Audrey Call

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Audrey Call
180513 2209-IMG 0369.jpg
Audrey Call, ca. 1925
Native name
Audrey Call Marcelli
Born(1905-04-12)April 12, 1905
Alton, Indiana
Died(2001-06-03)June 3, 2001
Santa Rosa, California
EducationSherwood Music School (Chicago), Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation (Paris)
Known forSoloist and composer for numerous radio shows in the 1930s, including "Halls of Ivy" and "Fibber McGee and Molly"
Notable work
"the Witch of Harlem", "Canterbury Tales"
Stylejazz violin
Spouse(s)Ulderico Marcelli

Audrey Call (1905-2001) was an American violinist and composer, writing for and soloing with studio orchestras for NBC and CBS in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. One of very few women composers writing in a jazz style for the violin, she performed on the "Fibber McGee and Molly", "Dennis Day", "Imogene Coca", and Ronald Colman's Halls of Ivy radio shows.[1]


Audrey Call was born in Alton, Indiana, in 1905[disputed (for: Who's Who 1975 says 1909) ], and began playing the violin at an early age.[citation needed] She studied under Chicago composer and concertmaster P. Marinus Paulson at Sherwood Music School.[2] She won a number of important competitions, one of which led to her performing the Paganini Violin Concerto in Chicago. She then was awarded a scholarship to study in France at the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique et de Declamation in Paris, now known as the Conservatoire de Paris. On her return to the US in 1929, she began a solo and orchestral career in Chicago and New York, where she met and married Ulderico Marcelli (1882-1962), an Italian composer and conductor, with whom she had a son, Victor Marcelli. In the 1950s they moved to Sunland, California, where Call did Hollywood studio work (including playing for the sound track of "Around the World in 80 Days") and later taught violin and piano until she was in her late 80s.[1]


Audrey Call found her niche playing in studio orchestras, where her technique and sightreading skills made her a valuable player, and she often acted as concertmaster. In 1937 she recorded a suite for violin and piano ("Canterbury Tales") with pianist Maurice Krumbein (who also went under the name of Ray Carter). She appears to have stopped composing specifically for the violin after her marriage, but continued to write popular songs.[citation needed] One work, "I Just Telephone Upstairs", written for the "Halls of Ivy" radio show,[3] was recorded and sung by Western crooner Hank Snow in 1952,[4] and made it to number 5 in the Billboard Magazine charts.[citation needed] The song first appeared on the show on November 21, 1951, an episode for which Call also wrote the script.[3] The song was also covered by the Golden Gate Quartet.[5]

She also composed in later years—her last piece was a song written for her retirement home in Santa Rosa, California. Unfortunately, nearly all the scores and published music by her and her husband were lost when the shed they were stored in was flooded.[6][better source needed]


  • "The Witch of Harlem" (violin and piano)
  • "Canterbury Tales" (Violin and piano)
  • "I Just Telephone Upstairs" (Song)
  • "Indiana Lullaby" (song)


  1. ^ a b "Audrey Call Marcelli's Obituary on Press Democrat". Press Democrat. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ Frankenstein, Alfred Victor; Spaeth, Sigmund Gottfried; Mize, John Townsend Hinton (1927). Who is who in Music: Biographical Reviews, Pictorial and Other Features of Interest to and Concerning Persons in the World of Music... Who is Who in Music, Incorporated, Limited. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Madison Wisconsin State Journal Archives, Nov 21, 1951, p. 20". 21 November 1951. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Hank Snow And The Jordanaires With The Rainbow Ranch Boys - I Just Telephone Upstairs". Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ "The Golden Gate Quartet - Didn't It Rain". Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  6. ^ Conversation with Victor Marcelli, May 2018

External links[edit]