NEW YORK STORIES: Florence Foster Jenkins and Little Men

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rev 1Tourist: How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

Taxi Driver: Practice, son, practice.

Or you can go the way of Florence Foster Jenkins and have enough money to rent the hall oneself.

In the 1960’s, a Margaret Dumontenesque like singer going by the name of Mrs. Miller become a flavor of the month sensation by singing pop songs like Downtown in an operatic off key shrill. I have a memory of Mrs. Miller from my youth. I did wonder at the time whether she knew she was being laughed at, not with. Apparently she had some idea, but that didn’t stop her from recording.

Such a character appears in pop culture every once in a while (anyone have a painting of a poor orphaned waif with saucer eyes?). And now a new movie has been made about a similar creature who shared her voice during the days leading up to World War II.

The main difference is that Florence Foster Jenkins made Mrs. Miller sound like Leontyne Price. Read the rest of this entry »