Several people have written privately asking what I meant by the last line in my recent Anita O'Day memorial post on this blog a few days ago, i.e. "So sad that she was taken advantage of in her final years by forces who had anything but her best interests at heart. Best, perhaps, to think of her in happier times."
To partially explain, I will re-post, in part, what I sent to a Yahoo listserve on October 17th regarding the CD that the "forces" in question "produced" for O'Day:
"A friend of mine who is HUGE O'Day fan phoned me night before last. She was not previously aware of the "Indestructible" CD, which she had just picked up at a Tower Records closeout sale. She was in tears. 'How could somebody take advantage of an old lady like that?,' 'What a horrible way to end her recording career,' and so on and so forth."
"Indestructible"---"Unlistenable" is more like it---is one of the worst commercial recordings ever released, not just by O'Day but ANYONE, following on heels of one of the strongest bodies of work in the history of the record biz. This assessment of "Indestructible" is not uniquely mine, but is an opinion held by almost everyone who has listened to this sad sad sad Last Hurrah. The entire unfortunate episode is more than a little remindful of director Max Ophuls' film "Lola Montez." Come see this hip old jazz lady still perform her wondrous vocal wizardry!!!