vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Carole's movies, Dorothy's songs

One of the many qualities that made Carole Lombard such a beloved star in the film community was the generosity and advice she gave to those up-and-coming personalities who worked with her. One example is Dorothy Lamour, who was fifth-billed in the Lombard Paramount vehicle "Swing High, Swing Low" (1937); above is a publicity still of her from the film.

This was only Lamour's fifth movie; in two of the others, she had been unbilled, but in her previous film, "The Jungle Princess" (1936), she had the lead role, and it turned out to be a surprise success for Paramount. Now, she was playing a supporting part to an established star, and Lamour may have feared some uneasiness on the set. But as Lamour later told David Chierichetti in his biography of director Mitchell Leisen, "The moment I stepped on the set, Carole Lombard looked at me and said, 'This poor girl's eyebrows are too thin. Get [makeup expert] Wally Westmore.' She refused to shoot anything until Westmore came down to the set and fixed my eyebrows."

Lamour would inherit Lombard's dressing room at Paramount after Carole's contract there ended, and in the spring of 1938, she sent Dorothy an azalea plant to "cheer up the place."

Many may not be aware that Lamour initially set out to be a singer rather than an actress, and in fact she sang with several bands during the 1930s, including that of the man who became her first husband, Herbie Kaye. She made a number of recordings, many of them songs from Paramount movies, and 16 have been put on a CD compilation, "Thanks For The Memories: The Brunswick Recordings."

Three of the songs have ties to Carole's films: "Swing High, Swing Low," the movie's title song, "I Hear A Call To Arms" (which Carole sings in the film) and "True Confession" (Lamour did not appear in that movie). Dorothy has a pretty good way with a tune, and the orchestra is reasonably good, so if you're into '30s vocals, it's worth investigating, and a nice tribute to a friend of Carole's.
Tags: dorothy lamour, swing high swing low, true confession

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