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The Little Girl with the Big Voice by Rafael Moscatel examines the struggles of women and children in the early 1930’s and 40’s through the eyes of Mary Small, a child prodigy, restless wife and dedicated mother whose resilience in the face of constant challenges made her a defining symbol of her generation. Although she was undoubtedly one of the most recognizable stars of the Golden Age, she disappeared an unknown, became a ward of the court and her possessions were discarded in the city dump. She never received so much as an obituary. This film by her long lost grandson attempts to finally right that wrong. 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).

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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.

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(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhPYwuPAmAY)

In this rare, rediscovered “By Request” ARMY-NAVY Screen Magazine episode, Mary Small sings requests from the troops. Incredible footage of American cities in the 1940’s. The Army-Navy Screen Magazine was a short film program, which was shown to the American soldiers around the world during World War II. It was produced from June 1943 until early 1946 by the Army Signal Corps under the supervision of director Frank Capra.

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One of the first recordings I had a chance to listen to when I first learned about Mary Small, was this song, Slightly Older Man, written by Evelyn Love Cooper, a poet and a friend of hers for many years.  I had the great opportunity to meet her son, also a songwriter, Getschal, who graciously allowed us to use his Mother’s song in the film.  What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall when Mary and Evelyn got together!  This is a great song, enjoy!

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In this clip from The Little Girl with the Big Voice, Mary Small describes what it was like growing up as a child star in the 1930′s.  As she says in the film “So you see a child, particularly a girl in those days in the theater, there are two things to look at, you’re suppressed because you cannot play with kids your own age, which is a natural desire, and you are watched over so carefully that you feel like you’re doing something wrong… and you really just want to go rollerskating.”