August 03, 2007

We Love Lucy, but ...

With those words, that's how Warner Brothers promoted the 1974 musical "Mame" which starred Lucille Ball.

As we all know, Lucy couldn't sing and all her songs had to be "cobbled together note by note", according to Jerry Herman whose Broadway hit was taken to film.
"We all thought maybe she should be dubbed," he said by phone from his home in Beverly Hills. "But because it was Lucille Ball, and everybody knew what she sounds like, I knew it would be more honest not to."

Herman was disappointed in Lucy's performance and had originally wanted Angela Lansbury to play the part, but his ideal would have been Judy Garland. He said of Lucy:
"She was in pain. They pulled her hair up by the roots and put wigs on her and carried on," Herman said. 'She worked so hard and she wanted so much to be good in it that I became very fond of her. She said, "I'll do anything.' We spent hours together trying to get the notes right. I was disappointed for her more than I was for my own film."

For the rest of the story, read the article on Sun Journal.

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