A Voice Remembered : Eileen Wilson©2008JCMarion


Eileen Wilson was another of the vocalists on the television version of "Your Hit Parade" that many people have forgotten about. She had been acclained for her vocal work on the sound tracks from the motion pictures in the late nineteen forties. For three successive years, Wilson was the singing voice of Ava Gardner. In 1947, the film was "The Hucksters" which also starred Clark Gable and Deborah Kerr. In 1948 the film was "One Youch Of Venus" including the beguiling tune "Speak Low" which ran throughout the film which also starred Robert Walker. In 1949 "The Bribe" was another Ava Gardner film that also featured Robert Taylor, Vincent Price, and Charles Laughton. In 1948 Wilson vocalized for on screen actress Cyd Charisse (who recently passed away) in the film "Words And Music". In 1949 Wilson also sang on the sound track from the picture "Come To The Stable", with Eileen singing "Through A Long And Sleepless Night" for Dorothy Patrick.

In the waning days of the big band era, Eileen Wilson had been a vocalist with Will Osborne and then had the good fortune to be named the replacement fror Doris Day with the band of Les Brown. She did a memorable vocal on the song "Love Is So Terrific" with the band and soon married Ray Kellogg the male vocalist with the band. As part of the Les Brown aggregation, she made many appearances as vocalist on the Bob Hope radio program. She recorded "Oh How I Miss You Tonight" and "Just One Of Those Things" with Kellogg on the band for Columbia on # 38381. She also had subbed for Beryl Davis, a regular on the radio version of "Your Hit Parade"in August of 1948, and late in the year became a regular with the show's star singer Frank Sinatra. Eileen also was part of the cast doing vocals on the Club Fifteen radio program with Dick Haymes.

From these appearances, Eileen Wilson was tabbed to be part of the original cast of the TV production of "Your Hit Parade" which began in 1950. She made a memorable appearance on Milton Berle's television show with Cole Porter (his only television appearance). She remained on the show for about two years then went on to do more work in motion pictures. She had a part in the movie " in 1953's Crazy Frolic". She did the singing for Sherree North in "The Best Things In Life Are Free" in 1956 and "Mardi Gras" in 1958. Her voice was on the soundtrack od the picture "April Love" for Delores Michaels and for Barbara Bel Geddes in "The Five Pennies" in 1959. In the mid sixties she was still in demand for voiceovers on the movie set as she proves with her dubbed singing for Donna Douglas in the Elvis film "Frankie And Johnny".

There are a few compilation albums (most featuring Les Brown) that feature a song or two by Wilson. On the internet there exists a wonderful clip from "Your Hit Parade" featuring Eileen's version of "Anytime" a huge hit from the early fifties originally by Hank Williams and covered by Eddie Fisher. Done live, no less, she rides in on horseback among a group of cowboys, and sings the first chorus in the saddle ! Great stuff and a great memory of a wonderful performer.

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