Live jazz, artists, venues and education in Leicester
Throughout her career, Marlene VerPlanck has stuck to her guns, paying loving care to the great standards and new songs from our finest composers, while ignoring mediocre pop tunes. Songwriter Hugh Martin ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," etc.) expressed it well: "We know our songs are safe in the hands of Marlene VerPlanck, and she will sing them better than anyone else." Millions of people first heard Marlene's crystal-clear voice anonymously, on radio and television, when she espoused the merits of dozens of commercial products, among them: "Mm-mm good, mm-mm good, that's what Campbell's Soups are..." But, actually, she got her start in the big-band business, as a very young vocalist with Charlie Spivak and Tex Beneke. During a brief stint with the last Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, she met her future husband, musician-arranger Billy VerPlanck. In time, Marlene became one of the nation's busiest studio singers, backing up vocalists ranging from Frank Sinatra and MelTorme to Kiss. Following appearances on Alec Wilder's historic National Public Radio series, "American Popular Songs," in the 1970s, Marlene emerged as a leading solo performer. Appearances at Carnegie Hall, Michael's Pub and the Rainbow Room brought rave notices, and national TV shows, including "Entertainment Tonight," "The Today Show" and CBS's "Sunday Morning," featured profiles of the increasingly popular singer. Today, Marlene performs across North America and much of Western Europe, while a growing roster of solo CDs continues to win critical acclaim. A list of her current recordings on the Audiophile label appears on this web site in the Discography section. The albums feature exciting arrangements scored by her husband, Billy VerPlanck, with accompaniment by many of America's finest musicians. In addition to her Audiophile albums,"In a Digital Mood," featuring Marlene, Mel Torme and Julius LaRosa with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, on the GRP label, was the first big-band CD to go gold. The CD is available from GRP Records, Inc. Also, at the personal request of Richard Adler, the renowned composer of Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game, Marlene recorded some of Adler's most memorable music. The CD, "You Gotta Have Heart: The Songs of Richard Adler," is available on the Varese Saraband label. Phioto: Bob Meyrick
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