When I woke up the other day, it was a beautiful spring morning with the sun shining brightly over Idaho, but then I heard the news that entertainer Doris Day passed away. Suddenly a sense of sad nostalgia overwhelmed me where the sun was not quite so bright as it was a moment earlier.
Doris Day is an American icon.
She epitomizes what pop music and movie culture were in the forties, fifties and sixties. As a kid, and then a teenager growing up in New York, I had a crush on Doris. Whenever a movie featuring her was released, I asked my parents for $2 to see Doris’ latest motion picture, one buck for admission to the theatre and the other for popcorn, candy and soda. Whenever Warner Brothers or Paramount Pictures released a movie featuring Doris, I was one of the first persons in line to see her latest flick, as the colloquialism goes.
Her versatility as a movie actress was unequalled. She performed exceptionally well, whether she played in serious or light-hearted roles. Doris was equally talented in drama movies such as “Love Me Or Leave Me” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” as well the comedies of “Teacher’s Pet” and “The Tunnel Of Love.” Theatre-goers, including me, enjoyed many laughs as she interacted with Clark Gable and Cary Grant.
Doris was equally successful as a singer.
She made a fortune for Columbia Records from 1947 to 1962 with numerous top 10 hits.
As was the case with movies, Doris was an extraordinarily talented singer, whether she sang ballads or upbeat songs. Disc jockeys on New York City radio stations, as well as DJ’s from coast-to-coast, played her huge 1954 hit “Secret Love” over and over again. I never got tired of hearing that great romantic song in my youth. And then, two years later in 1956 as a semi-gregarious kid, I’d sing out loud “Que Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be, The Future’s Not Ours To See!” My peers in the fifth grade and our teacher thought that I was a bit odd, but we had plenty of fun.
Aside from her fine talent as a popular actress and singer, Doris’ greatest personal asset was her love of animals. She organized the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1987, a non-profit organization which opposed animal cruelty while promoting proper care of pets.
Doris was a classy and significant lady who contributed much to humanity.
Now, I’m going to pull out some LP (Long Playing) records, place them on our turntable as my wife and I will fondly reminisce listening to her great voice.
So long, Doris. We will miss you.