They were “America’s Singing Sweethearts” of the 1930s. They starred in classic movies like Naughty Marietta, Rose Marie, Maytime, New Moon, in live opera, on radio and in early television… And yes, Virginia, they did have an off-screen romance but because of MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer, were never allowed a legal U.S. marriage. If you are already a fan of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy or are just discovering them – Welcome!
Our new 2022 calendar is now available at this link! The beautiful, glossy 11 x 8.5″ calendar includes new glossy photos not used before inside the calendar, as well as dozens of interesting, informative and fun dates, facts and events in the lives of Jeanette and Nelson! Once again, Don Schumann has designed a wonderful cover!
Today, Thursday, July 15, 2021, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is having a Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy film festival beginning at 6:30 am Eastern time, screening 7 of their 8 films together!
In honor of this event, we released a new 8-book series entitled Poetic Memories. It’s a Limited Edition, only available on this website, wire bound books, 11×8.5″, totaling over 300 pages, printed on glossy paper with unique cover photos for each book and color photos on every page. Click here for more details and to order the book series.
Here for example is a poem by Nelson to Jeanette:
“I shall perhaps want you to lose all prudence for awhile, To give me the wine of the Gods many times. Till I am drunk with its charm and sweetness. That I may remember for all the ages, the fiery passion of you. And never forget the passing of this hour.”
“He is waiting for you, out there on the cool night scented terrace, and you go to his arms aching for his love – this boy you once thought was not worth giving up a career for.” – Nelson Eddy
“Poetic Memories is a compilation of eight scrapbooks lovingly compiled in the 1940s by a fan with an inside connection to Nelson Eddy’s mother, Isabel. The original scrapbooks are reproduced in color. Each page features vintage magazine or greeting card clippings to complement a quote from the writings of Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald or his mother’s unpublished memoirs. If you have read the biography Sweethearts by Sharon Rich, you may recognize some of the quotes, but many more are revealed here for the first time.
“Most of Nelson’s quotes come from private diaries he wrote for Jeanette, often describing their intimate moments in graphic sexual detail, often in Victorian style. Nelson wrongly expected Jeanette to outlive him as he was seriously injured during WWII and later nearly died of pneumonia. He called his journals “insurance” to keep memories of their passion alive for Jeanette when he was gone. After his marriage to Ann Franklin in 1939, Nelson had kept a room at his mother’s residence and set up a “shrine” to Jeanette MacDonald, his singing partner and off-screen love. Over the years he filled the room with his own artwork: nude drawings, paintings and sculptures of Jeanette. In the mid 1940s, Isabel began writing her memoirs and snooped into her son’s private papers, including Jeanette’s letters to Nelson. Perhaps unwisely, Isabel shared much of this very intimate information with a close friend. Isabel was eventually caught when lengthy pages of Nelson’s writings were copied and leaked to the wrong people. While publicly forced to deny their veracity, Nelson was personally angry and felt betrayed. He moved his collection out of Isabel’s house and distanced himself from her as a confidante. From a historical perspective, even though the poetic memories were never meant for public view, they and hundreds of letters providing insight into these years were miraculously not destroyed.”
Today marks the 120th birthday of Nelson Eddy, in his day the highest paid singer in the world and the biggest crossover singer from opera to movie star!
In honor of his birthday, here are four new YouTube videos. In the first interview, we hear Nelson say he loves Jeanette MacDonald and thinks she loves him. Even though it’s said in an offhand way, and he also says he sees Jeanette “all the time,” there’s a definite effort from Jack Paar to get more, even to (jokingly) ask about Jeanette’s legs.
In the second video, Nelson sings a duet with Dinah Shore then a wonderful rock ‘n roll duet of “Shortnin’ Bread” with Frankie Avalon. Even at age 60, Nelson’s voice overpowers both singers.
The third and fourth videos are sadder, from the last weeks of his life. Nelson helps usher in 1967 singing with Gale Sherwood on Guy Lombardo’s live show…
And then the final footage covers his last Australian tour, the first months of 1967. When he returned stateside, not even three weeks later he suffered a fatal stroke onstage while singing.
A curious comment was made by Gale Sherwood, Nelson’s nightclub act singing partner, of an observation just after Nelson’s death in the Miami hospital. She wrote: “As I walked numbly into the sunlight, I looked up and saw two beautiful white doves soaring off into space. Nelson loved doves and as they flew above me, I said, ‘There he goes!’ I’ll never, never see a small white bird and not think of dear Nelson flying away.” Gale said she felt shocked, surprised and wonderful at spotting the doves and just knew it was Nelson’s spirit leaving this world. There’s more of her comments in this magazine but one has to ask – why were there TWO doves flying away together?