The Ziegfeld Society’s Rudy Vallee Show

David Giardina as Rudy Vallee, Vanessa Altshuler, Dewey Caddell, Merrill Grant, Ian Whitt and Loria Parker in "VAGABOND LOVER: The Life and Songs of Rudy Vallee"

David Giardina as Rudy Vallee, Vanessa Altshuler, Dewey Caddell, Merrill Grant, Ian Whitt and Loria Parker in “VAGABOND LOVER: The Life and Songs of Rudy Vallee”

The Ziegfeld Society knows how to put on a show.  Today’s offering starred David Giardina as Rudy Vallee.  David’s a multi-talented guy.  He not only starred in the show, he also wrote it.  The production was directed by the Ziegfeld Society’s own Mark York.  It featured Vanessa Altshuler, Dewey Caddell, Merrill Grant, Loria Parker and Ian Whitt in a variety of other roles.  Everybody did an amazing job; everyone at the Ziegfeld Society always does.

The story of Rudy Vallee is one in the genre I most adore: one where life gives someone lemons but they make lemonade.  Rudy didn’t have a strong singing voice.  He had such a weak singing voice that he was given a megaphone to sing through as a joke – and voila!  A star with a gimmick was born!  He was a popular singer during the 1920’s and 1930’s, which was called “a crooner” back then.  He’d be a pop idol now.  His soft voice may not have been perfect for vaudeville, and might not have been able to be heard in the last row of a theater balcony, but it turned out to be a perfect fit for the radio.

A little known fact about the movie Casablanca is that “As Time Goes By” was not written for the movie, perfect though it was for it.  The song was originally recorded by Rudy Vallee in 1928.

I just looked Rudy Vallee up on the Internet to get some additional information before writing this and found out a pleasant surprise: he was born on July 28th.  Me too.

Here’s a recording of Rudy singing “As Time Goes By.”  He starts singing about a minute into the song.  Enjoy!

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5 responses to “The Ziegfeld Society’s Rudy Vallee Show

  1. My mother was born in 1912 and was a “flapper.” She could Charleston with the best of them and she adored Rudy Vallee.

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    • How awesome! I heard that all the flappers loved him. About all I knew about him prior to today was that there was a line in a song from Mame about a “Rudy Vallee squeal.” Do you have a photo of your mother in her Flapper garb? You could send it to me and I’ll put it up here!

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      • Sad story. When my mother died in 1979, I was not in a good place, not settled, and when my stepfather offered to give me an old album of my mother when she was a child through young adulthood, I told my brother, a military officer at the Pentagon and married with a child (settled) to take it instead. Years later, when I asked him about it and hoped to see the pictures and maybe take it home with me, he reluctantly told me his wife, who had a psychotic breakdown, tore the album to pieces. Nothing could be saved. I was and remain heartbroken over that.

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  2. Rudy was a bit egotistical, which in part helped lead to his downfall in the late 1930s, but resurfaced as a charming comedic character actor (“The Palm Beach Story,” “Unfaithfully Yours,” “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”).

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