Label: RCA Camden - CAL 492 • Format: Vinyl LP, Mono • Country: US • Genre: Pop • Style: Vocal
Nelson Ackerman Eddy June 29, — March 6, was an American singer, baritone and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the s and s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritonehe is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald.
He was one of the first "crossover" stars, a superstar appealing both to shrieking bobby soxers and opera purists, and in his heyday, he was the highest paid singer in the world. During his year career, he earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame one each for film, recording, and radioleft his footprints in the wet concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theaterearned three gold recordsand was invited to sing at the third inauguration of U.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt in He also introduced millions of young Americans to classical music and inspired many of them to pursue a musical career. His father was a machinist and toolmaker whose drinking problem and inability to hold down a job required the family to move from town to town.
As a boy, he was a strawberry blond and quickly acquired the nickname "Bricktop". He came from a musical family. His Atlanta -born mother Louie Louie - The Shadows - The Shadows a church soloist, and his grandmother, Caroline Netta Ackerman Kendrick, was a distinguished oratorio singer. His father occasionally moonlighted as a stagehand at the Providence Opera House, sang in the church choir, played the drums, and performed in local productions Sniff n the Tears - Ride Blue Divide as H.
His father was physically abusive to Nelson and his mother, and deserted them when Nelson was Living in near poverty, Eddy was forced to drop out of school and moved with his mother to Philadelphiawhere her brother, Clark Kendrick, lived. His uncle helped Eddy secure a clerical job at the Mott Iron Works, a plumbing supply company. He also worked briefly as a copywriter at N.
Ayer Advertising, but was dismissed for constantly singing on the job. Eddy never returned to school, but educated himself with correspondence courses. Eddy developed his talent as a boy soprano in church choirs. He gave recitals for women's groups and appeared in society theatricals, usually for little or no pay. Having had a job in an iron works factory, he then spent ten years as a newspaper reporter, but was fired for paying more attention to music than to journalism.
His first professional break came inwhen he was singled out by the press after an appearance in a society theatrical, The Marriage Taxalthough his name had been omitted from the program.
InEddy won the top prize in a competition that included a chance to appear with the Philadelphia Opera Society. Eddy performed in Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the Savoy Companythe oldest amateur theater company in the world devoted exclusively to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in the traditional manner.
He reprised the role of Strephon with Savoy inwhen the theater group moved their performances to the famed Academy of Music. Thirty-one years later, he was asked by a Savoy lead playing the role of The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites in for his thoughts and recommendations on how to play the role.
The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites wrote:. I envy you. I'd like to play Strephon again, too!
The one thing I suggest is to keep him gay, happy, and care-free. You can set the character with your first entrance. Dance in with a sort of cute abandon. Then in "Good morrow, good mother" act joyfully in love. The rest will fall right into line. Don't fall into that trap. Sincerely, Nelson Eddy. Eddy studied briefly with the noted teacher David Scull Bisphama former Metropolitan Opera singer, but when Bispham died suddenly, Eddy became a student of William Vilonat.
InEddy borrowed some money and followed his teacher to Dresden for European study, which was then considered essential for serious American singers. He was offered a job with a small German opera company.
Instead, he decided to return to America, where he concentrated on Invisible Presence - Vertical67 - Aura concert career, making only occasional opera appearances during the next seven years.
Inhis first concert accompanist was a young The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites named Theodore Ted Paxson, who became a close friend and remained his accompanist until Eddy's death 39 years later.
In his later years, Eddy frequently changed teachers, constanting new vocal techniques. He also had a home recording studiowhere he studied The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites own performances. Eddy continued in occasional opera roles until his film work made it difficult to schedule appearances the requisite year or two in advance.
Among his final opera performances were three with the San Francisco Opera inwhen he was still "unknown". Marjory M. However, opera quietly faded from Eddy's schedule as films and highly lucrative concerts claimed more and more of his time. When he resumed his concert career following his screen success, he made a point of delivering a traditional concert repertoire, performing his hit screen songs only as encores.
He felt strongly that audiences needed to be exposed to all kinds of music. Eddy was "discovered" by Hollywood when he substituted at the last The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites for the noted diva Lotte Lehmann at a sold-out concert in Los Angeles on February 28, He scored a professional triumph with 18 curtain calls, and several film offers immediately followed. After much agonizing, he decided that being seen on screen might boost audiences for what he considered his "real work", his concerts.
Also, like his machinist father, he was fascinated with gadgets and the mechanics of the new talking pictures. His contract guaranteed him three months off each year to continue his concert tours. MGM was not sure how to use him, and he spent more than a year on salary with little to do. His voice can be heard singing "Daisy Bell" on the soundtrack of the Pete Smith short Handlebars.
He appeared and sang one song each in Broadway to Hollywood and Dancing Ladyboth inand Student Tour in Audience response was favorable, and he was cast as the male lead opposite the established star Jeanette MacDonald in the film version of Victor Herbert 's operetta The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites Marietta. Naughty Marietta was the surprise hit of Its key song, "Ah!
Sweet Mystery of Life", became a hit and earned Eddy his first gold record. Critics singled out Eddy for praise:. Nelson Eddy also starred in films with other leading ladies :. Eddy signed with Universal in for a two-picture deal. The first was Phantom of the Opera and the second would have co-starred MacDonald. She filmed her two scenes for Follow the Boysthen both stars severed ties with Universal, as Eddy was upset with how Phantom of the Opera turned out. Among their later other proposed projects were East Wind ; Crescent Carnivala book optioned by John The Revelator - Depeche Mode - Playing The Angel and The Rosarythe best-seller, which Eddy had read as a teen and pitched to MGM as a "comeback" film for MacDonald and himself in Under the name "Isaac Ackerman" he wrote a biopic screenplay about Chaliapinin which he was to play the lead and also a young Nelson Eddy, but it was never produced.
Eddy made more than recordings between andsinging songs from his films, plus opera, folk songs, popular songs, Gilbert and Sullivan, and traditional arias from his concert repertoire.
Since both MacDonald and he were under contract to RCA Victor between andthis allowed several popular duets from their The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites . Eddy's recordings drew rave reviews during the s and s, but he continued to rate them into the s.
At the age of 63 and after 42 years of professional singing, Eddy demonstrates not much change has occurred in his romantic and robust baritone, which made him America's most popular singer in the early '30s".
He did his first "war effort" concert on October 19,with Leopold Stokowski for Polish war relief. Inhe became an air raid warden and also put in long hours at the Hollywood Canteen. He also broadcast for the armed forces throughout the war. Because he spoke fluent German, having studied opera in Dresden during the s, his work as an Ease Back - Ultramagnetic MCs - Critical Beatdown spy was invaluable until his cover was blown with a near-fatal assignment in Cairo.
His version of the song "Rose Marie" was used as the subject of an episode Youre No Good - Swinging Blue Jeans* - Hippy Hippy Shake the Scottish comedy sitcom Still Game S4E2in which the song was requested by a dying patient.
He began his more than radio appearances in the mids. Eddy frequently used his radio shows to advance the careers of promising young singers. While his programs often featured "serious" music, they were never straitlaced. DeMilleperforming radio versions of Eddy's popular films. Inhe recorded a pilot for a sitcomNelson Eddy's Backyardwith Jan Claytonbut it failed to find a network slot.
Both appearances were highly successful but MacDonald's health was failing and talk of their hosting a TV variety show together did not happen. The advent of television made inroads in the once-lucrative concert circuits, and in the early s, Eddy had to consider future career options, eventually deciding to form a nightclub act, which premiered in January with singer Gale Sherwood, his partner, and Ted Paxson, his accompanist.
Variety wrote, "Nelson Eddy, vet of films, concerts, and stage, required less than one minute to put a jam-packed audience in his hip pocket in one of the most explosive openings in this city's nightery history Before Eddy had even started to sing, they liked him The Rosary - Nelson Eddy - Nelson Eddy Favorites as a warm human being".
Her son, Sidney Jr. They were married for 27 years, until Nelson's death. Ann Eddy died on August 28, Despite public denials from the stars themselves of any personal relationship between Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, documentation shows otherwise.
In a handwritten letter by Nelson to "Dearest Jeanette", written on his letterhead, Nelson Eddy writes: "I love you and will always be devoted to you. In the biography Sweethearts by Sharon Richthe author presents MacDonald and Eddy as continuing an adulterous affair after their marriages.
Rich, who was a close friend of MacDonald's older sister Blossom Rock also knew Gene Raymond and documents that the relationship lasted with a few breaks until MacDonald's death. Newsreel footage from MacDonald's funeral shows Eddy as the last person exiting the chapel, circled by other celebrities, such as Lauritz Melchiorwho offer him condolences.
MacDonald had a reported eight pregnancies by Eddy, the first one while they were filming Rose Marie. This was before she had an intimate relationship with Gene Raymond. Raymond was physically unable to father children and MacDonald alluded to this fact in her unfinished autobiography, writing that she returned from her Hawaii honeymoon with Raymond with the knowledge that "The MacRaymonds had no children. Rich's findings also included documentation that Raymond was bisexual and her marriage was rocky from the start, with Raymond physically and emotionally abusing MacDonald, and having affairs as early as their honeymoon when MacDonald discovered Raymond in bed with Buddy Rogers.
Mayer forced MacDonald to become Raymond's beard and the arrest resulted in Mayer blacklisting him in Hollywood for almost two years.
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