September 8, 1923|
Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||March 4, 1995
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, voice actress|
|Associated acts||Bing Crosby|
Gloria Wood (September 8, 1923 – March 4, 1995) was a singer and cartoon voice actress. Her rare voice was in the four-octave range. She was able to imitate other voices.
Background and career
Born in Medford, Massachusetts in 1923, her father was Robert E. Wood, a Boston radio singer in the 1920s, who with wife Gertrude Anderson-Wood, was the influence which had encouraged both Gloria and her older sister Donna to cultivate their vocal skills. Shortly after leaving high school in 1941, Gloria joined Donna in The Horace Heidt Band. In 1947 Kay Kyser offered Gloria the emotional problem of replacing Donna in his Campus Kids vocal group when she died on April 8, 1947 at the age of twenty nine. Wood also became the lead singer for Kyser on occasion and enjoyed several hits. She went on to become one of the members of The Rhythmaires vocal group which worked with Bing Crosby for almost ten years. Crosby would occasionally showcase her apart from the group, notably on the Philco shows of March 17 and 31, 1948 when, in duet with him, she reprised her Kyser success, "Saturday Date." They sang another of her Kyser hits, "On a Slow Boat to China" on Philco June 1, 1949. She can also be heard on Crosby's 1950 recording and subsequent air checks of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," where she supplies the voice of Rudolph.
Wood also had an extensive film career as a ghost singer, her earliest venture in this field being in Diamond Horseshoe. Uncredited, she is the voice of Adele Jergens in The Bowery Boys movie, Blues Busters; and one of the voices (with Trudy Stevens) of Vera-Ellen in White Christmas. Twice she was a partial stand-in for Marilyn Monroe in River of No Return and Let's Make Love. She appears in Gaby singing "Where or When," and sang for one of the twins in The Parent Trap, Ladyfish in The Incredible Mr. Limpet and Lucille Ball's young nephew in Mame. She recorded many singing commercials both on radio and television. One of the best known of these was for Rice-A-Roni (…the San Francisco treat); but she may be best remembered as the voice of the orbiting Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan peanut butter ads. Wood was utilized on numerous cartoons, beginning in 1948 in Walter Lantz's Wet Blanket Policy, where she was heard singing the famous Woody Woodpecker Song. On television, Wood supplied various voices for The Bugs and Daffy Show and That's Warner Bros.!; as well as that of Minnie Mouse and other s characters on several Walt Disney programs. Wood wed in 1955, and it was around this time that she joined The Johnny Mann Singers.
Wood died on March 4, 1995 from complications of diabetes. At that time, she was known as Gloria Wood-McGeorge.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (on records)
- Various Looney Tunes cartoon characters
- Tinker Bell on Peter Pan (peanut butter) TV commercials
- Minnie Mouse (Disney)
- Susie Sparrow (Disney)
- Nelly the Singing Giraffe (Warner Brothers)
- Cartoon characters in A Symposium on Popular Songs (Disney)
History & Discography
- 1941: Gloria's mother, a pop singer on Boston radio in the mid-'20s, sent Gloria into big band singing from high school.
- 1940s: Gloria Wood sings with band leader Kay Kyser.
- 1948: On a Slow Boat to China - Kay Kyser, Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood
- 1948: She first sings The Woody Woodpecker Song in Wet Blanket Policy cartoon.
- 1948: So Dear to My Heart (Disney Live Action/Animated Film) (chorus)
- 1949: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad ("The Headless Horseman" chorus)(Disney Animated Film)
- 1950: She is the uncredited singing voice of Adele Jergens in the comedy film Blues Busters. She sings Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, and Better Be Lookin' Out for Love.
- 1951: Alice in Wonderland (Disney Animated Film) (chorus)
- 1953: Peter Pan (Disney Animated Film) (chorus)
- 1953: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (Disney Animated Short) Susie Sparrow
- 1953: 'Hey Bellboy' is one of her most popular songs. It sold 1 million copies.
- 1953: The Band Wagon
- 1953: Singer in 'That's Entertainment' Sequence (uncredited)
- 1954: She is the dubbed singing voice for Marilyn Monroe in the movie River of No Return.
- 1954: She is a dubbed singing voice for Vera-Ellen in the movie White Christmas.
- mid-1950s: She sings an LP of romantic ballads for Columbia.
- 1955 to 1958: In only three years, Gloria sang in more than 2,000 singing commercials.
- 1956: Gaby - Singer at the Bottle Club and performer in "Where Or When"
- 1957: She is the Singing Bride in The Jack Benny Program (TV series) and in Goodwin Knight/George Jessel Show.
- 1957: Zorro (Live Action Series) Singing barmaid in "Death Stacks the Deck"
- 1957: The Woody Woodpecker Show (Animated Series) Singer "Spook-a-Nanny"
- late 1950s: She sings on a record with Ricky Nelson.
- late 1950s: She heads up a choir in Disney record/s.
- late 1950s: Along with Stan Freberg, she plays cartoon voices in TV commercials, including the Rice-A-Roni TV commercial jingle.
- late 1950s: She plays cartoon voices in cartoons and record albums.
- 1960: featured vocalist on Pete Rugolo's album, Behind Brigitte Bardot (Warner Bros., 1960)
- 1960: "Ching Ching" Gloria Wood And The Afterbeats, Bob Sherman, Dick Sherman, Buena Vista USA
- 1961: She voices and sings as Nelly the Singing Giraffe in Nelly's Folly, a short cartoon for Warner Bros.
- 1962: She sings in A Symposium on Popular Songs, a short cartoon for Disney: "The Boogie Woogie Bakery Man", "Rock, Rumble and Roar", "Charleston Charlie"
- 1966: The Super 6 cartoon
- 1966: Batman (Live Action Series) (theme song chorus)
- 1969: A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Animated Film) (singer)
- 1973: Walt Disney presents Christmas Adventure in Disneyland album - Disneyland Records.
- 1978: Yogi's Space Race by Hanna-Barbera
- 1996: The Bugs n' Daffy Show cartoon TV series.
- 1995: She voices various cartoon characters in That's Warner Bros.! TV series.