Dedicated to musical classic film stars of the 30s-50s, ReelJewels.com has been around since October 2000. Please look around and enjoy while the site is being rebuilt.
With Game Conductor Ralph Edwards
Q: This is quite an honor, Bing, having you opposite our Photoplay microphone. If my wire could only see me now! Tell me . . . how does one go ahout acquiring the gentle art of crooning such as yours?
A: Nothing to it. Just open your mouth to the letter “B” and begin. If you can’t remember the lyrics or the tune… just whistle.
Q: I’ve tried that . . . and what do I get? Three Beverly Hills St. Bernards, a dachshund, two French poodles . . . even Lassie comes home. Tell me, Bing, who’s your favorite leading lady?
A: Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Lamour, Joan Caulfield, Rhonda Fleming, Joan Fontaine—need I go on?
by Terrance Howard
HE’S the object of their affections all right. But like the gentleman in the popular song, they frequently change his complexion from its normal tan to a very “rosy red.”
For several years now, most of the ladies of the civilized world have been quite definitely aware of Mr. Bing Crosby. They first discovered, via the radio and phonograph, that the throaty tones produced by his vocal chords did something to their heart strings. Later, motion pictures proved beyond dispute that Bing had a personality as beguiling as his voice.
by James Reid
Perhaps you haven’t thought about it, but one male screen idol makes it easier for the girls to palpitate about him by banning publicity about his private life—and his private wife. Two other idols, both with romantic reputations to preserve, won’t talk about their wedded bliss and have pacts with their wives that keep their wives mum, also. And when another certain romantic actor recently dashed down South America way, where he has a large following, he left the little woman home. Why remind the smitten senoritas that there was a senora?
START chopping said Bing! Al Rinker let his right hand flea-hop across the keys while his left hammered a Beal St. beat. Bing stood beside the piano manning cymbals and drum. Together they sang, only it wasn’t singing; it was a sort of delirium in rhythm. And when things got wilder and bluer than they ought, Bing leaned over and whispered, “The text, brother, the text!” Which meant, “Now do it like it says.”
by Everett Crosby
I DON’T know that Bing’s ever said which of the pictures he’s made is his favorite. But I can tell you. There are two. One is “Going My Way.” The other is “Bells Of St. Mary’s.”
Why they’re his favorites is interesting. In the role of Father O’Malley, Bing doesn’t have to make love. He doesn’t like to make love. It embarrasses him. He gets all embarrassed when, in front of a set full of people, he has to go into a clinch. When he does have to, his face looks like a piece of boiled scrod. Actually blushes. He’s always been that way. It’s an old family trait. None of us ever gets demonstrative in front of people.
by Helen Louise Walker
IF I had my life to live over again… well, since things have turned out the way they have, I’d be pretty silly if I said I’d try to make them any different. Yet I’d certainly hate to have one of my sons do some of the fool things I did when I was a young squirt! It was plain luck—with some pretty smart people advising me—that saved me from coming a lot of croppers. And I can’t take credit for that! Still, I wouldn’t change anything now. Not the way things are.”
by Liza Wilson
The American Weekly
July 10, 1955
“I was the cryingest baby in Smithton, Pennsylvania,” says Shirley Jones, the talented young singer who plays Laury in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, recently filmed in Todd-AO process (a new wide angle photographic technique).
“I cried steadily for six years. The neighbors hated me. My mother and Dad were filled with despair. When they took me to doctors in nearby Pittsburgh, those learned men mearly shook their heads. ‘Mrs. Jones,’ they said, ‘you just have a natural born crier.’
If it hadn’t been for an Italian-American Saxophone player named Antonio Pestritto we might never have heard one of the finest voices to be raised in the postwar popular record market.
You want a number with a beat? Then put on Rosemary’s “Come On-a My House” or “Botch-a-me.” A children’s song perhaps? The try “Me and My Teddy Bear.”
Jazz tunes, love songs, novelties—Rosemary sings them all.
Not long after Jose Ferrer married Rosemary Clooney he had to leave her and go to new York for a series of plays at City Center. This left Rosie singing to herself, and in spite of her husband’s daily phone calls she felt cut off from the world. The wrose was the incht Jose called her from his hotel room. In the background she could hear the piano getting a workout and familiar voices raised in song. Self-pity enveloped Rosemary.
“You’re having fun,” she offered dismally.
by Cora B. Lane
March 15, 1939
At seventeen, when I was working on my brother’s newspaper in Indiana, I had one ambition: To become a big-city reporter. So I married and became a small-town housewife. In the course of time, mother of five girls: Leota, Martha, Lola, Rosemary, and Priscilla.
“If you’d just adopt four children,” Rosemary suggested hopefully once, very hopefully, “we’d have a baseball team!”
Told by Cora Mullican (their mother)
The Springfield Sunday Union and Republican
July 2, 1939
Lane Sisters Advanced With Advice, Encouragement and Determination of Their Courageous Mother
Hollywood, July 1–(AP)–The Lane girls grew up, with the counsel and encouragement and skimping of their courageous mother.
Only a mother who has reared a family of five girls in a small mid-western town can understand the courage it takes to face the spoken and implied ridicule of the neighbors and the disapproval of the husband and father, when those girls, with their mother’s blessing, leave home in peruit of theatrical careers.
IRENE DUNNE knows that she can turn on a tune any time she wants to, and that’s probably the reason why she hasn’t been singing before the cameras lately. She realizes that the voice is always there, ready to be used if and when the right musical vehicle comes along. Meanwhile she’s turned comedienne with a vengeance and has turned out a right slick job as a laugh-inducer.
by Irene Dunne
A simple nod of the head by a warmhearted stranger changed my life from that of a school teacher to a singer and later an actress.
It happened one summer when I’d gone up to Chicago from my home in Louisville to visit some cousins. I’d finished high school and was intending to go to college that fall prepatory to becoming a teacher.
by Irene Dunne
Saturday Evening Post
March 9, 1946
I had to fight hard to get my first role in the movies; the others came without special effort. Maybe that’s why Sabra, in Cimarron, is still my favorite part.
I had a contract with RKO to make one picture. As I left New York, a friend gave me Edna Ferber’s book Cimarron, remarking, “This story is going to be done on your lot.”
Looking at Hollywood with Hedda Hopper
Chicago Sunday Tribune
November 9, 1950
June Allyson says her husband, Dick Powell, can talk people out of anything. Having seen the gent in action, I’m inclined to agree. But in one instance he failed notably. He couldn’t talk Metro into lending him his wife to play his wife in “Mrs. Mike.” The studio, it seemed, didn’t think that co-starring a married couple would be good box office.
But Dick’s argument to the contrary must have left an impression, even if it did work in reverse. Metro talked him into coming to the lot and co-starring in two pictures with his wife. The first, “The Reformer and the Redhead,” was well received by the public.