Sunday, June 15, 2014

MMulling over a MMovie

Just finished watching---not for the first time---Marilyn Monroe's first pre-Fox feature outing, Ladies of the Chorus. All research groups on the net credit Marilyn with doing her own singing in the movie. Back in the before time (vide Star Trek) when this film was made (1948) nearly everybody could sing     . . .even your grandmother. But Marilyn, to my ears, just sounds a little too good in "Ladies." The entire film was shot in a little over a week. I just don't think the "suits" would have allowed an untested singer to be sent into a Columbia pre-recording session. Budgetarily speaking, everything would've had to have been one take. Granted, though, it does sound a lot like her speaking voice. . .singing. That's what ghost singers are paid to do. Eventually, at Fox, she had all the qualities of a good jazz-oriented vocalist: swing, pitch, taste and an amiable and identifiable "sound." Her vocal coach there was jazz piano great, Gerald Wiggins. With The Wig as a vocal coach, how bad could she have eventually become? Somewhere on the net there's a photo of that now-deceased musician seated on a couch with a mammoth, personally inscribed photo of MM behind him. Wonder where that is now? I'd like to touch it. If only for the double DNA whammy!

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