SPOTLIGHT ON: ROSEMARY CLOONEY
November 8 - 19
Rising above a difficult childhood marked by neglect and poverty, Rosemary Clooney became a first-class American star known the world over. By the time she turned 18, she was a Girl Singer traveling with a popular Big Band. By the age of 23, her mega-hit recording of “Come On-a My House” made her a household name. She married a Hollywood movie star and together they had five children. In addition to family life, their schedule included press, radio, TV and film appearances and, of course, concert tours.
Throw in a couple of divorces, faded love affairs and a serious drug and alcohol habit, and Rosemary Clooney was headed for a fall. She suffered a complete emotional and physical breakdown and spent months in the mental ward of a famous Los Angeles hospital, one that she’d helped open in a grand ceremony a decade earlier. What makes this story so good is that with the help of friends who believed in her, Rosemary made a terrific comeback. During her lifetime, she recorded almost 60 albums, from jazz to children’s songs, cowboy to gospel. She paid tribute to almost every American composer of note and most of the popular singers of her day. She’s compiled an astonishing list of nominations, honors and credits culminating in the Ella Fitzgerald Lifetime Achievement Award. And to top it off, she finally found love.
After nearly 6 decades of musical and personal highs and lows, in the eyes of her fans the world over, Rosemary Clooney is a precious American Treasure. Hear her fascinating story along with many of her hit songs including “Tenderly”, “Hey There”, “Mambo Italiano” and, of course, “Come On-a My House.”
This spotlight stars Gayle Wilson backed by an all-star band which includes Kathy Campbell on piano, Peter Spring on sax, flute and guitar, Dennis Freese on flute, sax and clarinet, Steve Fain on bass and Steve Sutfin on drums. George Rubaloff sings duets with Gayle and also narrates Rosemary’s story.