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The Most Famouse Singer You Never Heard Of

No, intertunnel wags, that’s not a typo. I’m referring to Gloria Wood, the most famous singer no one’s ever heard of. Deuced difficult to find a picture of her, which also indicates her relative obscurity. Here she be:

Now, I could shoot fish in a barrel and list plenty of singers and other performers who were a big deal in their day, but are obscure today. Honestly, is their any difference between Leif Garrett and Bobby Sherman? And are you sure you could pick Bobby Sherman out of a lineup if David Cassidy and Bobby Goldsboro were in it, too? If you can, wait thirty years, and you’ll be the last person who can. Time passes, and everything and everybody, no matter how notable they might get, fades into obscurity, or gets blended into a recollective blur:

But I’m going to roll out Medford, Massachusetts’ own Gloria Wood, and even people born in George Bush’s second term will know who I mean, even if they never heard her name. Because Gloria Wood was the voice of Minnie Mouse. Oh, yes, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, at least on records. She was all sorts of voices, singing and speaking, on radio, television, and movies. She’s singing something in almost every Disney thang from back when they¬† still used ink and paper and talent to make their cartoons.

If you’re a little older, you might remember this, because they’re no way you can’t. Jingles do that to you, man, at least if they hire Gloria Wood:

That’s just a notable commercial. Between the years 1955 and 1958, she sang on 2,000 more. Gloria Wood has been in your ear more often than your pinkie, I tell you what. And while this is way before my time, if you’re old enough to move to Florida and wear white shoes, a white belt, and white pants hiked up to your armpits, and drive 15 miles an hour on the freeway, you might remember this:

She was a hired gun in numerous chorus jobs, too. I mean, someone has to sing one word over and over. Might as well be someone talented:

If you watch White Christmas at Christmas, because you’re brave, and not afraid the Technicolor will drill your rods and cones into the back of your skull, you can watch Vera-Ellen sing and dance with Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, and George Clooney’s aunt. Or not. Vera-Ellen’s skills were limited to hyphenation, prancing around, and looking like an anorexic with fetal alcohol syndrome working the Maybelline counter at the department store. Gloria Wood did all her singing.

Gloria’s dead and buried, now, in Glendale, California, but she’ll outlast “the UN,” I’ll bet, in people’s hearts, if not the mental phone books where we keep all the names.

Tag: 1960

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