Irving Berlin Exhibit in Ohio

An exhibition dedicated to the great American songwriter, Irving Berlin, has opened at Bainbridge Library in Geagua County, North-East Ohio.

Marilyn starred in There’s No Business Like Show Business, a 1954 tribute to Berlin’s music, and recorded several of his compositions: ‘After You Get What You Want (You Don’t Want It)’, ‘Heat Wave’, ‘Lazy’, and ‘A Fine Romance’.

Movies featuring Berlin and other American songwriters will be screened on Fridays at 2pm throughout June. The exhibition will be touring the US over the next 11 months.

More details here

When Marilyn Sings

MM fan Tiina Lindholm found an older vinyl compilation in a Finnish thrift store. Remember Marilyn includes a 12pp photo book with a lovely tribute from Lionel Newman, Marilyn’s musical arranger on all her major films for Twentieth Century-Fox, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, River of No ReturnThere’s No Business Like Show Business, and Let’s Make Love.

“Marilyn Monroe was my friend – a very dear and special friend. She was an exceptionally warm, compassionate, surprisingly self-conscious girl. I found her to be fiercely loyal – sometimes to a fault.

An example of her self-consciousness happened while we were making the picture River Of No Return. In it Marilyn was to sing a very simple lullaby to a little boy with just a guitar accompaniment. Somehow or other she couldn’t believe she would be accepted doing something as gentle as this, due to her so-called ‘sexy’ image. It took many hours of reassurance to finally get her to believe in herself with regard to this sequence in the picture. The final result was most rewarding, especially to her.

Contrary to her glamorous ‘sexy image’, Marilyn would come to the recording stage wearing a plain pair of old slacks and a sweater, no makeup, and her hair looking like a tossed salad. But even in such casual dress she retrained that very warm, unaffected, detached appearance, yet still exuded sex.

Very often after a full and tiring day of recording, Marilyn, my wife Beverly, and I would take a long drive, grab a hamburger, eat in the car, and then just talk about anything except the motion picture business. She loved to laugh, and I had the fortunate ability to make her laugh.

The rumors about Marilyn being late for work never applied to her recording dates. She was always punctual if not ahead of time, and worked just as conscientiously and diligently as anyone else. A very odd thing happened when Marilyn would record her playbacks for whatever picture we were doing. I was happy to have the musicians show up – but with Marilyn the recording stage was always loaded with outside people. It literally appeared as though the studio had shut down. Secretaries, Sound Department employees, kids from the mail room, the Publicity Department, Construction, Art Department – you name it, they’d all be there. She was electrifying in that excitement always followed her. The men in the orchestra adored her. She was always congenial, courteous, not temperamental, and never forgot to thank everyone who worked with her on the stage. This included the orchestra, sound recording crew, etc. I must say, however, that she was damned sure of what she wanted without the sometimes big scene that other ‘super stars’ made. She would be up-tight at times when visitors got out of hand and made it necessary to have them clear the stage. Ten minutes later she would feel awful for having had to do such thing.

Many people didn’t believe – and still don’t believe she did her own singing. Well, that’s all a lot of nonsense. Marilyn did all her own singing – every single word. There was never any question about ‘dubbing’ her voice. She wouldn’t have allowed it since it was unnecessary, and to her, it would have been a cop out.

Another example of how hard she worked was when we were making Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. One of the big numbers was ‘Diamond’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend’. We made eleven takes on a very long and difficult number. (We recorded voice and orchestra simultaneously – Marilyn wouldn’t have it any other way. She felt that the performance would suffer if we recorded orchestra and voice separately on different days – ‘over dubbing’). I okayed the first take, but Marilyn felt she wanted to go on. In the end she went back to the first take, but she jumped up on the podium, apologized to the orchestra for having worked them so hard, and said ‘Lionel was right’. My association with her was just that straight and direct.

Marilyn used to call me her ‘personal music director’ and consequently I was assigned to do all her pictures at 20th Century-Fox. She was everything to all men, but to me she was really something very special. I miss her – I shall always miss her. She was literally one of a kind. I was fortunate to know her, to love her, let alone have the privilege of working with her.”

October 26, 1972

Lionel Newman

Celebrate Marilyn’s Birthday in Gloucester, MA

Marilyn on her 36th birthday

Another birthday celebration to report, at the Patron’s Museum, Gloucester, Massachusetts, on Wednesday:

“The Patron’s Museum, the little treasure trove and gathering place based at 92 Thatcher Road and run by Bradley P. Smith, will celebrate a special birthday throughout the day next Wednesday — Marilyn Monroe’s.

The museum will be taking a look at a number of Monroe’s movies, Smith said and will display some Marilyn artifacts, including a 4-foot by 4-foot oil painting of Marilyn done by artist Parker Harlowe in 1982.

Smith said there will be cake and candy available throughout the day, with the cutting of the cake set for 1 p.m. Anyone seeking more information on the event should contact Smith at 978-223-5938.”

Gloucester Times


Marilyn in Niagara: ‘It Started with a Whistle’

Photo by Jock Carroll

Marilyn’s visit to the Oneida cutlery factory while filming Niagara in 1952 – as chronicled by Jock Carroll – is remembered by one former employee, Alec Tanos, who also met his wife of sixty years, Pauline, while working there.

“When movie star Marilyn Monroe was in Niagara Falls in 1952 shooting the movie Niagara, she had the opportunity to tour the Oneida plant.

When Marilyn walked by where Alec was working, he gave her a whistle and Marilyn stopped for a brief second and flashed him a smile.

‘When my dad was 21, he had a smile that would kill women. When Marilyn toured the factory he was the only guy to whistle at her and she smiled at him. How can you blame my mother for feeling so special when he whistled at her,’ said Robert.”

Niagara Falls Review

Beerman’s Unseen Marilyn Found in Garage Sale

A set of rare photos, probably from Marilyn’s 1951 sessions with Bob Beerman, were found by photographer Anton Fury at a garage sale in New Jersey – more details at CNN

“‘I found an envelope of negatives, didn’t know what they were, but I realized they were old,’ Fury said. He paid $2 for the folder, which contained two envelopes of black-and-white negatives.

That was in Parsippany, New Jersey, in 1980, when Fury says he was ‘a fledgling photographer.’

‘I took it home, put them on the lightboard with a loupe and, needless to say, these are Marilyn,’ he said. ‘That was probably my greatest garage sale discovery ever.'”

Exploring Marilyn’s Library

Earl Leaf, 1950

Marilyn owned over 400 books. I have compiled a complete catalogue here

And here is a shorter list, of my own personal picks:

1) Books by Albert Camus (The Fall, The Rebel)
2) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
3) The Prophet by Kahlil Gilbran
4) The Last Temptation Of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
5) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
6) Sons And Lovers by DH Lawrence
7) Plays by Sean O’Casey
8 ) Plays Of Clifford Odets (Golden Boy, Clash By Night)
9) Plays by Eugene O’Neill (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Anna Christie)
10) The Little Engine That Could by Piper Watty
11) Plays by George Bernard Shaw
12) Anything by John Steinbeck
13) The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone by Tennessee Williams
14) Plays Of Tennessee Williams
15) Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
16) Books by Thomas Wolfe (The Story Of A Novel, Look Homeward Angel)
17) Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
18) The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
19) Short Novels Of Colette
20) Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It by Mae West
21) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
22) Nana by Emile Zola
23) An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
24) Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
25) Anything by Dylan Thomas
26) The Sound And The Fury/As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
27) The Dubliners by James Joyce
28) Poems by Emily Dickinson
29) Anything by Dorothy Parker
30) Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
31) The Poetry Of Shelley
32) The Poetry Of William Blake
33) The Poetry Of Edna St Vincent Millay
34) The Poetry And Plays Of Federico Garcia Lorca
35) The novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime And Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov)
36) The novels of Willa Cather (My Antonia, A Lost Lady)
37) The novels of Carson McCullers (eg Ballad Of The Sad Café)
38) The Little Disturbances Of Man by Grace Paley
39) Mr Roberts by Joyce Cary
40) The Thinking Body by Mabel Elsworth Todd
41) Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
42) Songs For Patricia by Norman Rosten
43) Focus by Arthur Miller
44) Plays by Arthur Miller
45) Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman

‘Marilyn Monroe Day’ in Iowa

Bert Reisfeld, 1953

Of all the birthday tributes lined up for next Wednesday, this is one I’d really like to visit. It sounds very heartfelt and personal.

“KLMJ-FM and Chit Chat Cafe, Thornton, will be hosting ‘Remember Marilyn Monroe Day’ 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at the Chit Chat Cafe, Thornton.

A ‘Remember Marilyn Monroe Dinner’ will be served 5-7 p.m. at the Chit Chat Cafe, with a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like-contest also that night. She would have been 85 on June 1.

Patrons will also be able to view the Chit Chat Cafe’s new Marilyn Monroe wall of fame and sample new menu items in honor of Monroe.

Richard Dorenkamp, owner of the Chit Chat Cafe, has been collecting Monroe pictures, posters, life-size cutouts and other memorabilia throughout his life.

Also during the event KLMJ will be playing Marilyn Monroe trivia on-air at 104.9 and online at


Elliott Erwitt on Your i-Pad

A retrospective e-book tribute to photographer Elliott Erwitt, for i-Pad users, is now available from iTunes at $5.99.

‘This stunning assembly of work was personally selected by Elliott Erwitt himself and includes exclusive video on the photography master as well as an audio tour throughout the eBook touching on the themes in his work and his method over a 60+ year career. Swipe through the 343 photographs at your own pace with the option to engage with Erwitt.’

Murray Garrett Exhibit in NYC

Murray Garrett, who took some of the most famous shots of Marilyn in public, is the subject of an exhibition at New York’s Washington Square Hotel. Opening night party on Marilyn’s birthday, June 1, 6-8pm.

“Murray Garrett was one of Hollywood’s most sought-after photographers from the early 1950’s to the late 1970’s, the ‘go-to’ photographer for stars, movie studios and personal publicists. Garrett exclusively covered Frank Sinatra‘s private, surprise 21st birthday party at Romanoff’s for Natalie Wood, was the only photographer invited to cover Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton‘s Disneyland outing (where they had the use of Walt Disney’s personal apartment) and was the photographer of record at Bob Hope‘s daughter’s wedding.

Garrett first photographed Monroe at a charity celebrity baseball fundraiser, when the budding Hollywood starlet threw out the first ball at a game between teams captained by Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope.  Their photographic relationship continued throughout Monroe’s career, from gala movie premieres to quiet, off-screen moments.”

PR Newswire