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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Dorothy Collins born 18 November 1926

Dorothy Collins (November 18, 1926 – July 21, 1994) was a popular American singer, actress, and recording artist. She was born Marjorie Chandler in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and adopted her stage name in her mid-teens.

As a youngster, Collins sang on radio stations in Windsor and Detroit. In 1940, at age 14, she and her family were introduced to bandleader/composer Raymond Scott in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, she became Scott's protégée. In early 1942, at age 15, she became a featured vocalist with Scott's orchestra, performing on radio and on tour. Scott groomed her for stardom, which included coaching her vocals (pitch, phrasing, and delivery) and mentoring her performance skills. 

In the late 1940s, she contributed vocals to the revived Raymond Scott Quintet, a sextet that released records on the bandleader's own Master label and served as house band on the radio program Herb Shriner Time. In 1949, after Scott was hired to conduct the orchestra on the popular CBS radio program, Lucky Strike's Your Hit Parade, Collins was trained by Scott to lead his sextet on tour in his


In 1950, Your Hit Parade moved to NBC television, with Scott retained as conductor. Shortly thereafter, at Scott's urging, Collins auditioned for a vocalist slot and was hired. She shot to nationwide fame as one of the show's featured vocalists, singing—and acting in costume—in sketches dramatizing popular songs of the day.

Collins often appeared as spokeswoman/vocalist in Lucky Strike cigarette commercials during the program and on their other sponsored series (including the Jack Benny radio show) via transcription disc, earning the title, "The Sweetheart of Lucky Strike." After her absence from Your Hit Parade during the 1957-58 season (a new cast of singers replaced Collins and her fellow vocalists), Collins returned for the series' final season on CBS ending in April 1959.

Her additional TV credits include The Steve Allen Show, the Bell Telephone Hour, The Hollywood Palace, and Candid Camera, as both a participant in the stunts and co-host with Allen Funt.

n 1955, her single "My Boy - Flat Top," reached #16 on the Billboard charts. A follow-up single, "Baciare Baciare (Kissing Kissing)," peaked at #43. She recorded other singles and albums in the 1950s, with little chart success.

 Collins sang a collection of educational tunes on an album entitled Experiment Songs, one of six albums in a set called Singing Science Records produced in the 1950s and '60s by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer.

In the summer of 1957 she played Dorothy Gale in The Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis production of The Wizard of Oz,alongside Margaret Hamilton reprising her movie role of the Wicked Witch of the West. Collins was lead in The Saint Paul Civic Opera Association's presentation of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown".

In 1971, Collins made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim's Follies, portraying Sally Durant Plummer, a one-time Ziegfeld-style showgirl trapped in a disappointing marriage. Her dramatic rendition of the song "Losing My Mind" routinely stopped the show and was one of the production's highlights. Her performance earned a Tony Award nomination as Best Actress in a Musical, but she lost to co-star, fellow Canadian-born actress Alexis Smith. When the production opened in Los Angeles in 1972, Collins reprised the role of Sally.

Dorothy was also active for many years in the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and became a vice president of the organization in 1988. 

Collins was married to Raymond Scott from 1952 until their divorce in 1965. They had two daughters, Deborah and Elizabeth. In 1966, she married actor/singer Ron Holgate, with whom she had a daughter, Melissa. The two eventually divorced.

She died from respiratory distress as a result of a long-standing pulmonary disease (asthma) at her home in upstate Watervliet, New York, July 21, 1994 and was survived by her three daughters.(Info from Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For the 1957 Coral LP “Songs by Dorothy Collins” with the Barny Kessel Trio go here:

1) Sometimes I'm Happy
2) When Your Lover Has Gone
3) Out of this World
4) Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry
5) Come Rain or Come Shine
6) I See Your Face Before Me
7) The Sky Fell Down
8) The Lady's in Love With You
9) It Never Entered My Mind
10) You Took Advantage of Me
11) But Not for Me
12) Here I Am in Love Again

A big thank you to Luigi for this link.