Monday, February 22, 2010

Kathryn Grayson RIP

Singing "I Hate Men" in 'Kiss Me Kate'

One of the reasons that I have learned to love the Telegraph obituaries is because its valedictory style is not always laudatory. A recent and particular example is that of Kathryn Grayson, a singing Hollywood star who was never a favourite of mine, except that she was in one of the best movie musicals ever, i.e., Kiss Me Kate. Here are a few quotes from the Telegraph:

"...she had a pert expression, bee-stung lips and a retroussé nose that her studio, if not always her public, thought would be irresistible"

"Her voice passed in less demanding times for how a great singer should sound, but recording techniques have improved greatly since then. Nowadays, the more florid moments sound curiously like Minnie Mouse gargling."

"Legend has it that, as a child, she wandered on stage after the show at the St Louis Municipal Opera House and sang just for the janitor. In the empty auditorium, a torrent of one-man applause greeted the performance. Only when it was time to say goodbye did she realise that he was stone deaf and hadn't heard a note."

They are not exactly speaking ill of the dead, but they are certainly having a little fun at her expense. For 'Kiss Me Kate', if nothing else, I shall always hear her voice in my head.

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