Loulie Jean Norman

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Loulie Jean Norman (born in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 12, 1913; died August 2, 2005 in Los Angeles) was a coloratura soprano who worked with arranger Gordon Jenkins. Jenkins and Norman collaborated on a number of albums. Norman was also a member of The Rhythmaires and the Ray Conniff Singers. She was married to Norman H. Price, Sr. (who would become a decorated World War Two ace) and had four children, Patricia, Pamela, Priscilla, and Norman, Jr. She was the grandmother of Luke, Matthew, Orion, Terra, Jed, Byron, Rebecca, Rachell, Daniel, Ryan and Patrick. She had three brothers and one sister.

Career[edit]

During her adolescence in Birmingham at Phillips High School, and later on at Birmingham–Southern College, it became apparent that she was a most gifted Coloratura soprano with a four – octave range. Initially she wanted to pursue opera, but Loulie Jean decided to move to New York to try for a career as a radio singer. Her stunning beauty led to modeling jobs, and in 1936 she joined The Rhythm Singers on Kay Thompson’s Chesterfield Program. She married naval pilot Norman Price and eventually moved to Los Angeles where they raised four children. In 1940 Loulie Jean was selected as the summer replacement for Dinah Shore on the NBC radio program, The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. She became a member of the successful singing group known as The Campus Kids which worked with Kay Kyser. Another member of the group was Judd Conlon and he formed a new group called The Rhythmaires which began as backing singers on Bing Crosby’s Philco show. Crosby singled Loulie Jean out time and again on radio for solo passages which cried out for an ethereal obbligato. She was once introduced by him as The Lorelei from Birmingham, Alabama; another time as The Hartz Mountain Canary. Examples of her contributions to Crosby’s singing on radio are ‘Story of Sorrento’ (Philco March 31st, 1948), ‘Beyond the Reef’ (Chesterfield November 1st and 15th, 1950; January 3rd and February 21st, 1951), ‘Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart’ (General Electric October 9th and 23rd, 1952) and ‘I Got Lucky in the Rain’ (Philco June 1st, 1949). A favorite song that Crosby sang as a child was ‘Whispering Hope’. When he reprised it on his Chesterfield show (November 16th, 1949 and March 1st, 1950) with his brother Bob, Loulie Jean was given the role of recreating their sister Catherine’s part. “Whispering Hope” was also heard on the Chesterfield show of May 10th, 1950, with Loulie Jean joining Bing and Mary Martin. [1]

Loulie Jean has an eclectic discography. She appeared on Mel Torme’s watershed recording of ‘California Suite’. Many top-flight arranger/conductors used her on their albums. Gordon Jenkins was one; another was Billy May who employed her unique sound for his Capitol LP ‘Polynesian Adventure’. Henry Mancini used her on his RCA album, ‘The Trail of the Pink Panther’ (and Other Pink Panther Themes)'. Paul Desmond and Buddy DeFranco were two others who had her on their disc releases. The Ray Conniff Singers and Spike Jones’ City Slickers could take pride in Loulie Jean’s membership. Her high register is memorable on the The Tokens 1961 hit ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. She also recorded with Sam Cooke, and is the voice of The Future on Frank Sinatra’s Trilogy album. Loulie Jean’s recording of ‘Vocalize’, written by Hugh Martin for the 1954 MGM musical Athena, may be heard at her memorial website www.louliejeannorman.memory-of.com [1]

Loulie Jean contributed to several films: The Big Hangover, Dream Wife, G.I. Blues (in which she covered Juliet Prowse), Blue Hawaii (in which she sang with Elvis on ‘Moonlight Swim’) and Too Late Blues (in which she covered Stella Stevens) and A Boy Named Charlie Brown (in which she joined forces again with former colleagues Gloria Wood and John Scott Trotter). Jerry Lewis secured her for the role of the Princess for the cast of the soundtrack album of Cinderfella (which was different from the one in the actual movie.) Possibly her most memorable screen credit is Porgy and Bess, in which, at André Previn’s request, she sang Summertime for Diahann Carroll. Her television credits included frequent appearances on The Dinah Shore Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Carol Burnett Show. One of her greatest claims to fame came when she delivered the wordless vocalese over Alexander Courage’s opening theme music for the first two seasons of Star Trek. Sadly for Loulie Jean, the music was re-recorded without her voice for the show’s third season so the beleaguered producer could avoid paying her royalties.[1]

She will also be known to many as the Crazy Soprano Ghost in the Haunted Mansion attraction in Disney Theme Parks where her completely improvised shrieking has been delighting tourists for years.[1]

Other Significant Singing Roles[edit]

During the 1960s, she recorded as a member of various easy-listening choral groups, most notably the Ray Conniff Singers.[2]

She not only did the vocalization for the original Star Trek theme but also for the music that accompanied the Talosians' illusions in "The Cage", also composed by Alexander Courage, which was used as well in the seance in "Wolf in the Fold", Nona's treatment of Kirk from a mugato bite in "A Private Little War", and the scene where Spock is first possessed by the spores in "This Side of Paradise".[3]

She also voiced Penelope Pinfeather in Melody and Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom. She was a member of an all female singing group, known as the G-6, and Henry Mancini's wife was also a member. Loulie died on August 2, 2005 in Studio City, California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McQuade, Martin (Winter 2007). "Zing a Little Zong". BING magazine: 36–42. 
  2. ^ On the album Speak to Me of Love (Columbia, 1963);
    Further information: Ray Conniff
    .
  3. ^ Loulie Jean Norman-Memory Alpha(memory-alpha.org).

External links[edit]