Saturday, June 19, 2010

Have you got any monotony today?

Now, continuing in my list of singing ladies...

15. June Allyson

Favorite song: "Thou Swell" from Words and Music
June Allyson is probably my favorite girl-next-door. Her dancing seemed like every day dancing, her acting appeared natural, and her singing was almost like your average girl singing (but not quite). I love her dusty voice. She always seems easy to relate to and her singing adds to that effect.

14. Judy Garland

Favorite song: "Mr. Monotony" from Easter Parade
I realize that this number was deleted from the film but I really like it. Not many could pull off a melody of so few notes but Judy manages it brilliantly. You may be surprised that such a famous and one-of-a-kind singer is so low on my list. The truth is, I go back and forth over whether or not I like her voice. She had an amazing voice - no contest there - I am simply not always in the mood for it.

13. Frances Langford

Favorite song: "Over There" from Yankee Doodle Dandy
This girl is another one of those Where's Waldo situations and, I must say, I'm still quite proud of myself for placing her. I loved her voice in Yankee Doodle Dandy and when I heard "Hey, Babe, Hey," I had a feeling it was the same singer. I was right!

12. Marni Nixon

Favorite songs: "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady
Marni Nixon doesn't get as much credit as she deserves (and she probably deserves to be higher on my list but I'm not sure where to put her). She enchanted audiences in several famous musicals but we never get to see her face and most of us, myself included, forget her entirely. But she had an amazing and beautiful voice that really aded to the magic of classics like The King and I, My Fair Lady, and West Side Story.

11. Doris Day

Favorite song: "The Deadwood Stage" from Calamity Jane
I've picked this song as my favorite for a few reasons. First, it's probably my favorite Doris Day film. Second reason is that Doris Day had a cool, dusty voice that works well with both boisterous songs and soft ballads - and this song has both aspects to it. Mostly, it's a boisterous, rowdy introduction to Calamity Jane but there is a particular moment when she sings about the stage coming home like "a pigeon that's hankering after its nest" - it's a pretty moment to listen to. I did not pick "Que Sera Sera" because I haven't seen that film yet and that didn't seem fair.


  1. Argh! Now I have Mr. Monotony stuck in my head. Great song but they're right it REALLY didn't fit into 1912.

    Frances Langford - I think shes adorable. I loved her in "Too Many Girls" and was surprised and happy to see her in the Glenn Miller story.

    Gotta love Marni Nixon - although she may have not gotten face time - she voiced over some of the greatest musical moments in history. Deborah Kerr in King and I, My Fair Lady - and Julie Andrew's high note at the end of Do-Re-Mi in Sound of Music!

  2. I've always wondered what Marni Nixon looked like!

  3. Sally:

    If Judy is at 14, the top ten will be interesting to see. But you have explained it well and favorite lists are favorite lists with all the personal prejudices that entails.

    I envy you not yet having seen the second version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Doris Day was very special in my time (as was June). And speaking of Judy, Marni Nixon was not unlike the wizard behind the curtain. But much more polished. Best.



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