Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Mel Tormé story

Show biz:

One night, at a party at Jack Lemmon’s house, Gene Kelly walked over to me and inquired if I knew where he could get a print of Singin’ in the Rain. He wanted to run the film for one of his kids who had never seen it.

“Gene,” I said, “Films Incorporated has a rental print listed in their catalog. But I simply can’t believe you’re asking me about this. You were the king of the MGM lot. You mean to tell me you don’t have a print of every movie you ever made?”

He smiled sadly. “No, I don’t. Not one of them. You see, Mel, in those days, I would call for a projection room, invite thirty–forty people, and run anything I pleased. Seven nights a week. Any movie I wanted to see. From any studio. And you know,” he concluded, with a catch in his voice, “we thought it would never end.”

Mel Tormé, It Wasn’t All Velvet (New York: Viking, 1988).
My dad put me onto this book. He suspects that I am becoming a Tormé fan. Could be.

comments: 2

Adair said...

His work with the Mel-Tones is especially magical. There are Mel-Tone sets with the Artie Shaw big band of the late forties (my favorite incarnation of that band) and some fantastic individual sides for Musicraft, such as "Dream Awhile" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." Not to be missed is the Mel Torme and the Mel-Tones album on Verve from the late 1950s.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Adair.