We’re shining the birthday spotlight on Doris Day tonight in The Lounge – the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century. She was born Doris Mary Ann Von Kapplehoff in Cincinnati, Ohio, on this day in 1922. Her parents divorced while she was very young and she ended up living with her mother. In her mid-teens, Doris wanted very much to become a dancer, and was good enough to win $500 dollars in a local talent contest. Tragically, just as it seemed she’d found her true calling, Doris was injured in a car accident, putting an end to those aspirations. It was a terrible setback, but after taking singing lessons, she found a new vocation. At the age of 17, Doris Day began touring with the Les Brown Band. Her popularity began to rise in the mid-40’s after her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey”. In 1947, she embarked on a solo career, after signing with Columbia records. It was a professional relationship which lasted more than 20 years, during which time, she made more than 650 recordings.
In the late 1940’s, her agent talked her into taking a screen test at Warner Bros. The executives liked what they saw and offered her a contract. In 1953, Doris Day starred in ‘Calamity Jane’, which was a major hit, and several more followed, including her best-known film, ‘Pillow Talk’ (in 1959). She began to slow down her film making pace in the 1960s. After her third husband, Martin Melcher died in 1968, Doris never made another film, but she did start her own TV series, ‘The Doris Day Show’. That show, like her movies, and her music, was very successful, lasting until 1973. These days, she runs the Doris Day Animal League in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where she also lives with many cats and dogs. There’s is a longstanding dispute over whether she was born in 1922 or 1924. Doris has been known to give the latter throughout her career, but census records and her biographer (David Kaufman) cite the earlier year – so, happy 95th birthday to Doris Day.
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