Label: Readers Digest Music - RDA-194/D • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Club Edition, Remastered Digitally Remastered • Country: US • Genre: Classical •
She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the s. As a baby, she failed to talk until she was four years old,  but a year later she was singing in church socials.
By the time she was eight, she was singing for the troops at Army camps in the Washington area during World War I. Smith never had a singing lesson in her life and possessed a 'rich range' of two and a half octaves.
Her earliest performances were during amateur nights at vaudeville theaters in D. Her earliest musical influences were her parents: her father sang in the choir at the Catholic church; her mother played piano at the Presbyterian church.
She attended Business High School in How Great Thou Art - Kate Smith - Songs of Faith & Inspiration. Alarmed by Frank Sinatra - Collection 25 songs daughter's evident penchant for the stage, her father sent her to the George Washington University School for Nursing where she attended classes for nine months between and 25—withdrawing to pursue a career in show business.
She got herself on the bill at Keith's Theater in Boston as a singer. Heading the bill was the actor and producer Eddie Dowlingwho signed up the young singer for a revue he was preparing. A month later, it moved to Broadway. An indelicate review in The New York Times on October 31,under the heading "A Sophie Tucker Rival", said: "A year-old girl, weighing in the immediate neighborhood of pounds, is one of the discoveries of the season for those whose interests run to syncopators and singers of what in the varieties and nightclubs are known as 'hot' songs.
Kate Smith is the newcomer's not uncommon name. She said later that she often wept with humiliation in her dressing room after the show. During Honeymoon Lane ' No. 24 in D minor: Allegro appassionato - Arthur Rubinstein - Arthur Rubinstein plays Chopin (Box Se run in New York, Smith made her first phonograph recordings, consisting of songs from that show.
Smith had become self-conscious regarding her weight, in no small part because of the on- and off-stage mocking she received from co-star Bert Lahr. Collins put Smith on radio in That year, she performed "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
Smith greeted her audience with "Hello, everybody! InSmith appeared in Hello, Everybody! Smith was a major star of radio, usually backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra. The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering Nobody Knows You - Various - The Original Jazz Legends, Volume Three, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years — The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngmanintroduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience Short Songs - Dead Kennedys - Live At The Deaf Club her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in James Dean and Audrey Hepburn made early acting How Great Thou Art - Kate Smith - Songs of Faith & Inspiration on the show.
Because of her popularity, her face was a common sight in print advertisements of the day. Over the years, she acted as a commercial spokeswoman for numerous companies such as StudebakerPullman, Diamond Crystal Saltand Jell-O.
Smith's figure was not the only satire target. Her cheery radio sign-on was parodied by comedian Henry Morgan when he launched his own show in "Good evening, anybody, here's Morgan," which became his sign-on. Morgan recalled in his memoir Here's Morganthat Smith's sign-on struck him as condescending: "I, on the other hand, was grateful if anybody was listening. No other show-business star came near her as revenue producer of War Bonds to finance the United States' war effort. Smith released dozens of successful recordings during the s and s.
She recorded sporadically during the s but in signed a contract with RCA Victor releasing a number of successful albums including several that charted on the Billboard Hot chart alongside the major rock stars of the era, usually with Smith, then well into her 50s, the oldest performer on the charts. This record was her only s single release to be successful. InSmith returned to Billboard ' s Easy Listening chart when "Smile, Smile, Smile", a one-shot single release and her last recording for Atlantic Recordspeaked at 42 in June US chart positions courtesy Billboard magazine.
When the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team played Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" before their How Great Thou Art - Kate Smith - Songs of Faith & Inspiration on December 11,an unusual part of her career began.
The team began to play the song before home games every once in a while; the perception was that the team was more successful on these occasions, so the tradition grew. At the Flyers' home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 11,she made a surprise appearance to perform the song in person and received a tremendous reception.
The Flyers won that game by a 2—0 score. She again performed the song at the Spectrum in front of a capacity crowd of 17, fans before game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on May 19,against the Boston Bruins.
Before this game, Smith had a "Flyer Record" of 36—3—1 win-loss-tie. Boston's defenseman Bobby Orr and center Phil Esposito, infamously tried to jinx the Flyers' "good luck charm" by shaking her hand after her performance. The Flyers won their first of two back-to-back Stanley Cupswinning that playoff series against the Boston Bruins four games to two, with Bernie Parent shutting the Bruins out 1—0 in the game. Smith also performed live at the Flyers' home game on May 13,before game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals against the Islanders.
After her performance Islanders' captain Ed Westfall presented Smith with a bouquet of flowers as each member of the Islanders lined up to shake her hand. Nonetheless, the Flyers won On May 16,Smith had one of her final public performances before game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals when the Flyers lost to the Montreal Canadiens 5—3 and were swept in that series. She made her final public performance on May 23,before game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals when the Flyers lost to the Edmonton Oilers 3—1, and lost the series in five games.
Inthe team erected a statue of Smith outside their arena at the time, the Spectrum, in her memory, although it was covered and then removed in How Great Thou Art - Kate Smith - Songs of Faith & Inspiration due to racist lyrics of some of her earlier songs. Until that time, the Flyers still showed a video of her singing "God Bless America" in lieu of " The Star Spangled Banner " for good luck before important games. Before games whenever "God Bless America" was performed, Lou Nolanthe public address announcer for the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center would say "Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, we ask that you please rise and remove your hats and salute to our flags and welcome the number-one ranked anthemist in the NHL, Lauren Hart, as she sings 'God Bless America', accompanied by the great Kate Smith.
Smith's plump figure made her an occasional object of derision; however, late in her career, Philadelphia Flyers hockey fans said about her appearance before games "It ain't BEGUN 'til the fat lady sings! Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" was played during the seventh-inning stretch of New York Yankees home games from until Aprilwhen the practice was discontinued amid controversy surrounding her recordings of " That's Why Darkies Were Born " and "Pickaninny Heaven.
Smith called for racial tolerance in in an address on CBS Radio, saying, "Race Wake Up Little Susie - Simon & Garfunkel - The Concert In Central Park, social prejudices, religious bigotry, they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace.
Smith, who never married, rented several apartments in Manhattan during her long career. After attending services at a Catholic parish for 25 years, Smith converted to Catholicism in Agnes Roman Catholic Church and could be heard singing the hymns in her contralto voice. In her later years, Smith was impaired by diabetes. Inshe suffered brain damage after slipping into a diabetic coma.
In Januaryher right leg was amputated due to poor circulation caused by diabetes. Five months later, she underwent a mastectomy. For over a year following her death, Smith's remains were stored in a vault at St. Agnes Cemetery in Lake Placid, while officials of St. Agnes Church and the singer's executors engaged in a dispute over Smith's request to be buried in a mausoleum on the cemetery's grounds.
Her private burial service took place on November 14, The artwork was based on a photograph of Smith taken in the s. President Ronald Reagan. In bestowing the honor, Reagan said:. The voice of Kate Smith is known and loved by millions of Americans, young and old. In war and peace, it has been an inspiration.
Those simple but deeply moving words, 'God bless America,' have taken on added meaning for all of us because of the way Kate Smith sang them. Thanks to her they have become a cherished part of all our lives, an undying reminder of the beauty, the courage and the heart of this great land of ours. In giving us a magnificent, selfless talent like Kate Smith, God has truly blessed America. It was not the first time Smith had been saluted by a president. Inin light of Jim Morrison 's arrest in Miami for indecent exposure, Smith had performed with The LettermenAnita Bryantand Jackie Gleason in a concert demonstration against indecency, for which President Richard Nixon commended the stars' performances.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Kate Smith disambiguation. American singer. On this Day. New York Times. Retrieved February 6, Kate Smith: A Bio-Bibliography.
Greenwood Press. Belknap Press. Jefferson, North How Great Thou Art - Kate Smith - Songs of Faith & Inspiration McFarland. What Women Watched: Daytime Television in the s. University of Texas Press. The Book of Golden Discs 2nd ed. London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. Encyclopedia of American Radio, —, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. The Nebraska State Journal. May 14, Retrieved March 31, — via Newspapers.
Total Television. New York City: Penguin Books. The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Associated Press. November 13,
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