The mesmorizing and tragic true story of the iconic Mary Small, a child prodigy, radio singer and Broadway star whose moxie and resilience made her a defining symbol of the Greatest Generation. Despite her success as one of the most recognizable performers of the Golden Age and a fifty year career in show business, she disappeared into obscurity, died penniless and was buried in an unmarked grave. This revealing biography by her long lost grandson breathes life into the obituary she never received yet so richly deserved.
Winner of Best Short Documentary at the Burbank International Film Festival (2015), Official Selection Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival (2015) and Official Selection of the New York Independent Film Festival (2015).
One of the great things about producing The Little Girl With the Big Voice is that it seems to be a gift that keeps on giving. One aspect of Mary’s life that we didn’t devote as much time as we probably should have was her career as a vocal instructor. She worked with and developed many great voices. As they Google Mary, wondering what happened to her, they’re delighted to know that we’ve tried to tell her incredibly surreal and wonderful story. Below are just a few testimonials that have come in since we made the film…
VINCENZA D. – I loved Mary like my musical mother and I was heartbroken for her that when she was ill, she felt no family was willing to help her. I was honored to fill the gap while I could. I am so pleased to see that you are honoring her memory. She so deserved it. Mary was a strong lady but she suffered a great deal of loss as you know. I fell in love with her from the first phone call. She was spunky and confident and said she had just come from buying up all the shoes in town.Being with Mary was like entering a time machine. She transported you to a magical world of yesteryear. It was a great place to be. Mary loved Nancy LaMott by the way who is now one of my favorite performers (died tragically of cancer). She also loved Streisand. She liked Sinatra’s storytelling in his songs but felt he was overrated.
DONNA S. – My name is Donna S. Your grandmother was my voice teacher when I was21 years old for about a year. She lived uptown on the west side in the 70-80 streets. She was quite the fireball!! She had a tough Broadway voice. I loved her! My favorite song that she taught me was, The best in the world, which I just shared today with my 16 year old daughter. I just started looking up your grandmother and I found your wonderful story. Mary had so much sheet music in her apartment!! She had me rehearsing weekly so I could be on the Joe Franklin show and after a few months your grandmother and I got on a bus and went to the live Joe Franklin show! I was petrified. She looked great! She had her high heel pumps on and a dress, she did her hair and her makeup nice ! She was so excited to bring one of her students with her to his show. I didn’t ge to sing that day but we had a blast!
LAURA C. –
I was delighted to find all this wonderful information about Mary. Mary was my vocal coach in the 80’s when she lived across the street from Julliard. I have nothing but fond memories of my time with Mary and the lessons we had together. I look forward to seeing the completed work when
The lovely Eleanor Vallee gave me this interview about Rudy Vallee earier this year. Below is a recent photo of her with Byron Clark, an actor and also a great guy.
Very sorry to update this post with notice of the death of Eleanor Vallee, author, entertainer and partner of Byron Clark and widow of Rudy Valle. This post includes outtakes of my first interview with her in 2013. Rest in peace Mrs. Vallee.
Big thanks to H. Kevin Miserocchi of the Tee and Charles Addams Family foundation for this nice gift, a limited edition reissue of the Addams Family television soundtrack, and also for the nod to Mary Small on the liner notes!!! A great way to begin wrapping up a great journey, and nice to know the story of these talented entertainers continues to live on!
SAVE THE DATE – NOVEMBER 14th, 3-5PM. For those of you who Golden Age of Radio fans who couldn’t join us in Burbank, please come to the StudioCityFilmFestival to catch us in our second LA Frame!!! – Tickets can be purchased here – https://studiocityfilmfestival.festivalsetup.com/block/8
NYC Independent Film Festival Premiere Date Announced! For those of us who can join us for our New York Premiere, the film will screen on Thursday, October 15th at the Producer’s Club @ 358 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.nycindieff.com/session/romy-i-am-shy-the-little-girl-with-the-big-voice
BURBANK SCREENING DETAILS! Sunday, September 13, 2015 Documentary Screening Details:
Event: Documentary Short, The Little Girl With the Big Voice Date: Sunday, September 13, 2015 Time: 12:30-2:00 PM Location: Burbank AMC Burbank Town Center 6 Address: 770 North 1st Street, Burbank, CA 91501