Nelson Eddy is pictured above with Sheba, the dog given to him by Jeanette MacDonald, many months before they actually began making a film together in 1934.
I want to give a shout out to Kitty Job for sending the following email:
Hi Sharon, I came across this little ditty sung by Nelson on The Bell Telephone Hour. I was kind of shocked by it, but I guess this is the side of Nelson we don’t like to see – his cynical, depressed side.
Date: Sept. 22, 1952
I Loved A Lass – William FranzPoem by George WitherI loved a lass, a fair one,As fair as e’er was seen;She was indeed a rare one,Another Sheba Queen:But, fool as then I was,I thought she loved me too:But now, alas! she’s left me,Falero, lero, loo!
Her cheeks were like the cherry,Her skin was white as snow;When she was blithe and merryShe angel-like did show;Her waist exceeding small,The fives did fit her shoe:But now, alas! she’s left me,Falero, lero, loo!
To maidens’ vows and swearingHenceforth no credit give;You may give them the hearing,But never them believe;They are as false as fair,Unconstant, frail, untrue:For mine, alas! hath left me,Falero, lero, loo!
As those of you who have read Sweethearts know, Nelson and Jeanette were prone to singing in public certain songs that had private meanings in their lives at the moment.
For Nelson to choose this song during a bitter point in his life, with the reference to “Sheba” which was Jeanette’s first gift to him so many years earlier – is telling.
What was happening in September 1952 when this radio show was broadcast? Well, Nelson was suffering still after the personal breakup with Jeanette. It was now about two years later and professionally, both stars were floundering. But interestingly enough, they were moving step-by-step toward a reconciliation that would occur on national TV during Nelson’s surprise appearance on Jeanette’s episode of This is Your Life in November. And in between his singing “I Loved a Lass” on the radio and This is Your Life, Nelson filmed a TV pilot called Nelson Eddy’s Backyard in which he plays a TV version of himself, he gazes at his own painting on the wall of Lake Tahoe (a meaningful location for them), and looks into the camera and sings “Wish You Were Here.” This was all leading up to the night before This is Your Life when Nelson quietly slipped into the audience of Jeanette’s local concert and slipped out again without even letting her know, although sharp-eyed fans noticed him.
Thank you, Kitty, for showing another bit of evidence to demonstrate how yes, Nelson’s life played out in public if anyone cared to observe.