Posted by Jack Mallon on August 02, 1998 at 17:59:41:


The other day I heard Paul Harvey tell a story about this girl from a small Texas town who wanted to get into show business. Had some small successes but couldn't break through. She evem had an audition with Billy Rose who told her she wasn't a bad singer/dancer but not big time show biz quality.

She ignored advice to go back home. One night while working as a singer waitress in a dimly lit lounge a gentleman repeatedly asked her to sing that song again. During the course of the evening she sang "Shoe Shine Boy" many times into the wee small hours of the morning. Thinking the gentleman was going to offer her a job, her disappointment hit a new low when he paid the check and departed. So disappointment was she that she quit her job at the end of the evening and moved to California.

Between takes on the movie set of Birth of the Blues, Mary Martin was singing the song "Shoe Shine Boy" and across the room was her costar, Bing Crosby. When she started to sing it a third or fourth time Bing spoke up and said, "Mary, please don't sing that brings back memories of a waitress who sang that song for me many times one night. The next night I went back to tell her I had arranged a screen test her and she no longer worked there."

Mary walked towards Bing and was about to say something, when they were called back to the set. Later, preoccupied with the movie, she never told Bing the REST OF THE STORY.

G' Day

Jack Mallon

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