Saturday, 30 January 2016

Smoking, drinking, never thinking of tomorrow



Tammy Grimes. Tammy Grimes - a name wholeheartedly unsuited to showbiz; and yet a name one feels one really should know more about.

When I read that it is the lady's 82nd birthday today, I felt I just had to seek out more about her.

Variously described as having "a speaking voice like a buzz saw", a "lyric baritone singing voice that has a low, throaty quiver, a hum that takes wings", and "the stage personality of a daffy but endearing pseudo-English eccentric", Miss Grimes (born into a prominent New England family) began her career as a Broadway trouper - she was the original Unsinkable Molly Brown - married (and divorced) Christopher Plummer (their daughter is Amanda Plummer), and (notoriously) starred in one of the shortest series in television history, The Tammy Grimes Show. Returning to her natural home the stage, she has latterly been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame and is an eminent member of the (US) Noel Coward Society.

Judging by this awe-inspiring rendition of that Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn [read my recent blog about him on his centenary] classic Sophisticated Lady, she is a talent to be reckoned with:



They say into your early life romance came
And then this heart of yours burned a flame
A flame that flickered one day and died away

Then with disillusion deep in your eyes
You learned that fools in love soon grow wise
The years have changed you somehow
I see you now

Smoking, drinking, never thinking
Of tomorrow, nonchalant
Diamonds shining, dancing, dining
With some man in a restaurant

Is that all you really want?
No, sophisticated lady
I know, you miss the love you lost long ago
And when nobody is nigh you cry

Smoking, drinking, never thinking
Of tomorrow, nonchalant
Diamonds shining, dancing, dining
With some man in a restaurant

Is that all you really want?
No, sophisticated lady
I know, you miss the love you lost long ago
And when nobody is nigh you cry

Sophisticated lady you cry.


Wonderful.

Tammy Lee Grimes (born 30th January 1934)

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