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Before Florence Henderson's comparatively jagged-edged portrayal of Carol Brady on the Brady Bunch, she was the junior half of a singing duo called "The Singing Sweethearts." We tend to think of Ms. Henderson as being of another generation than most of the artist's featured on this site but she was an established performer before The Brady's debut.

Bill Hayes, born in 1925, has had a extensive career in theater, films and television. Motion pictures include "Stop, You're Killing Me" and "The Cardinal." He had a hit record with "The Ballad of Davey Crockett" (that song was actually written with 20 verses. Honest!). Years later, Bill played Doug Williams in the soap opera, "Days of Our Lives."

Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - April 14, 1958

Songbirds Nest At Maisonette

In one of the best arranged programs seen this season in cafes, Bill Hayes and Florence Henderson, the "Singing Sweethearts," last night made the Maisonette of the St. Regis a wonderful florence hendersonplace to be in. Youth was exhilarating magic, bewitching with music and lyrics playing a fond game of memories.

Mr. Hayes can boast a seniority of experience for his three and a half years on the Max Lieberman TV Show of Shows, his performance as the juvenile lead in "Me and Juliet" and his recording of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."

Love at First Sight.

But Miss Henderson, who scored in the title role of "Fanny" when she was still short of voting age and has toured in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" and done some intermittent TV work since then, is blossoming now like an American beauty rose that expects to bloom forever.

Mr. Hayes opens alone with "My Song" and "Lady Be Good." Then, with respect and reticence, he sings "How Do You Speak to an Angel," the Julie Styne-Bob Hilliard pulse-quickener. Rodgers and Hart lend the words for an introduction with their "Wait 'til You See Her."

And when you do see Florence Henderson in a Neiman-Marcus gown of white silk, with bell-shaped skirt embroidered in pearls and sequins, you love her at first sight. Even more so when she starts to sing "Cockeyed Optimist" and "I'll take that romance," a number the late Grace Moore did for the movies.

The sweethearts next sing an opera medley: "Indian Love Call," "Merry Widow," "La Donna e Mobile," "Quando Me'n Vo" and with delicious stage presence, Miss Henderson suddenly puts her palm to her mouth in the realization that her voice might shake the rafters. It is a glorious, bell-toned lyric soprano.

Rodgers 'Life.'

The two sing a sweethearts medley, including a theme that fails to do them justice, but the major portion of their program is reserved for a take-off called "Richard Rodgers, This Is Your Life."

It may not be the most complete life of the composer one might want to see and hear, but it is superbly done. It traces his early years of collaboration with the lyricist, the late Lorenz Hart. Then using "My Funny Valentine" as a bridge, it skips a few years to continue with the immense collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, including winning portrayals of the principals who sang in "Oklahoma!," "Carousel," "South Pacific" and "The King and I."

The brilliance of Florence Henderson should be a shining light for years to come, while Bill Hayes has much continued success on his own horizon. What more can I say that I'd like to go right back to the St. Regis and hear some more of those Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammestein songs as they are sung by the "Singing Sweethearts."

THE REVIEWS
Andrews Sisters - Latin Quarter 1957
Desi Arnaz - w/Diosa Costello 1948
Count Basie - Lincoln 1943
Tony Bennett - Copacabana 1958
Milton Berle - Latin Quarter 1948
Joey Bishop - w/Andy Williams 1959
Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz Scarecrow, Empire Room 1956
Cab Calloway - Greenwich Inn 1949
Diahann Carroll - Persian Room 1961
Betty Clooney - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Nat King Cole - Copacabana 1958
Perry Como - Versailles 1944
Copacabana - famous night club restaurant is reviewed 1953
Crosby Brothers - Latin Quarter 1961
Xavier Cugat - Waldorf Astoria 1951
Vic Damone - Riviera 1953
Billy Daniels - Copacabana 1952
Sammy Davis Jr. - Copacabana 1959
Phyllis Diller - w/Bobby Short 1958
Nancy Donovan - Copacabana 1952
Jimmy Durante - Copacabana 1951
Billy Eckstine - Copacabana 1951
Duke Ellington - Basin St. East 1961
Eddie Fisher - Empire Room 1959
Judy Garland -Town & Country 1958
Jackie Gleason - La Vie en Rose 1953
Benny Goodman - Empire Room 1956
Dolores Gray - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Buddy Hackett - Copacabana 1956
Connie Haines - Terrace Room 1951
Dick Haymes - Versailles 1956
Horace Heidt - 30th Anniversary 1954
Florence Henderson w/Bill Hayes 1958
Hildegarde - Pierre 1953
Celeste Holm - Plaza 1958
Eddy Howard - Roosevelt 1955
Burl Ives w/Wally Cox - Persian Room
Lisa Kirk - Persion Room 1958
Frankie Laine - Latin Quarter 1955
Julius La Rosa - Romanian 1958
Peggy Lee - Copacabana 1958
Jerry Lewis - Town & Country 1957
Joe E. Lewis - Copacabana 1945
Ted Lewis - Latin Quarter 1953
Liberace - Persian Room 1947
Guy Lombardo - Roosevelt 1957
Vincent Lopez - Grill Room 1954
Tony Martin - Riviera 1953
Martin and Lewis - Copacabana 1950
Ray McKinley - Glenn Miller Band 1957
Mills Brothers - Latin Quarter 1956
Vaughn Monroe - Astor 1955
Constance Moore - St. Regis 1958
Johnnie Ray - Copacabana 1953
Della Reese - Copacabana 1961
Sugar Ray Robinson - French Casino
Dorothy Shay - St. Regis 1961
Frank Sinatra - Wedgewood 1943
Danny Thomas - Copacabana 1949
Sophie Tucker - Latin Quarter 1950
Mae West - Latin Quarter 1956
Julie Wilson - Persian Room 1954
EDITORIALS
Dean Martin - thoughts on Mr. Sauve
Peter Lawford - retrospective
Rise & Fall of the big bands
INTERVIEWS
K Baggelaar- Copacabana author
Don Dellair - cabaret performer
Denny Farrell - big band disc jockey
Hal Turner - Performer/Conductor
B Zickafoose - played in WWII Europe
ASSORTED
Bernie Bierman bio
Sammy Kaye - Roosevelt 1957
Dinah Shore - press release and autograph from the 50's
A Letter about a WWII song
Harbers & Dale - Dance Team
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