Goodnight everyone, and have a weekend to sing, sing, sing about!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

This week we go to the movies, and quite possibly a learning experience. It was for me.

Suppose you’re in the theater. And a charming, beautiful young woman begins to sing. She totally captivates and enraptures, she sings so sweetly, so magnificently.

Of course she did because if forced to sing on her own, she could never totally pull it off. Thank God for an amazing stand-in.

Let’s roll back the clock to …

Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes Hand dubbed the singing voice of Debbie Reynolds in the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain.  There’s irony in that Reynolds’s character in the famous film dubbed the singing for another character.

Last week Marnie Dixon died of breast cancer died. She was 86.

Maybe you know. Maybe, like me, you didn’t that she was the voice behind some classic women in some classic movies. We have some of the best of Marnie Dixon this week. Come along and enjoy.

Remember, in this tremendous film’s unforgettable scene that it’s not Deborah Kerr singing. Audiences never knew.

The King and I…,%2520The_02.jpg

The magnanimous star of the movie was the late, great Yul Brynner. As an aside, in the early 1980’s he toured with the Broadway performance of The King and I.  I recall getting my parents tickets to see the show at the then Performing  Arts Center in Milwaukee.

When the show ended, and the stars came out for their final bows, Brynner, when all was done, remained onstage, alone, to deliver a somber message. He would later record a shorter version for television audiences, hoping they would not suffer the way he did.

Next, no that wasn’t Audrey Hepburn.

It was Marnie Nixon.

The year is 1964.

OK. Have you gone back and listened to see if the vocals sounded the same?

Here’s another example.

She is pretty.

She is Natalie Wood.

But it’s not Natalie Wood.

Before taking to singing for Hollywood Nixon was famed for her work as a concert singer. She sang as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic; a recitalist at Carnegie, Alice Tully and Town Halls in New York; and a featured singer on one of Leonard Bernstein’s TV concerts for young people.

This is astonishing, given today’s onslaught of media attention. Nixon kept a promise to perform only as herself, to not divulge that it was she singing in those clips we’ve shared.

But gossip can last only so long. In 1990, the Los Angeles Times proclaimed Nixon “the best known of the ghost singers.”

Nixon sang for Deborah Kerr in the “King and I.” Kerr.was nominated for an Academy Award for her role. The soundtrack album was a huge success.  For her ghost singing g and . Nixon  received a total of $420.

“You always had to sign a contract that nothing would be revealed,” Nixon told ABC’s “Nightline” in 2007. “Twentieth Century Fox, when I did ‘The King and I,’ threatened me.They said, if anybody ever knows that you did any part of the dubbing for Deborah Kerr, we’ll see to it that you don’t work in town again.”

That’s it for this week’s segment.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

We close with another example of Marnie Nixon dubbing, however this time, not as much.

The year is 1953. The starlet is the scrumptious Marilyn Monroe.|

She sings all but a note she couldn’t hit.

Enter Marnie Nixon to sing the second line of the couplet “But square-cut or pear-shape/These rocks don’t lose their shape,” with its pinpoint high note on “their,” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
Marni Nixon


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