Friday Night Is Music Night

Friday 4 April



Friday Night is Doris Night as Clare Teal joins the BBC Concert Orchestra to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of the world's biggest box office stars - Doris Day.

Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff was born on 3 April 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio. A car accident put paid to her ambition to be a dancer so she turned to singing and she spent her early career as band vocalist with the likes of Bob Crosby and Les Brown. She changed her name to Doris Day after the song Day After Day and with Les Brown and his band scored her first hit in 1944 – Sentimental Journey. Doris became the US forces sweetheart in these latter years of the Second World War.

Four years later she auditioned for the silver screen and was cast with Oscar Levant in Romance On The High Seas. It was her first film – fourth on the billing but with one wonderful song by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne – It's Magic - Doris was on her way to box office success.

Day was, throughout the Fifties and Sixties, the queen of the rom-com (before we even knew what a rom-com was) and in all she made 39 films. In the 1970s with her screen career in decline she became a TV star in the States with her own sit com – The Doris Day Show. And despite her retirement in 1975 to devote her life to animal welfare she had a hit record in 2011 with a release of 20 never-heard-before songs – which made her the oldest artist ever at 87 to have an album in the UK top 10.

In tonight's show, Clare is joined by Matthew Ford and AJ Brown to recall some of the great Doris songs from her fabulous career. Mike Reed conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra and the selection includes It's Magic, Love Me Or Leave Me, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, Move Over Darling and, from Calamity Jane , Secret Love.

The programme is broadcast live from the Mermaid Theatre in London.

Presenter/ Clare Teal, Producer/ Bridget Apps for the BBC

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