Ghostess with the Mostest

Margaret Nixon McEathron was born on February the 22nd, in 1930 – so today is her 88th birth anniversary!

Known professionally as Marni Nixon, she was an American soprano and ghost singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is now well-known as the real singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and IWest Side Story, and My Fair Lady, although this was concealed at the time from audiences.

Besides her voice work in films, Nixon’s varied
career included some film roles of her own with appearances on television, and in opera, musicals on Broadway and elsewhere throughout the United States, as well as in concerts with symphony orchestras, including my own in 1976 – Florida Philharmonic!

Indeed, Marni turned out to be the highlight of one of the Philharmonic’s annual Miami summer concert series held at the outdoor Marine Stadium (pictured below) with a large and enthusiastic audience in attendance.

Marni’s career included Opera, (Seattle, San Francisco, Ford Foundation TV Opera Cameos), Chamber and Symphony, Oratorio soloist and Grammy Nominated recordings both popular and classical (Boulez, Villa-Lobos, Ives, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland) including conductors Wallenstein, Previn, Mehta, Stravinksy, Stokowski, Slatkin and Bernstein.

Latterly a frequent guest and sidekick for Liberace and Victor Borge, her national tours included her own show Marni Nixon: The Voice of Hollywood.

I’ll close this brief tribute to an inspiring figure, who was dubbed the “Ghostess with the Mostest” in the annals of popular music, with a rare version of her singing on YouTube the classic song “Climb Every Mountain.” 

Marni was the recipient of the George Peabody Award 2012 for “Outstanding Contributions to American Music”. She passed away on July 24, 2016.

References: Wikipedia; Marni Nixon Website; My Diary

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