Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Who Is Loulie Jean Norman?

If you think you've never heard the voice of this coloratura, chances are good you're wrong. The Alabama-native was born in 1913 and quickly racked up a long list of memorable performances, mostly unseen:
- Began her career performing with Mel Tormé in the 1940s and appeared as a back-up singer on "California Suite."
- A member of the Ray Coniff Singers with frequent collaborations with arranger and husband Gordon Jenkins.
- Provided the high-lying vocalise for the opening credits of the original Star Trek theme in 1966.
- She dubbed the singing voices for Diahann Carroll (Porgy and Bess 1959), Juliet Prowse (G.I. Blues 1960) and Stella Stevens (Too Late Blues 1961).
- Sang the role of the Princess for the recording of the Jerry Lewis 1960 film Cinderfella.
- The voice behind the opera-singing ghost in Disney's Haunted Mansion ride.
- Sang the stratospheric top melody on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens.
- Was a back-up vocal on the Elvis Presley song "Moonlight Swim" featured in the movie Blue Hawaii as well as "Happy Easter" for the motion picture soundtrack of Easter Parade featuring Judy Garland.
- She is featured on the Frank Sinatra song entitled "The Future Song Without Words."
- Voiced the Vampira role opposite the Dracula of Paul Frees on Spike Jones in Stereo.
- Sings the mysterious calls on Frankie Laine's song "Swamp Girl."
- Did the "Vocalise" by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for Jane Powell in the 1954 movie Athena.
- Often made regular appearances on comedy-variety shows hosted by Dean Martin, Carol Burnett and Dinah Shore.

The soprano passed away on August 2, 2005 in Studio City, California.

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