Annette Warren To Play Catalina Jazz Club, Age 96
Annette Warren, the "secret" singing voice of Ava Gardner and Lucille Ball in such films as the MGM classic "Show Boat," and a nightclub, TV and recording star whose career spans the past 70 years, will return to the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood on Tuesday, Feb. 19 with a the premiere performance of her new show, Professor Bob and the Old Broad, joined by accompanist Bob Remstein.
The show traces her illustrious life with songs and stories from her beginning in Cleveland, through her successes in New York, London and Los Angeles, as well as new songs and patter with Remstein.
Warren, who turns 97 in July, is a classically-trained pianist as well as
singer, and was discovered in the early 1940's by arranger and vocal coach Phil Moore, who recorded her for the Black and White label. She also gained the attention of composer Meredith Willson, and was soon traveling back and forth between New York and L.A., singing in clubs and on radio with increasing success, receiving a radio contract with RCA. She appeared at such clubs as One Fifth Avenue, the St. Regis Maisonette, the Blue Angel, the Bon Soir, and Ye Little Club.
In 1948, she was hired by Paramount to dub the singing voice of comedienne Iris Adrian in the Bob Hope film "The Paleface," which began a new facet of her career. This was followed by two films dubbing songs for Lucille Ball, "Sorrowful Jones" and "Fancy Pants". She also did all of the female voices for the UPA animated version of the Frankie and Johnny story entitled "Rooty Toot Toot," which received an Oscar nomination as Best Short.
In 1951, she read that MGM was looking for someone to record the songs for Ava Gardner in "Show Boat," and she won the job over such competition as Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms and Lee Wiley, who had all auditioned. Her renditions of "Bill" and "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" were considered definitive, and Barbra Streisand later acknowledged Warren's version of the latter song as one of her inspirations for her "Broadway Album".
She had her own local TV show, "Annette Warren Time" on CBS, recorded an album and several singles for ABC Paramount, and replaced Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Peachum in the long-running off-Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera" with Lotte Lenya, Jerry Orbach, Ed Asner and Beatrice Arthur.
In 1958, Warren married legendary jazz pianist Paul Smith, temporarily putting her career on hold to raise their four children, but continuing to occasionally record and perform, including the acclaimed duo-piano Capitol album with Smith entitled "His and Hers". Resuming her career full time, she recorded an additional series of albums and also joined the show "Hollywood's Secret Singing Stars," with such other movie dubbers as India Adams, Betty Wand and Jo Ann Greer. More recently, she received rave reviews for her appearance at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York.
Fresh Sound Records recently released a two-CD compilation of her rare
recordings from the 1940's and 50's and she is currently busy completing a
brand-new album for release this spring.
Bob Remstein has composed over twenty-five Jewish liturgical works. In
secular music, he has scored numerous video games for SceneIt, arranged and
produced music for the Oscar-nominated film, "Little Miss Sunshine," and, as
co-leader of the lounge/electronica group Supercasanova, has written and
produced tracks used on TV shows such as "Without a Trace," "Chuck," "The
Guiding Light," and on Animal Planet, E!, Style Network, MSNBC, and others.
The Catalina Jazz Club is located at 6725 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. The
phone for information and reservations is 323-466-2210.