Eleanor Vallee Interview


Rare Rudy Vallee Interview With Eleanor Vallee

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.

One of the coolest things I got to do for The Little Girl with the Big Voice was interviewing Rudy Vallee’s widow, Eleanor Vallee.  This really gave me an opportunity to capture a primary resource who knew intimately the way Rudy Vallee operated and the great champion he was of other performers, like Mary Small, to whom he handed her first big break.  Thanks, Eleanor for this gracious interview!


From Behind The Mike hosted by Graham McNamee September 29, 1940 on NBC / Blue. The story of how eleven year old Mary Small “The Little Girl With The Big Voice” was discovered and her first appearance on the Rudy Vallee show in 1933. She sings “Louisville Lady.”

Mary’s And The Nightclub Scene

These two articles paint a good picture of Mary’s work in the nightclub scene which corresponded with her work on TV.

Above: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, October 17, 1949 – This article that led me to find this Women’s Home Companion Article by Mary.

Below: From Billboard, August 30, 1952