The Rosemary Clooney Show:
Songs from the Classic Television Series
This previously-unreleased collection of gemsrecorded and originally broadcast on Rosemary Clooneys classic 1950s television series, The Rosemary Clooney Showspotlights everyones favorite girl singer in engaging and enduring performances of a bountiful bevy of timeless songs. Featuring beautifully crafted arrangements by inimitable Nelson Riddle, the swinging Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and guest appearances by The Hi-Lo's, Rosemary is heard in top form, in the ideal settings. As heard on the PBS television special Girl Singer (which begins airring in March on local PBS stations), Concord Records is proud to present these vintage Rosemary Clooney performances, for the first time on CD. Release Date 3/23/04
Chicago, That Toddlin' Town
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As a television show it now looks a bit archaic and corny. As a collection of musical performances, it is stunning and timeless.
The estate of Rosemary Clooney is giving fans a true musical treasure with a new PBS documentary, "Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer." It is full of vintage musical performances all from "The Rosemary Clooney Show," a prime-time syndicated TV show that aired in 1956-'57.
In between the songs there are heartfelt and, at times, tearful remembrances of Rosemary from all five of her children, plus brother Nick and nephew George.
"We wanted to have a proper memorial on tape. This is the beginning of it," said Allen Sviridoff, Clooney's longtime manager and executive producer of the documentary.
The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on Kentucky Educational Television (KET, Channel 54) and March 11 at 8 p.m. on CET (Channel 48; repeating 10 p.m. March 12).
The Thursday CET airing will be part of a fund drive with Nick Clooney hosting live.
Those looking for an objective, comprehensive biography of Rosemary Clooney won't find it in this hour-long piece. Instead, viewers get a personal memorial and musical showcase of the Maysville, Ky., native who died in 2002. Her family shares their most private memories of Rosemary, as if viewers were seeing a family photo album open up.
But, mostly, Rosemary does the talking; or in this case, the singing. This is all about the music as viewers see in their entirety, 18 songs she performed on the old TV show. It is the first time since the programs originally aired that extensive clips from them have been seen.
The 32 episodes she made were not exactly lost, but they had been collecting dust in MCA vaults. Sviridoff said, even 10 years before her death, Rosemary had talked about doing something with the music from the TV show. But corporate machinations over releasing the material got too complicated. After Clooney's death, Sviridoff immediately seized on the old TV shows as the centerpiece for a Rosemary biography.
What viewers get is a 30-year-old Rosemary Clooney at the top of her vocal game with exquisite arrangements done for the TV show by Nelson Riddle and performed by his orchestra.
"She was absolutely riding high as the Madonna of the '50s," Sviridoff said about the timing of the TV show. "This is '56, where she had a multi-platinum record with 'Hey There.' She had just made 'White Christmas.' She was recording constantly. She had a radio and television show and she was pregnant with her second child and married happily to Jose Ferrer. This is a woman having a great life."
The sound quality from the old clips is stunning, because it was one of the first TV shows ever recorded on 35 mm film. Each week Clooney and Nelson Riddle would hit the recording studio to lay down the songs for the show. Then Clooney would lip-sync them for the cameras. And that's another talent Rosemary had.
"She blew the editor's mind," Sviridoff said and chuckled. "When he was working on this (documentary) he called me and said, 'She's not lip-syncing. I cannot find a mistake in here. Her mouth is perfectly in time.' The amazing part is, today you watch the monitor, you sing, then you go fix parts. But this was all shot on 35 mm film, so there were no monitors. And maybe just a couple takes."
In the piece, the family talks about Rosemary's renowned personable style, her ability to make a song her own. Nick quotes Frank Sinatra as saying, "Rosemary could hit a note smack dab in the middle of it."
Her almost mystical ability to connect with audiences comes through in the TV performances even as the admittedly hokey production of the time finds Rosemary on a sparse set singing "Hey There" as she makes a floral arrangement. Even in the impersonal TV medium you get a sense she is singing just to you.
The songs are classic Rosemary, including plenty of Gershwin and Cole Porter. Her family tells great stories about how she hated "Come on-a My House," as they set up her performance of her breakthrough hit.
In the piece, George Clooney comments that he wishes his friends could have seen his aunt perform when it was just her and an audience, such as at her famed performances at Rockefeller Center's Rainbow and Stars room. "When she got up in front of people, with just her and a microphone, something magical happened," he said about her amazing ease and natural repartee with an audience.
There are such performances preserved on tape and fans will likely see them in similar future documentaries.
"The whole intent is to do a follow-up," Sviridoff said. "There is a whole lot more to say, but we wanted to start the audience with what really got her started and what she was doing at the height of her career."
During a career that spanned six decades, she mesmerized audiences with her warmth, depth of feeling, honesty and unsurpassed craft. It was that artistry, expressed through her distinctively deep, rich and smooth voice that earned Rosemary Clooney her recognition as one of America's premiere pop and jazz singers. Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer presents full-song vintage performances from Clooney's 1950s TV work, seamlessly blended with new interview segments with her family and friends.
Her repertoirewritten by the likes of Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Johnny Mercer, and George and Ira Gershwinis timeless. And so is the way she sang the songs. She instinctively wove a tale, bringing the experience of her life to every line, making every lyric clear and meaningful.
She had a roller-coaster of a career (and a life), but Clooney triumphantly overcame great personal troubles to re-emerge in the 1970s as an artist who could not be ignored. In honor of everything she accomplished, from the hits in the early 50s to her remarkable performances and records during the past quarter-century, she was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Although she passed away later that year, her comeback was complete; Clooney had more than reclaimed her place in the pop pantheon as one of the all-time great girl singersshe had become a living, breathing, singing legend.
Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer showcases the greatest moments from The Rosemary Clooney Show, which aired during the 1956-57 television season. Most of these shows have not been seen since their original broadcast. In 39 episodes filmed in 35mm black and white, Rosemary Clooney sang her hits, as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. Musical director for the show was the incomparable Nelson Riddle, and the Hi-Lo's (the jazzy vocal group) were also regulars on the series.
These classic musical performances are connected by interviews with members of Clooney's family, including her children (Miguel, Gabri, Rafi, Maria and Monsita); her brother, Nick; actor (and nephew) George Clooney; and family friend and fan Michael Feinstein.
Song Selection Includes:
is a small list of those stations broadcasting
SEARCH FOR YOUR LOCAL PBS STATIONS HERE
If your PBS Station isn't broadcasting the special and you'd like to obtain a copy of the DVD or VHS of the special, consider making a donation to the Cincinnati PBS station CET and receive a copy of the program as a premium gift when you donate $120 - $100.
The DVD and VHS include the clips of "Chicago" that didn't air on PBS as well as an extra 60 minutes of interviews on the DVD and 30 minutes on the VHS.
Complete the donation/plede form, and indicate that you'd like "Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer" as your gift.
Or call Kim Danker, Membership Manager at (513)381-4033 and make your pledge over the phone.
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in the background is "Tenderly" from Concord's latest
"The Rosemary Clooney Show: Songs from the Classic Television Series")
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