THE BLOG OF LESS RENOWN, CELEBRATING UNDER-APPRECIATED UNUSUAL, UNIQUE, SICK OR STRANGE SINGERS, SONGWRITERS AND SONGS
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010
Halloween is a few days away. ‘Tis the season when the average witless blogger takes his finger out of his nose and points it to the sky, crying: “I’ve got a great idea! How cool would it be to do an entire Multiupload file of Halloween songs? Gosh, I’ll bet nobody’s thought of THAT before! Hey gang, don’t buy “Monster Mash” or any of that stuff, I’ll give it to you free! Trick or Treat! Trick for the artists, treat for you! Har har, ahar!” Over here, Halloween only is a reminder that pumpkin heads (or people who have pumpkins for heads) are temporary and rot, and to paraphrase Dylan (no, the other one) Death does have dominion. And the Grim Reaper took his scythe to Loulie Jean Norman before this blog was even born. But at least she had a long life, and it’s time to celebrate this neglected and sexy spook– and delightful Southern belle. I was a fan ever since I glommed the back cover of a Spike Jones record (because there was one; it wasn’t an mp3 file with no credits or album notes) and wanted to check who was voicing “Vampira” opposite Paul Frees’ “Dracula.” This was one of many wonderfully creepy supernatural assignments she took. She did the ethereal warbling as “Swamp Girl,” the clammy modern-day Chloe who humidly haunted Frankie Laine through muck and mire. A while later, she was back in the jungle, supplying the rather bizarre soprano wailing on “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for The Tokens. Ms Norman voiced ghosts for Walt Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” and should’ve become better known to Trekkies at least, for her vocalise work on the theme song for the original “Star Trek.” Loulie (March 12, 1913-August 2, 2005) left her native Alabama to become the voice of a huge parade of Hollywood stars, dubbing: Juliet Prowse (GI BLUES, 1958), Diahann Carroll (that’s Loulie singing the black blues “Summertime” in PORGY AND BESS, 1959) and Stella Stevens (TOO LATE BLUES, 1962) among others. Less important on her resume was her work as a member of the Ray Conniff Singers, and as one of the back-up singers on “Moonlight Swim,” which was on the soundtrack for Elvis Presley’s “Blue Hawaii.” She was a friend of Gordon Jenkins, which naturally meant that she got the nod for back-up work for Frank Sinatra (notably “Trilogy”) and Mel Torme (“California Suite.”) Let’s simply consider her achievements with the hits “Swamp Girl,” the “Star Trek” theme and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” For this trio, Loulie Jean Norman should have a place in the Book of World Records…for instantly identifiable performances that didn’t have her name on them, and for achieving greatness without singing a single written word!
Loulie is “Swamp Girl” Instant download or listen on line. No pop ups, porn ads or wait time. From the original vinyl, Loulie is “Vampira” going up and down the scale opposite Paul Frees as “Dracula” for “All of a Sudden My Heart Sings.” Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups, porn ads, Paypal donation pleas or wait time.