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.
“Sure,” said Jose. “Got your family here. Betty and Nicky.”
“But it’s three o’clock in the morning there.”
“Is it?” said Ferrer. “I hadn’t noticed. Nicky and I are writing a song. It sounds pretty good. Listen. Betty will sing it for you.”
By the time the AT&T had closed its cirucuits on this call, Rosemary had talked to them all, heard snatches of the tune that sounded promising, and collapsed into a heap of misery.
Since she could remember, Miss Clooney has been surrounded by music. Betty, with whom Rosie did a sister act for years, has famous pipes of her own and records for Coral. Brother Nicky went from high school into a disk jockey job in Wilmington, Delaware, and before two years had gone by, he had written a musical comedy score. When they were knee-high, the Clooney’s devoted hours to singing, refusing to share their favorites. If anybody else dared to sing “It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie,” Nicky grew apoplectic, and Rosie clobbered the other two for humming a few bars of “the Old Covered Bridge.”
So they gre up singing and Rosie topped it off by marrying Ferrer, a man who (among other things) sings, composes, dances, and is an authority on jazz. Unlike many musically talented Hollywood people, Rosie and Joe sing a lot around the house, and often when they arrive home late their nightcapconsists of an hour or so of song. Before Nicky was inducted into the Army he and Ferrer wrote many songs, including “youung Man,” which is in Romsemary’s recent album. Betty appears daily on The Morning Show.
This would seem to be enough music for one family, but Gail, Rosemary’s nine-year-old sister, has decided that music is for her, too. On Rosie’s radio show Gail matched voices with her famous sister in a duet of “sisters,” a recording previously made by Rosie and Betty. “Gail even like to dance!” says Rosemary with some wonder, as she herself would prefer Terpsichore deleted from the list of Muses. “It’s too early to tell about her voice, but it’s a cinch she’s earmarked for show business.”
Possibly, Gail won’t be the last melodic member of the family. On February 7, 1955, Rosie’s first son, Miguel Jose, was born. He can’t have missed inheriting a batch of musical genes. And if by chance he should prefer some other career, he’ll still have music wherever he goes. He was born to it.