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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rhonda

Rhonda
Orchestra Under The Direction Of Frank Comstock
Columbia CL1080
1958

Available digitally as Rhonda Fleming Sings Just For You, so I will be be posting a sample.

From the back cover: All things considered, it would be enough for most mortals if girls who look like Rhonda Fleming (and very few of them there do) were content to just sit around and be beautiful. Mis Fleming is a really staggering sight, without a trace of the brassy artificiality that surrounds many movie stars, and if she were completely devoid of talent, no one would care very much. The happy truth, however, is that she is an actress of considerable attainment, and – as revealed here for the first time on records – a singer with a remarkably sweet voice that speaks solid training and marks her as an artist with an impeccable taste in her songs.

Although she has been seen in Hollywood musicals, apparently no one ever thought to ask her to sing, and it was not until she made her nightclub debut at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas in 1957 that she revealed her vocal talents. She was an overnight sensation, and was immediately signed to record for Columbia and to make a series of television appearances as well. These activities, combined with her continuing work in motion pictures, make her one of the busiest artists around these days.

Rhonda was born in Los Angeles and attended schools there in Beverly Hills, aiming towards a business career. Occasionally she appeared in school plays and studied music as well, sometimes appearing with the school band. Her family had a considerable show business record, however; her mother, Effie Graham Louis, had appeared on the Broadway stage, and her grandfather, John E. Graham, a distinguished leader in Mormon church circles, was a theatrical producer in Salt Lake City. These influences slowly cast their spell over Rhonda, and one day she entered Jesse Lasky's "Gateway To Hollywood" radio contest. With her stunning appearance and notable talents, she got as far as the semi-finals. She was crying in the wings when the late Jean Hersholt discovered her and advised her to keep on trying.

Returning to school, Rhonda kept up her studies, still hoping. Her photograph appeared in a high school magazine and was spotted by agent Henry Wilson. He got in touch with her, and helped her forward to her first motion picture appearance, Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound," with Ingrid Bergman. Thereafter she was signed to co-star with Bing Crosby in "A Connecticut Yankee." Some thirty films followed, most of them doing justice to her green eyes and red hair, if not to her acting abilities in every case. Most recently she has been in "The Buster Keaton Story" as a guest star, in "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral" and "Gun Glory." Hoping to make use of her vocal training, she accepted an offer to appear in Las Vegas and startled critics and customers with her enchanting performances as a singer, a feat she duplicated at a recent international Columbia convention of salesmen. Those disenchanted merchants, already regaled by such artists as The Hi-Lo's, Johnny Mathis and Erroll Garner, among many others, fell completely apart when Rhonda sang Around The World In Eighty Days, a performance she repeats in this collection.


Don't Take Your Love From Me
Around The World In Eighty Days
Love Me Or Leave Me
The End Of A Love Affair
Under Paris Skies
Baby, Baby All The Time
With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair
When I Fall In Love
I've Got You Under My Skin
Then I'll Be Tired Of You
Love
They Can't Take That Away From Me

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