Sunday, April 13, 2014

a day worth celebrating.

ten days ago, doris mary ann kappelhoff – aka doris day – celebrated her 90th birthday.

i heart doris – her delightful singing, her sunshiney ways,
her support of the gay community & her serious dedication to animals.

so in honor of doris' induction as a nonagenarian,
here are ten tidbits you might not have known about her
[one for every decade to date, plus one in hopes of her reaching 100yo!]:

:: she danced first. as a teen, doris teamed up with jerry doherty to perform locally in her hometown of cincinnati as a dancing duo. but a 1937 car accident injured her legs & stunted her future as a pro dancer.

:: while recovering, she discovered a talent she didn't know she had. "during this long, boring period, i used to while away a lot of time listening to the radio, sometimes singing along ... . but the one radio voice i listened to above others belonged to ella fitzgerald. there was a quality to her voice that fascinated me, and i'd sing along with her, trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words."

:: her first job as a professional singer was in a local cincinnati restaurant, the charlie yee's shanghai inn.

:: in 1939, she adopted the stage surname "day" while working for barney rapp, at his suggestion. rapp felt "kappelhoff" was too long for marquees, & he enjoyed her rendition of the song day after day.

:: in 1953, she won the oscar for best original song –– secret love from her starring role in calamity jane.

:: she feels her best film was 1955's love me or leave me, a bio pic about singer ruth etting.

:: during the 1956 filming of the man who knew too much, she became concerned about alfred hitchcock's lack of direction. doris asked hitch about her performance; he answered, "if you weren't doing what i liked, you'd know." at the movie's premiere, hitchcock was asked how he got such a great performance from her; he answered, "it wasn't me; it was doris."

:: among her myriad accolades: member of the ohio women's hall of fame [1981]; cecile b. demille award for career achievement [1989]; presidential medal of freedom for entertainment achievement & her work for animals [2004]; hit parade hall of fame [2007]; grammy for lifetime achievement in music [2008]; first legend award ever presented by the society of singers [2010]; grammy hall of fame awards for recordings of sentimental journey [1998], secret love [1999], & que sera, sera [2012].

:: she's been married four times: to trombonist al jorden [1941-43; they had her only child, son terry]; to saxophonist george weidler [1946-49]; to producer martin melcher [1951-68]; & to maitre d' barry comden [1976-81].

:: she actively lobbied congress on several occasions for support of legislation designed to safeguard animals, & in 1995, she originated the annual event spay day usa.

happy happy birthday, ms. day – wishing you many, many more! :)

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