Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald: first sang together 75 years ago this week…
11/8/1933 IDN Eleanor Barnes
“Nelson Eddy, the young American baritone who was with the Philadelphia Philharmonic orchestra, and who has been under contract at MGM since last June, has been engaged for two concerts with the San Francisco symphony orchestra, according to announcement today. Eddy’s contract will expire at MGM the middle of December, after filling the western engagements he will make a concert tour of the principal cities of the United States. He will appear in San Francisco December 22 and 23.”
Note: between this time and the end of 1933, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald sang on a birthday tribute to Marie Dressler and also saw each other socially…and Nelson was tested Jeanette’s upcoming film, Naughty Marietta. By the beginning of January, suddenly his option was renewed and he was named as Jeanette’s co-star.
Here is another newspaper blurb showing that they worked together in November 1933:
11/8/1933 EHE Radio
A special National Broadcasting Co. program will be broadcast with coast-to-coast hook-up. From New York this program will be re-broadcast by short wave to Europe.
Louis B. Mayer, chief executive of MGM will be toast master, and will introduce such notables as May Robson, Lionel Barrymore, Governor James Rolph Jr., Norma Shearer, Mary Pickford and Polly Moran. Those who will contribute musically are: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Jimmy Durante and Harry Jackson. Pete Smith, MGM publicity director, is in charge of the program.
11/9/1933 LAX MARIE DRESSLER BIRTHDAY FETE ON NBC TONIGHT
By Ray De O’Fan
Strike me pink, but I’d never imagine she could be so active at 62 years! Yet they say Marie Dressler reaches that milestone today in life today.
NBC thinks so much of the birthday party arranged for her that it will broadcast the ceremonies from MGM studios this evening over a nationwide hookup at 8:30 o’clock for one hour. KECA is the local outlet. Shortwave stations will pick up the program and rebroadcast it in foreign countries.
Jeanette MacDonald, whose voice has enthralled millions of motion picture goers, is going to pay her tribute and extend congratulations through song. Her number or numbers have not been announced, but they will be typically Jeanette MacDonald and that satisfies any demand.
Nelson Eddy also sings, as does Jimmy Durante, Polly Moran will be herself and Harry Jackson’s NBC orchestra will play.
Louis B. Mayer is toastmaster and speakers include Governor James Rolph, May Robson, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer and Miss Dressler.