Friday, November 05, 2021

Gloria Wood

My musical explorations sometimes lead to bizarre destinations.

Gloria Wood is one of them.

She was a true voice artist, a singer with a four octave range and a talent for mimicry.

She sang with big bands in the 1940s (she sang The Woody Woodpecker Song with Kay Kyser), and did an enormous amount of voice work in the 50s and 60s (over 2,000 commercials between 1955 and 1958:—hers was the voice of Rice-a-Roni jingles!)

Gloria released a series of novelty recordings in the 1950s including Hey Bellboy! which was reportedly a big seller but somehow I had never heard it. Here it is, but with this caveat: it is an insidious ear-worm and has a chorus that is absolutely demented—ONCE HEARD IT CANNOT BE UNHEARD—you have been warned:



She was capable of straight renditions as well, as this track with the legendary Wingy Manone (from 1946) shows:



In the 1960s Gloria did a lot of overdubbing in the movies, including singing for Marilyn Monroe (River of No Return) and Vera-Ellen (White Christmas).

By Professor Batty



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