Excited to learn that my documentary “The Little Girl with the Big Voice” was featured on Rhode Island PBS a couple weeks ago!!!
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).
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.
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!
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.”