26 August 2009 | bkoganbing
Grace Moore 1898-1947
If Grace Moore were still alive I'm sure she'd have been pleased that she was tributed by another great soprano in the person of Kathryn Grayson. But she'd probably wonder where are all the songs that she made famous.
Probably because the two American studios that she worked for, first MGM and then Columbia held all the copyrights and Jack Warner wasn't about to shell out some big bucks for One Night Of Love, Love Me Forever and I'll Take Romance for his film. It makes me wonder why his studio chose Grace Moore as the subject of a biographical film.
The problem was somewhat solved by taking her story up to 1928, the year she made her Metropolitan Opera debut. All these songs were in the future. But they also managed to select a list of popular songs that she wasn't identified with at all. I did a bit of research on the subject and confirmed it. The only song that Grayson sings in So This Is Love that is both not operatic and identified with Grace Moore is Ciribiribin, cheerfully for Jack Warner in the public domain.
The story we get as far as it goes is that of young Grace Moore, born in Slabtown, raised in Jellico, Tennessee who had a burning ambition to sing. Nothing stood in her way and we see a few broken hearts like Merv Griffin's and Douglas Dick's left by the wayside. What's not shown here is that Grace Moore was every inch southern born and bred and that includes a few negatives I think you can figure out.
What Grace Moore was however was one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. She conquered five mediums, the musical stage, grand opera, recordings, radio, and film. The last three get no mention at all. She was the most popular selling classical artist between Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza on record, she was a Hollywood star as I said before later in her career, and she appeared numerous times on radio on the Bell Telephone Hour. Not touching on any of that in So This Is Love does Moore an injustice.
Her life story would make a compelling film if the real story were told and maybe Columbia could do it and dub her voice to a current actress. There are surely none around like Kathryn Grayson who could actually sing those songs.