The Singing of Margaret Truman

Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman, had dreams of being a singer. She practiced hard and got professional help via operatic vocal training. But when she gave her first radio recital in 1947, reviews were lukewarm. But she soldiered on (it was easy for her to get bookings because of her celebrity status), and she kept getting bad reviews. Here's one recorded on wikipedia:

In 1950 Washington Post music critic Paul Hume wrote that Truman was “extremely attractive on the stage... [but] cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. And still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish,” President Truman wrote to Hume, "Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

In 1951, a German newspaper joked that she was going to make a concert tour of West Germany in order to "inspire German approval of rearmament."

Did she deserve such criticism? Listen to the clip below and judge for yourself.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 04, 2013
     Category: Music | 1950s





Comments
This is what this stuff is supposed to sound like.

Maria Callas

By today's standards with electronics able to make a screeching banshee sound sweet who knows... she might have made it. Naaaaaa
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/04/13 at 08:10 AM
I'd like to see one of the present crop of stupid tarts tackle this without enhancements and see how well it turns out. Although not on a really professional level, Bess does manage to follow the melody and stay on key.

One of my favorite operas has been "Carmen". Let me see if I can remember a little piece of it:

We ask our customers,
"Don't spit on the floor.
Use the cuspidor,
That's what it's for." 😝
Posted by KDP on 06/04/13 at 08:31 AM
STP used Carmen back in the 60's too.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/04/13 at 09:17 AM
My wife only hits those high pitched notes in bed :red: :cheese: 😜
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 06/04/13 at 02:12 PM
I thought she did a fair job of it. Not perfect but lovely none the less. You fellas are right about today's singers. Many of them are probably not as good as Miss Truman if they had to perform without electronic enhancement.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/04/13 at 07:46 PM
Not as bad as I truly expected or as this article led me to believe.

I'd like to hear Tom Waits tackle this. Or Neil Young, or Bob Dylan, or Leon Redbone...
Posted by datdemdar on 06/04/13 at 11:00 PM
I've heard worse, including from professional opera singers, but it's not great. She sings without feeling and she mumbles so badly you can't make out the words. It's hard to even tell she's singing in English. Is that Italian? Swahili? Who can say? It's a pleasant enough sound; you could go to sleep to it....

-Cougar :{)
Posted by Cougar Allen on 06/05/13 at 10:01 AM
She went on to be an author publishing several books which were very good.
Posted by Shawn on 06/08/13 at 10:11 AM
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