Eddy, Nelson

American baritone, MGM film star noted for 8 films with Jeanette MacDonald, opera, concert, TV & radio star

Price: $125.00

Description:
(1901-1967) American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s & 40s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the 8 films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald. In his heyday he was the highest paid singer in the world. During his 40-year career, he earned 3 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (film, recording, and radio), left his footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater, earned 3 Gold records, and was invited to sing at the 3rd inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. He introduced millions of young Americans to classical music and inspired many of them to pursue a musical career. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he came from a musical family. Throughout his teens, Eddy studied voice and imitated recordings of baritones like Titta Ruffo, Antonio Scotti, Pasquale Amato, Giuseppe Campanari, and Reinald Werrenrath. He gave recitals for women's groups and appeared in society theatricals. In 1924, Eddy won top prize in a competition that included a chance to appear with the Philadelphia Opera Society. By the late 20s, he was appearing with the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company and had a repertoire of 28 operas. Eddy also performed in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with The Savoy Company, the oldest amateur theater company in the world devoted exclusively to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in the traditional manner. Eddy studied briefly with David Bispham and then William Vilonat. In the early 1930s, Eddy's principal teacher was Edouard Lippé, who followed him to Hollywood; in his later years, Eddy frequently changed teachers, constantly trying new vocal techniques. With the Philadelphia Civic Opera, Eddy sang in the 1928 US premiere of Strauss's “Ariadne auf Naxos” and performed under Leopold Stokowski as the Drum Major in the 2nd US performance of Alban Berg's “Wozzeck” in 1931. At Carnegie Hall in New York City, Christmas 1931, he sang in the world premiere of “Maria egiziaca” unexpectedly conducted by composer Ottorino Respighi himself. He continued in occasional opera roles until his film work made it difficult to schedule appearances the requisite year or two in advance. He was "discovered" by Hollywood when he substituted at the last minute for noted diva Lotte Lehmann at a 1933 sold-out concert in Los Angeles. He scored a professional triumph with 18 curtain calls, and film offers immediately followed. Eddy signed with MGM, where he would make the first 14 of his 19 feature films. His contract guaranteed him 3 months off each year to continue his concert tours. He appeared and sang one song each in “Broadway to Hollywood” and “Dancing Lady”, both in 1933, and “Student Tour” in 1934. Audience response was favorable, and he was cast as the male lead opposite Jeanette MacDonald in a film version of Victor Herbert's 1910 operetta “Naughty Marietta”, the surprise hit of 1935. "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life," became a hit and earned Eddy his 1st Gold Record. “Rose Marie” (1936) is probably his most-remembered film. Eddy sang "Song of the Mounties" and "Indian Love Call" by Rudolf Friml. “Maytime” (1937) is regarded as one of Eddy's best films. "Will You Remember" by Sigmund Romberg brought Eddy another Gold Record. “Sweethearts” (1938) was MGM's first three-strip Technicolor feature, incorporating Victor Herbert's 1913 stage score into a modern script by Dorothy Parker. “New Moon” (1940), based on Sigmund Romberg's 1927 Broadway hit, became one of Eddy's most popular films. his key songs were "Lover, Come Back to Me" and "Stout Hearted Men". “The Chocolate Soldier” (1941) with Metropolitan Opera star Risë Stevens, was a stylish musical adaptation of Ferenc Molnár's “The Guardsman”, and he played a dual role turning in one of his best performances. “Phantom of the Opera” (1943) was Eddy's first film after he left MGM at the end of his 7-year contract. “Knickerbocker Holiday” (1944) was based on the popular stage musical by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson. Eddy made more than 290 recordings 1935-64, singing songs from his films, plus opera, folk songs, popular songs, Gilbert and Sullivan, and traditional arias from his concert repertoire. He did his first "war effort" concert for Polish war relief Oct. 19, 1939 with Leopold Stokowski. In 1943, he went on a 2-month, 35,000-mile tour, giving concerts for military personnel and broadcasting for the armed forces. He began his 600+ radio appearances in the mid-20s. Besides his many guest appearances, he hosted The Voice of Firestone (1936), Vicks Open House (1936), The Chase and Sanborn Hour (1937–39), and Kraft Music Hall (1947–48). He had his own show on CBS in 1942–43. Eddy frequently used his radio shows to advance the careers of promising young singers. In 1951, Eddy guest-starred on several episodes of The Alan Young Show on CBS-TV. In 1952, he recorded a pilot for a sitcom which failed to find a network slot. In 1952, he surprised Jeanette MacDonald on Ralph Edwards' “This Is Your Life” and was Ed Sullivan's guest on “Toast of the Town.” During the next decade he guest starred on TV variety programs and was a frequent guest on talk shows, including The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. On May 7, 1955, he starred in Max Liebman's 90-minute, live-TV version of Romberg's “The Desert Song” on NBC-TV. In 1953, Eddy premiered a nightclub act with singer Gale Sherwood and Ted Paxson, his accompanist. It continued for the next 15 years. In March 1967 he was performing in Palm Beach, Florida when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage. 10 x 8 SP, vintage MGM bust glossy b&w portrait signed with sentiment ("Good luck!") at top left corner. IMAGE NOTE: blue spot on jacket is NOT on the original item but is product of reflected light off the glossy surface when image was taken.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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