosity of repertoire. Entering in flowing cape, she kidded herself -"but you thought I'm pregnant again"- making reference to their five children ("oldest one is 5 years") and, from then on supports her opening song with a socke song-alog in the click Clooney manner. Pacing is good, shifting from rhythm to ballad to pop to standard to her traditional "Come On-A My House" and finalizing with "Mickey Mouse Song" a salute to her (and Jose Ferrer's) kindergarten quintet. If she lacks anything, it might be some special new song or a pop of completely new genre; However, she registers with her standards to the hilt. Good assist comes from Buddy Cole; special pianist-arranger-conductor ("on loan from Bing Crosby for these four weeks").

Dessert Inn, Las Vegas, April 4, 1961 - Variety (4/11/61):

"Rosemary Clooney is the kind of performer who initially projects warmth to her audience and continues to build a winning charm which is certain to capture the last remaining skeptics. She magnifies this quality in her debut here and bowed off to cheers from her opening night observers. Miss Clooney gets a tremendous assist from one of the best piano artists in the biz -Buddy Cole- who guides her songalog as pilot of the Carlton Hayes orch. Numbers include "Tenderly," "April in Paris," "This Old House," (which is shared vocally by Cole), " You Do Something to Me," "Magic is The Moonlight," "Bye-Bye Blackbird," "Get Me To the Church On Time," "Bess," "Whoopee," and her big novelty click "Come On-A My House."

Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, January 30, 1962 - Variety (2/7/62):

" Rosemary Clooney, after a year and a half hiatus, is back on the Tahoe Harrah's scene with a pleasing songalog of both old an new -and she's again proving her name on the marquee means good business for this mile-high 700 seater. Exquisitely gowned and coiffed, she opens with " Clap Hands, Here Comes Rosie," then holds the stage for more than half an hour of impressive vocalizing covering tempo ranging from "tenderly" to "Botch-A-Me." It's a varied catalog to please all tastes and Miss Clooney handles it to perfection. With Buddy Cole conducting from the keyboard, Miss Clooney essays the likes of "Sleepy Time Gal" (done with a sailor straw-hat, the only prop used in the entire turn), "Show Me" and a medley of titles identified with Bing Crosby, her radio show partner. Two new tunes included in this turn are "Gonna Give Myself a Party" and "How Will I remember," with credits for the latter going to Walter Gross, who scripted "Tenderly." Despite a hint of "Tahoe-itis" (on night caught) from this high altitude and the rarified ozone, Miss Clooney proved she knows her way around on both the up tempo and the ballad. She includes just enough chatter to showcase the personality and win tablers with bits of personal items re her five youngsters. Exit title, as in the last Tahoe date, is "Mickey Mouse," as suggested by her children by vote."

Copacabana, NY, April 11, 1962, with Bob Thompson:

"Rosemary Clooney, a staple of the singing field, peculiarly enough until now has never played the Jules Podell flagship, long regarded as one of the important display dates for singers. She has made up for this, of course, by bookings at the Waldorf-Astoria, plus a string of disk hits some years ago which established her reputation. Miss Clooney still excels in many fields of vocal endeavor. One of her major assets is her flawless diction. Every word she utters is understood, even onto the far reaches of the Burma Road sections of the room. Of course, the how-now-brown-cow attributes are projected by a clear set of pipes. Technically, she's well in command and easily infuses warmth and feeling to her efforts. Miss Clooney purveys a series of tunes that have seen service for many years including recounting of her days as a hit-disk singer. She makes it an enjoyable session. There are times when she tends to use the w.k. woman's prerogative and talk too much, far beyond what is necessary to rest her pipes. But overall, she makes an extremely likeable impression, and at her late evening premiere night got vocal acclaim after a 45-minute wing."

Cave, Vancover British Columbia, August 15, 1962, with Buddy Cole - Variety (8/22/62):

"Rosemary Clooney remains one of the top thrushes extant today and the secret of her perennial freshness seems to lie in the warmth and sincerity with which she trademarks her songs and patter. In this, her first Northwest appearance, it's like meeting an old friend after a long absence. Technically, Miss Clooney is still a singer's singer. Her clear enunciation is a treat to the ear and the strong feeling she has for the tunes she sings is pleasingly piped in the distinctive Clooney tones. With Buddy Cole conducting the Chris Gage orch (15) from his vantage keyboard, Miss Clooney's in fine fettle from the opening "Everything's Coming Up Roses" to her begoff "Mickey Mouse" song and story. In between, she reprises her all-time hits ("Botch-a-Me," "Mambo Italiano," "Come On A My House",) scores with "There's Nothing Like A Dame," does a strawhat production number, "Sleepy Time Gal," and winds with a medley of Bing Crosby favorites. Cole's fine piano is a big asset throughout. His backing on Miss Clooney's "Tenderly" and "Why Shouldn't I Take a Chance" is marked with taste and artistry. He also shows a versatile and humorous side by handily duetting with her on "Now You Have Jazz" a la Louis Armstrong."

Diplomat, Florida: Performance on January 31, 1964, reviewed in Variety Feb 5, 1964

Prexy-booker Irv Cowan started his annual run of name bookings this week - an impressive lineup with such acts as Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Buddy Hackett, Edyie Gorme, the MacRaes, et al. For his kickoff 10-day slot Rosemary Clooney makes for a solid entry. This is a return date for the thrush from Kentucky and the songbook she brings is a bestseller collection that scores. The warm, bubbling personality adds impact to her potpourri of gay lilts, torchants, upbeats and standards. A wily performer, Miss Clooney grabs and holds attention with a rundown of currents, reprises of her recording clicks, a sock medley from "Porgy & Bess" and a shrewdly devised closer. Latter is a blownup photo-folder device rolled on stage to display her brood of youngsters. It's a highly effective sequence, which she backs with light chatter and lyrics dedicated to the moppets including tongue-in-cheek "Mickey Mouse."

Cave, Vancouver, British Columbia, July 6, 1964 - Variety (7/15/64):

"Rosemary Clooney has been keeping her nitery appearances to a minimum this season while she concentrated on tv guest shots and record making that didn't take her too far away from her five children. This return Vancouver engagement is one of the few club dates that she's accepted in ' 64. As warm and personable as ever, Miss Clooney brings a genuine climate of friendliness with her. She tops a bill that is as solid family entertainment as you can get these days. Miss Clooney's songbook comprises a generous helping of the kind of tunes she's been associated with throughout her career, included are a few of her alltime bestsellers, new and old standards, both up and down beat entries, and a sock kidwaving closer that is backdropped by huge blowups of her five youngsters. Top selections are a tasty Gershwin medley from "Porgy & Bess,"a swinging "Ball Is Over," and a mellow, moody "I'll Go My Way." Miss Clooney's easy chatter and light humor are a big plus and her outgoing warmth is highly contagious. Pianist-conductor Paul Moore does a fine job from his 88 podium while drummer Roy Roten provides a steady and solid beat from his percussion post. The big orchestrations are beautifully cut by Fraser Macpherson and his house orch."

Chateau Madrid:Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: December 21, 1966

"Rosemary Clooney proved less than satisfying in more than one aspect on second set opening nite at Chateau Madrid, where cover has been upped a buck and band expanded to 15. Singer was not in particularly good voice or in best of moods, often sounding weak and cracking on ballads and upbraiding drummer onstage for tempo differences on one tune and publicly chastising light man for following her off-stage on first bow-off a few moments later. Miss Clooney, whose sister Betty was ringsiding, has big, powerful charts which all but make admission tab worth it for concert but tend to overwhelm her a good time of the time. She does long Billie Holiday medley which plays up and down, with little consistency. Medleys are well written, but pipes, either under strain from rehearsal and two sets, were below material. Audience was miniscule on second show with shoppers still out and tourists waiting in wings. Joel Herron batons Miss Clooney's set."

Westside Room, LA. -Performance on January 26, 1967 and review appeared in February 1, 1967 edition of "Variety"

Hard to believe that Rosemary Clooney has never played here as a single in a supper club. But 'tis true, she said at her Westside Room preem. Her home is so close "I could phone it in." That, she didn't. Solid arrangements and special material, plus the perfectly poised Miss Clooney, add up to strong biz potential over next three frames at the Century Plaza venue. Chirp's 45 minute songalog runs the gamut from torch to satire, including an excellent medley of Billie Holiday tunes, a group of songs popularized by Bing Crosby, a brief recap of two early record hits ("recorded in 1874" she cracked), and the gag closer, "Batman." The talented Billy Barnes and Earl Brown created some outstanding material including an updated "Who Is"- satire on the demi-names of contemporary tv and pix, as opposed to the genuine greats of showbiz. Barnes' "Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair?" was particularly well received. Miss Clooney radiated an infectious warmth in her versatile vocalizing and is command throughout. She strikes the right balance between formality and relaxation. Pianist-conductor Paul Moer did many of the sock arrangements - including a terif "I Cried For You" - while Bob Thompson and Billy May are credited with others. Frankie Ortega's house band was augmented by one sax for Miss Clooney's turn, and Jim Plank sat in on drums to give her solid support. Miss Clooney closes Feb 12 with Julie London taking over for the next three weeks starting Feb 14.

Waldorf-Astoria, N.Y , April 5, 1967:

Rosemary Clooney (Jack Elton, pianist-conductor; James Plank, percussionist).

"Rosemary Clooney is making her second wave in town within about a sixmonth of her first -at the Americana Royal Box westsider last September and now this 'opposition' eastside Waldorf date for three weeks in the Empire Room which she last brightened back in 1960. Some technical changes have been made since last fall (and not necessarily to the good). But she is status quo where it counts most, as a top nightingale who, if she doesn't come by her personality naturally, has surely worked over-time over the years to develop the extra-added facade that is at once ingratiating and forthright. The two basic ingredients of song and self are by now strongly built-in, to emerge as a dual special delivery in the dept. of virtuosity that all performers pray for and few reach. Suffice to say that with less of that personal magnetism, plus the attractiveness with which she is endowed, she would still be in there bidding for one of the top rungs on the thrushing ladder. To get the nitpicking over and done with: Her last time out in these parts, the traveling musical director was Paul Moer, who's still one of her four arrangers (others are Bob Thompson, Nelson Riddle, Dick Grove). Her batonist now is Jack Elton, who directs the charts from the piano. He is a polished and expert operator, but on some numbers there was a tendency to over-power the singer; and with the Empire's improvised platform, to give that closer up setting for the star, such numbers can be somewhat overwhelming on the decibels. These songbacking assaults on the ears were at a minimum, to be sure, but for a LA Clooney there needn't be any. Period. Otherwise, it's a typical and fastidious and "clean" Clooney excursion into songs as should be sung, with now and then same exploits into special arrangements befitting her style, temperament and range. She sets up the mood desired for the ballad offerings, goes charmer on the lighter forays, gets the house in a hush with a Billie Holiday farrago, and serves up a couple of pastiches, particularly in a lampoon on 'Hello Dolly' and one called ' Who Is,' on contemporary television stars who would be bums or just plain Joes in any other form of show biz. Her 'Sleepy Time Gal' is interesting for the arrangement and interpolations, but otherwise more of a throw-in that it should be for that evergreen. Through it all runs an engaging patter, a sense of humor, and a self-effacement that add to her batting average. As per her usual routine in these latterday times, she bows off with a thunderous 'Batman' theme that sends her to the exit with a top score. The blonde's grooming is about as smart as there is around -an Edith Head number that is a visual delight, whatever the sex of the beholder. Finally, Miss Cooney makes sure to speak out on the credits -to accompanist Elton, her drummer (James Plank), and special materialists Billy Barnes and Earl Brown, plus the belting 'Big Beautiful Ball' number by Johnny Mercer and Johnny Williams. Charles Turecamo's musickers back the star via Elton's direction."

Harold's Club in Reno, July 2, 1968 - Variety (July 10, 1968)

"Rosemary Clooney, a regular on the Reno-Tahoe nitery circuit since the early 60's, labels this Harold's skein as the finale to her saloon career. She told preem house she's decided to stay off the road to devote more time to her five springs. Unfortunately, the opening show for this last go-around was not one of her best. Entering from the rear of the room, she was forced to wait stageside (before closed curtain) until orch was set up; mikes and lights gave her problems (with attendant notations voiced; her drummer lagged the beat; and her tones were faulted by obvious throat problem, although it wasn't mentioned. Despite the erring genesis, singer documented her promanship with tunefest encompassing titles synonymous with her name ('Come On-A My House') and the newer things ( 'One Less Bell To Answer' and 'Eleanor Rigby' ). Also charted ' Tenderly', 'Beautiful Brown Eyes', 'God Bless The Child', and a "?" mélange. The many technical difficulties spread throughout the 50 minutes prevented Miss Clooney from sustained hold on audience with "?". Insufficient rehearsal by the "?" was also evident in the instrumental "?".

In sum; first show was disappointing to those who know Miss Clooney as the consummate performer."

Interview on July 9, 1968 - Variety (July 10, 1968):

"No Time To Be A Mom & A Fulltime Performer So Rosemary Clooney Quits"

"Rosemary Clooney, using her preem show at Harrah's to proffer the word, told a surprised audience she'll write "?" to her nitery career with final curtain on July 25 of her current stand in the Fun Room. Her reason 'I do not have enough time to be a mother and a fulltime performer.' Singer said she couldn't 'put in simple words' the motive leading to the decision but strongly implied the separation from her five children while on the road is a major factor. She qualified she would be available for vidguestings in Los Angeles and New York but only in children are with her. Miss Clooney explained Harold's was her last nitery commitment, ergo the announcement at this time. A performer for last 22 years, the songstress has played Reno-Tahoe niteries (Golden Hotel, Harrah's, Harold's) for the last decade. She and Jose Ferrer (they were married July 13, 1954; divorced last year) are the parents of five children aged 8 to 13. Singer said her retirement does not preclude recording sessions (she's currently recording for Dot) or guesting on vidshows. She and children make their home in Beverly Hills."

Bing Crosby & Friends- March 24, 1976: Pavilion, LA

Bing Crosby made his "concert debut" at the Music Center last Wednesday (17) in an entertaining tv-styled variety show that saw the smooth singer play host to a number of family and friends. It was a loosely-constructed, almost informal night with a major emphasis on nostalgia and no one attempting to really cut any new ground. As such, a jammed house could feel comfortably ecstatic in their reminiscences. Crosby, clearly, could do no wrong -and, in fact, did much right- as he sang his signature tunes in his usual, casual style and soothing voice, being surprisingly honest and unpretentious in sharing his thoughts and attitudes. While the audience was ready to have with him and his songs, Crosby was too concerned most of the evening with remembering lyrics and arrangements, constricting himself far too much from a concert situation. Perhaps, with more experience at running his own concert show, the quirks could work themselves out; on the other hand, Crosby may be diving into territory not totally suitable for the style of his considerable abilities. There were moments in which he shined -usually his most at-ease moments, such as the closing "That's What Life Is All About," when the pressure of the night was off of him and he could just put his hands in his pockets and emote at his best, or his Act I closing "Send In The Clowns," a subdued and affecting interpretation. On the other hand, Crosby got himself trapped into a 27 minute; 32 -song medley that was too much for both him and the audience to handle. Supporting Crosby were many sidekicks -Rosemary Clooney, Rich Little, wife Kathryn, son Harry, daughter Mary Francis, Joe Bushkin, Herb Ellis and Nelson Riddle. Clooney handled a short, well-done set back by ever-helpful excellent arrangements from Riddle and the orchestra. There was the expected duet with Crosby, with "Slow Boat To China" the vehicle. Rich Little turned in an outstanding few minutes with his powerful impressions. Joe Bushkin added much spark to the evening guiding a trio that included Herb Ellis. Nelson Riddle did a commendable job of keeping the music together. Crosby hasn't indicated whether he's planning on taking his family on tour with him. Crosby admitted little rehearsal time was involved in this segment's preparation, and it showed. Paul Werth created and directed the evening, which would have been the better without quite so much gimmickry (the opening radio transcripts and subsequent films ran too long). Now that the idea has been established, Werth needs to figure out how to make it work better.

"Der Bingle Still The Old Master In 'Prem' At London Palladium" - June 24, 1976

Robert Paterson presentation starring Bing Crosby; features Rosemary Clooney, Kathryn Crosby, Harry Crosby III, Mary Francis Crosby, Nathaniel Crosby, Ted Rogers, Joe Bushkin Quartet; Pete Moore Orch; executive producer, Harold French; produced by Bob Sydney; British staging by Norman Maen; sound and lighting, Theatre Projects. Opened June 21, 1976. $ 8.85 top.

Bing Crosby's 13-concert season for charity at the London Palladium potentially will gross and estimated $ 100,000 at $ 8.85 top, the scale being kept deliberately low as a gesture to British fans. Early demand for tickets brought out the scalpers and the season portends boffo attendance despite torrid weather. This Crosby engagement -his first at the Palladium- celebrated his 50th year in showbiz and he will follow the London bow with two concerts in Ireland and two in Scotland, all for promoter Robert Paterson. On opening night (21) the vet turned in a superlative performance and one perhaps not expected from a performer of his years. Though he looked frail, even tottery at times, the power and warmth of his voice is remarkably preserved, his charisma still intact, his wit still keen and his sense of showbiz paramount. Crosby was on stage - and on his feet, yet - for a good deal of the three hour initialer. He managed, moreover, to finish in a sprint noticeably stronger than his start. The Crosby show majors in sentimentality, but cleverly so, stopping short of goo, gush or schmaltz. He introduced his family who went through some musical romps while wife Kathryn showed a real talent for dancing. Crosby's nostalgic repertory was spiked with a handful of new songs, indicating an awareness of what gives these days, though the crowd stood after his reprise in singalong style some 30 or so standards from the '20s, '30s and '40s. Even in abbreviated form "Just One More Chance," "Dinah," "Pennies From Heaven," "I'll Be Seeing You," "Moonlight Becomes You," "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams," "Blue Skies," "Temptation," et al, emerged remarkably fresh, as a consequence of Crosby's simple, empathetic style. With Crosby the lyric comes into its own. Supporting was Rosemary Clooney who was in first-rate form, sellings with panache. She showed, too, the power of simplicity when the lyrics stand up and a good arranger is part of the act. Local comedian Ted Rogers, a regular these days on the bigtime concert scene, worked through a torrent of topical gags for big laughs and duetted with Crosby on "Gone Fishin' " for beaucoup applause. Joe Bushkin Quartet swell well in accompaniment to Crosby's songalong while the Pete Moore orch coped well with the topnotch arrangements during the rest. Show was well balanced, perfectly paced, expertly interlinked and a satisfyingly complete presentation.

Bing Crosby On Broadway - December 15, 1976 edition of Variety

Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Ted Rogers, Joey Bushkin Quartet, Kathryn Crosby, Harry Lillis Crosby Jr., Nathaniel Crosby, Mary Francis Crosby, Billy Byers Orch; stage and directed by Robert Sidney; presented by Robert Paterson at $ 20 top. Opened Dec. 6, 1976 at URIS THEATRE, N.Y.

Bing Crosby's return to Broadway for the first time since his appearance at the Paramount Theatre more than 30 years ago, provides another demonstration of the Old Groaner's skill at song. He has brought in an elaborate show to accompany him on his reentry on the Stem and he is working gratis in order to provide maximum returns to several designated charities. First week's gross hit a fine $ 131,600. Crosby enhances his stature as a national monument. He still has that rich voice, the amiable personality and distinctive style that has made him a major factor in the musical world since radio days. Crosby and the Joey Bushkin Quartet make the show a memorable event. Together, they retrace a rich vein of Tin Pan Alley. Crosby goes on a musical binge lasting about 40 minutes at the conclusion of which the audience was on its feet. Bushkin, who opened the second half, also scored on his own. His kind of music is imaginative, jazzy and extremely bright. With a background of bass, guitar and drum, Bushkin's piano and occasional trumpet work provide a potent moment of entertainment. The first half, despite Bing's occasional tunes and duetting with other principals, was somewhat slow and unrewarding. Rosemary Clooney with her son Miguelito Jose Ferrer at the drums, sings well, but her remembered old excitement didn't project at the Uris Theatre. British comic Ted Rogers came to life only a few minutes before his close with political jokes. Billy Byers conducts the huge stage orchestra effectively. As for the others -Bing Crosby has a nice family.

Bing Crosby Show - (PALLADIUM, LONDON) - London, September 27, 1977; Review in Oct 5, 1977 edition of Variety

Louis Benjamin by arrangement with Harold Davison presentation starring Bing Crosby with Rosemary Clooney, Kathryn Crosby, Harry Crosby 3d, Ted Rogers, the Joe Bushkin Quartet and the London Palladium Orchestra. Produced and directed by Robert Sidney. Opened September 26, 1977 at the Palladium, London; $13 top.

Undoubted highlight of this two and a half hour show, in for two weeks at this vaude flagship, is a stint when Bing Crosby and the Joe Bushkin Quartet glide smoothly through a medley of chestnuts including "White Christmas" and an upbeat arrangement of "Old Man River." Crooner always looked relaxed and confident whether gagging with the capacity audience, duetting with wife Kathryn or son Harry or singing along with Rosemary Clooney. Latter was also in fine form during a solo spot when she warbled past pops such as "Come On-a My House" and "Tea for Two." Audience was predominantly middleaged to elderly and much of Crosby's show was designed to take advantage of the singer's tremendous nostalgia appeal. Harry Crosby showed a certain instrumental accomplishment on both the acoustic guitar and piano and comedian Ted Rogers provided his own brand of amusing if sometimes scathing, topical jokes.

4 Girls 4 - June 28, 1978
Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

When a void is in evidence during an evening of nostalgia with four such sturdy veterans as Margaret Whiting, Rosemary Clooney, Rose Marie and Helen O'Connell, the emptiness becomes embarrassing. "4 Girls 4" has been around many months. It has been critically applauded, and it remains as shining an evening of vintage entertainment as one might find. Fewer than 5,000 came to celebrate the kind of showmanship the swing generation extols, and showmanship is an apt word for what happened on the stage. It was mostly the same show seen in the Huntington-Hartford and other settings around Los Angeles. Whiting opened with tunes like "As Time Goes By" and "This Is The Army, Mr. Jones" and "It Might As Well Be Spring." Clooney thrushed "Come-On-A-My House" and "I Cried For You." O'Connell was different -Barbara McNair's replacement- but "Tangerine" touched memories. It was, for all of them, not just a series of fine old tunes, but a buoyant

exhibition of instant shifts in pace and contrasts in style, spiked with exhilarating wit and pithy confidences. With none of them was the emphasis on the theatrical more striking than with Rose Marie. The hot voice of earlier days has faded. She doesn't do romantic ballads any more, nor the growly jazz she did for incredulous radio audiences as Baby Rose Marie, belting when she was scarcely out of her rompers. When she's singing now, she clowns, and when she's not singing, she clowns, too. Clooney wisely sticks to like treatments, and it works.They're all pros. They know how to put on a show. And the old fans ought to come out or quit arguing with the kids about the days that are no more.

Fairmont, San Francisco - Performance on August 12, 1978; Variety review in August 16, 1978 edition
4 Girls 4: Margaret Whiting, Rosemary Clooney, Rose Marie, Helen O'Connell; $ 15 cover.

From every viewpoint, this has been a boffo booking for the Fairmont. "4 Girls 4", unpredictably, yielded the biggest gross of '78 in the Venetian Room, gallons of favorable ink and, artistically, a hybrid act with estimable quality, not to mention money's worth length. This quartet set ran an hour and 50 minutes and left the sold-out dinner show crowd wanting more, especially more of all the ladies singing together. Each does about 25 minutes of solo stuff, then all come on to pipe "Together" as a finale. This number, and its interspersed patter, is the best of the show, leading one to believe that the ladies would be wise to trim their individual stints and lengthen their joint joy. The act bowed a year ago. Helen O'Connell stepped in in December to replace Barbara McNair. In this format, Margaret Whiting opens with a nostalgic tour de force (WW II hits, a novelty song medley), and Rose Marie bats third with her monolog and a couple of songs. O'Connell and Rosemary Clooney alternate in the second and fourth spots. All know how to work a house and glean the most from their mature pipes. They're immensely solid pros.

Sahara, Las Vegas, October 13, 1980 - Variety (October 22, 1980):

Don Rickles, Rosemary Clooney, Jack Eglash Orch at the Sahara, Las Vegas

"One of the positive ancillary benefits of a Don Rickles outing is a supporting act that perhaps does not feel the warm spotlight of the mainroom too often. In this instance, it is Rosemary Clooney, who has been touring with three ladies in 'Four Girls Four,' coming on with her amiable manner to pacify audiences before Rickles decimates them. It is good news to report that Clooney has recovered completely from some years of vocal instability brought about by personal problems. She once more puts forth a similar vocaressing noted in the early '50's when she descended upon Las Vegas for the first time at the Thunderbird. Clooney is, with all her warm ambience, a no-nonsense singer with precise diction. Her range hovers around the alto staves and her numbers run from a special lyrical intro to 'Rosie's Back' to Leon Russell's 'A song for You,' with comforting waystops 'Tenderly' and 'Come in From the Rain,' both ballads sung with unusual sweetness. The Clooney golden-oldie medley hit well, but the audience really comes up as she delivers an update on her big hit 'Come Ona My House.' Her talk between tunes is measured equitably, larding still more graciousness in a total altruistic 26 minutes, She is benefited immeasurably by her pianist-conductor Frank Ortega and drummer Jerry White with the expert Jack Eglash Orch."

The New 4 Girls (4) - March 3, 1982
(Ft. Lauderdale, FLA.)

Kay Starr and Martha Raye have replaced Rose Marie and Margaret Whiting in the long running tour package formerly tagged "Four Girls Four," which recently played the Parker Playhouse here. Now dubbed "The New Four Girls," the quartet performs music with a wide appeal. Holdovers from the original package are Helen O'Connell and Rosemary Cooney. Each of the gals takes a solo turn, with many of their own tunes supplemented by material with new charts via bandleader Frank Ortega. The quintet is the basic "4 Girls" package with musicians (13 in this case) picked up in each burg on the map. A fair degree of the show's impact hinges on the instrumentalists, and a number of swing-era vets in the south Florida region give the program smart backing. Both the old act and the new package (which bowed last month) have auditorium and concert hall legs. "The New 4 Girls" was on a legit run at the Parker Playhouse through Feb.28 and beginning tonight (Tues.), will be at Palm Beach's Royal Poinciana Playhouse for a fortnight. It seems ripe for subscription audiences. Both Starr and Clooney, who bookend the evening, mix generous doses of their standards with more contemporary material. It's all highly individual, capable of enthusing both old and young audiences, if upfront ad-pub can get the under-40 set in the house in the first place. It's worth a try. O'Connell takes the second slot, wrapping the first half with a delicate set highlighted by a personalized reading of "Don't Cry Out Loud." Arriving behind Miss Starr's energetic personality, O'Connell's downbeat segment suffers because of the music's comparative frailty and her less-than bombastic patter. Predictably enough, Miss Raye's segment is the showoff set. Unlike the others, there are no attempts to update the image. None appears to be necessary, since the old routines still work. On the night reviewed, the comedienne drew the evening's only standing ovation. Clooney finishes the program with an often plaintive, classy set highlighted by a medley of her chart-toppers and a haunting "Come In From The Rain." Each set runs about 25 minutes, allowing the girls to present a strong array of material. The show closes with the ensemble on a quick run-through of "Together." The show as a whole is striking for its musicality. Starr, O'Connell, and Clooney prove again they're first-rate song stylists -something that can't be said for even some of the hottest contemporary vocalists-.

Harrah's Reno, July 7, 1983 - Variety (July 13, 1983):

Harrah's Reno: Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, John Carleton Orch

"It should be a wonderful evening of music, almost too much to be believed, a teaming of the best at their craft, both with long histories of superior song interpretation. But Bennett this time has let mannerism replace style. Perhaps he's been at this list of tunes too long.

There is buoyancy, of course, moments when Bennett is what he usually is - excellent; but generally, the superior arrangements and top notch orchestra guided by Ralph Sharon ( whose playing is delicate and sensitive solo backing often) don't make up for the fact Bennett's walking through it. Transitions from chest to head tones are often grating, long notes are forced. Bennett just seems anxious to get through it all, although audience response is polite. 'Bing Crosby's favorite singer,' as she's introduced by Bennett, comes off better, not because her songs or arrangements or voice is better, but simply because Rosemary Clooney is feeling her music and lyrics and communicating them. Such a basic thing, but amazing how even the most veteran need to be reminded of it occasionally. Clooney, with Frank Ortega at the helm, dispenses with 'Come Ona My House' right off, then 'Tenderly,' to get to 'The Way We Were,' sung with ever ounce of feeling to a series of memory slides not just of Clooney's career but of American history for the span of it. It's moving. A medley of tunes by the next-door neighbor Ira Gershwin is stunning."

Park 10, N.Y. - May 15, 1985
Rosemary Clooney & Orch; $ 25 cover

Rosemary Clooney retains many of the attributes of her days of glory when she was a regular at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria and similar venues. In those days, she burst upon the public with such disk clicks as "Come On-A-My House," which served to introduce her in a major way. However, there are many other facets of her art that could have been her calling card. Clooney, for example, has probably the best diction in the singing field. Clarity and mood are her distinguishing features at this recital at Park 10. She is a singer of class, who hews to traditionally fine craftsmanship and taste. With growing maturity, her phrasing has changed somewhat to one in keeping with her physical shifts. This adds to her variety and charm. Her recital at show caught was a specially staged event for Mother's Day. She seemed at home with all the parents in the audience, a comparatively different group for niteries. Like her own, many of the children of those in the audience have fled the nest. There seemed to be special appeal for those parents, as well as for the younger set who took their mothers to this event -they were as enthusiastic. Clooney is a viable performer in whatever media she selects, including commercials. What's more, business for her engagement is healthy.

Rainbow & Stars, N.Y. - February 15, 1989
$ 35 minimum

A low-key Rosemary Clooney, her voice huskier and less robust than it was but her phrasing as miraculous as ever, holds her audience rapt with songs from her glory years of the 1950s, and earlier. That she keeps her glasses on throughout says something about the way she is presenting herself now. Her gray hair is undyed and her dress, however twinkling with sequins, does little to conceal her ample girth. The glamor she is selling is nostalgia - and the delight a polished performance gives. There is still sweetness in her voice -which at its best has the consistency of coconut milk- but it's her delivery that counts. Not a word is lost, even of the intricate lyrics of "G.I. Jive." If there were any ex-dogfaces in the audience from World War II, they got full measure. Her most daring approach is to sing George and Ira Gershwin's zesty "Strike Up The Band" to a slow mournful beat, so the at he words " fall in line,yea bo" take on ominous overtones. The song usually is delivered with Merman-esque fervor, while Clooney's interpretation reminds that the 1927 musical was an anti-war satire. Her talk is brief and to the point. Before she sings "Guys and Dolls," for example, she mentioned she had auditioned for the show for Frank Loesser who told her she sound virginal when she spoke but not when she sang. Loesser was on to something about her down to earth quality -notably present in her rendition of "Come On-A-My House," the Ross Bagdasarian and William Saroyan tune that has stamped her for life. It's an example, she says, of an Irish-American singing an Armenian song with an Italian accent. The 5-piece band backing Clooney is top-notch, particularly Ken Peoplowski on tenor sax/clarinet. When there is a pause in her singing she often turns away from the audience to give the audience the spotlight they deserve.

New York Rainbow & Stars (90 seats);
Jan. 30 - Feb. 24, 1990; $ 35 cover.
Performance January 30, 1990; appeared February 7, 1990

Rosemary Clooney eased her audience through almost three decades opening night, simultaneously giving a postgraduate seminar in how to perform in a night club. Despite minor first-night glitches and a touch of New York nerves, the 61-year old artist showed that a voice may grow less potent with age but a talented performer manages to hone skills that made her a hit. Backed during her hour by a half-dozen talented musicians, including Warren Vache on cornet, Clooney handled songs from some if the best tunesmiths,and maintained a line of patter that was almost entertaining. About the only song she gave the short shrift was her initial smash "Come On-A My House." She hit notes hit perfectly, and one could hear every word, including some modifications of the lyrics. She gave the backup team many chances to shine on some marvelous charts. Opening night business was solid, with a second show line forming even before the first show broke.

NEW YORK Carnegie Hall (2,804 seats); $ 40 top, Promoted by Carnegie Hall.
Reviewed Oct. 12, 1991

Culling material from her 40-odd-year career, Rosemary Clooney showed a Carnegie Hall audience why she's still one of the top interpreters of American standards. Show featured guest arrangers-conductors Johnny Mandel, Peter Matz, John Oddo and the late Nelson Riddle's son Christopher. Linda Ronstadt also made a special guest appearance. Both the orchestra and instrumental selections -particularly the Riddle medley of arrangements made famous by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole- were solid. Clooney opened with an uptempo version of her signature tune, "Come On-A My House," then moved into a lush reading of "Tenderly." Her skilled handling of both the uptempo swing-styled numbers and slower tunes was most evident during arranger Matz's segment. Moving from an elegant " Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" to a jazzy "From This Moment On," the singer's dexterity was an equal match for Matz's pace-shifting arrangements. Ronstadt appeared, appropriately enough, during the Riddle segment, giving assured, pure-voiced renditions of "It Never Entered My Mind" and "Lush Life." She also joined Clooney for a "Shine On, Harvest Moon" pairing.