Whenever I hear the name “Rosemary Clooney,” for some reason I think “Nick Clooney’s sister, George Clooney’s aunt, Jose Ferrer’s wife, Miguel and Gabriel Ferrer’s mother, Debby Boone’s mother-in-law.”
Just kidding, although somehow knowing all those connections makes me think I know her a little better. As well as a great singer, she was an actress of some note, and given her battles with depression (she was bipolar and suffered from addiction through most of the Sixties) and her advocacy for people who had suffered brain injuries (her sister Betty, with whom she sang as a duet, died of an aneurysm in 1976, leading her and brother Nick to start the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured), she was a pretty heroic person, too.
“Come On-A My House” was Rosemary’s first #1 hit, in 1951. It was written by Ross Bagdasarian (yes, David Seville of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” fame) and his cousin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan. Mitch Miller and His Orchestra and harpsichordist Stan Freeman accompanied her. Wikipedia tells us she hated this song, and only recorded it when Miller threatened to fire her. You can hear the anger in her voice, can’t you?
“Hey There,” written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, was a #1 hit for Rosemary in 1954. It was originally done by John Raitt (Bonnie’s dad) in the Broadway musical The Pajama Game. Sammy Davis Jr. also had a hit with it that year.
Rosemary Clooney, your Two for Tuesday, October 4, 2016.