Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Album: Deanna


Day Nineteen of our Holiday countdown has dawned, along with the keen realization that Deanna Durbin's long years of retirement from the business of show seems much more understandable now that this particular image has emerged from the vault. Hollywood dress designers aside, the Canadian born Edna May Durbin blended a classically trained, lush voice with a sparkling personality that is hard to describe but highly enjoyable to witness on film. Despite the fact that she was a mere fourteen when her singing talent burst forth in Three Smart Girls (1936), like horror movies and later Abbott and Costello, Durbin's slim shoulders are often cited as lifting Universal from its artistic and financial coma, "saving" the ramshackle studio from bankruptcy with the sheer force of her mezzo-soprano voice and engaging manner.

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