Sapevo che il celebre soprano e splendida attrice di Hollywood: Kathryn Grayson aveva in serbo una grande novità per tutti i suoi fans e quelli di Mario Lanza, ma non immaginavo di ricevere questa sua lettera, diretta a me.
Pubblico questa fantastica lettera in questa pagina del mio sito in esclusiva, che accompagna la copertina del nuovissimo CD.
Hello Roberto ~THIS IS KATHRYN GRAYSON-
I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to the legions of
loyal fans here. Mario and I appreciated your love and support over
You know, when I first heard of Mario, it was through Ida Koverman who
was the executive secretary to Mr. Mayer, head of M.G.M studios. ~ She
had seen and heard the 'bel canto trio the year before and suggested
that we all go to the Hollywood bowl to especially hear this new young
And so we did - Ida Koverman, Mr. Mayer, my husband, Johnny Johnston
and I, for a very joyous evening. We heard this glorious voice above
all others and Mr. Mayer was very impressed. ~ Little did I know that
in one short year we would be appearing on that same stage together?
Mr. Mayer of course invited Mario to the M.G.M. studios just as he had
done with me a few years before. In came the producers, directors,
musicians and the sound technicians (probably everyone but the guards
seemed to come) and Mario sang.. And boy did he sing! Everyone was
The format at M.G.M. reminded me of my first visit years before.I had
been studying for opera and had learned 'Lucia' by age eleven in St.
Louis while training with Francis Marshall of the Chicago Civic Opera.
Our family came to Los Angeles and I began to sing at various events.
Having been raised with red seal recordings of the great artists like
Caruso, and operas and knowing this label, I of course signed with RCA.
The very dear Eddie cantor called me many times wanting me to appear
on his very popular radio show, but RCA would not allow it because they
did not want me to become a second Deanna Durban..
It was at this time that I was singing at the 'all saints church' in
Beverly Hills every Sunday.. For what I might add; $5.00, when several
movie studios approached me, of which M.G.M. was one of them.
Being a brat at the age of 15 years old, I told them that I was
studying for opera and I did not want to be in movies. They persisted
and I refused, the more they persisted, the more I refused, until I was
'ad-vised' by Mr. Art Rush who was a dear friend of Ida Koverman, that
it would not hurt to at least talk to M.G.M. So I decided to go.
I went to M.G.M. one Saturday morning with my voice teacher Mennathea
White. There I was with sound people, musicians, producers and
directors ~ singing Judy garland songs, grace more songs, Jeanette Mac
Donald songs and Deanna Durbin songs.
After hearing my singing, they sent a limousine for my parents and I
was under contract before I left the studio.
So I knew how Mario was feeling at this moment, as I had already been
there.. He sang arias and popular songs and then we sang together.
The sound technicians said the two voices came to-gether on almost the
same wavelength - as one.
Mario was signed the same day.and so it began.
We worked together every day-singing-walking and just getting to know
each other.when the Midnight Kiss was about to begin shooting, Mario and
I had already done 1 Hollywood bowl concert together, - my baby was born
11 days later, - Mario and his wife Betty had a baby girl named Colleen
and Mario was down to a healthy weight of 167 pounds, after 9 months of
disciplined training that he and I had done together. I put him on a
strict diet and we walked a lot. This was to become a daily ritual for
us and he lost weight rapidly. But now, the show must go on.
Although we only made two movies together, which were 'That Midnight
Kiss and Toast of New Orleans, singing with Mario was like singing with
my two older brothers and Mario had become another brother---just as
Betty had become another sister.
We had such great joy working together, trying to out-sing each
other.. Like-who could sing the lowest- the softest -the longest and the
He had such a great sense of fun and humor. I could not do this with
any other singers. But Mario was fun and a great sport! And so forged
a bond of love and respect for each other
His voice communicated with his audience and its beauty will remain
unsurpassed. I still miss Mario and Betty.
I hope you enjoy this new CD that I narrated and I wish to thank Bob
Dolfi for his invaluable help in making this CD a reality. May God
Bless you all.
'Love Is Music.'