Los Angeles Times
February 17, 1944
When Nelson Eddy, concert and motion-picture baritone, sang Handel’s “Largo,” “Ave Maria” and “The Lord’s Prayer” before thousands of American tank soldiers squatting on the sand under an African moon, there were tears of thankfulness among the wind-tanned fighting men at this musical message from one of their loved ones.
But if it came to the choice between hearing a concert baritone and receiving a letter from home—well, the baritone would finish a bad second.
Who says so?
Toured With Pianist
Why, Mr. Eddy! The singer came home yesterday via American Airlines from a two month tour of American and British army camps in Africa, Arabia and the Persian Gulf command, to report that if every soldier over there received six letters every day, it wouldn’t be too many, mail is so precious to them.
Eddy, whose tour with Tex Paxson [Ted Paxton], composer and pianist as his accompanist, was arranged by the Hollywood Victory Committee, was anxious to report a discovery during his trip:
“No music is too fine for the American soldier. Give him the very finest music in your repertoire. Skip the ‘Pistol Packin’ Mama’ stuff, because he gets that over the radio. Just be yourself, and don’t presume to play down to him.
In Tough Job
“Remember this: The typical American soldier is a gentleman who, through no fault of his own, is engaged in a rough, tough, more or less distasteful and dangerous job. But his instincts are of the very finest, and under the stress of war, they are very much to the fore.”
Eddy was met by his wife and his mother, Mrs. Isabel K. Eddy.