Monday, December 29, 2008

From the archives: The one, the only, Anna Russell!

[This post was first published on December 28, 2007. I brought it back to help brighten your otherwise drab and dreary end-of-2008. --RWP]

Back in the day, one of my favorite comedic albums was “Anna Russell Sings.” I was dumb enough to give away my copy to a friend thirty years ago, and I have been sorry ever since. Miss Russell, whose act had to be heard to be believed, died at the age of 94 a couple of years ago. Today, with only three days remaining before the Year of Our Lord 2008 also fades into history, I discovered her on YouTube singing that old favorite, “Canto dolciamente pippo” from the opera La Cantatrice Squealante by the Italian composer, Michelangelo Occupinti. Then she launched into its polar opposite, “I Gave You My Heart And You Made Me Miserable.”

Anna Russell, the Victor Borge of the operatic world, deserves to be heard and laughed at and adored by a new generation of music lovers. So settle back, close your eyes, and pretend you are in the concert hall. Ladies and gentlemen, here, once again, for your listening pleasure (remember to turn up your volume), I give you the one, the only, Anna Russell!

There now, wasn't that better than Larry The Cable Guy?


  1. Yes, refreshingly innocent and yet mischievous. Larry The Cable Guy? Never heard of it or him or whatever it is.

  2. I've had an enjoyable (read side-splitting) evening watching & listening to Anna Russell's analysis of The Ring of the Nibelungs, and her first farewell performance on various YouTube offerings. I don't know how I missed out on knowing about this charming and talented woman. Thanks for the link!

  3. Thank you for introducing me to Anna Russell. I can see why you regret giving away her album. And, I had fun watching some Victor Borge on YouTube, too. I especially enjoyed seeing the Beethoven bust speak on The Muppet Show. Haven't seen that since my kids were little.

  4. Yorkshire - Glad you like Anna Russell. Larry The Cable Guy is an American phenomenon from the hinterlands, so hinter that many Americans don't understand whatever it is either.

    Pat - Always glad to introduce someone to Anna Russell! Last year when I posted about her, nobody was reading my blog, so I thought I would give it another try....

    Jeannelle - I know Anna Russell is an acquired taste, but I just can't help foisting, er, introducing people to her. Take a note from Pat and sample some of her other stuff on YouTube as well! But don't let the cows hear her; they'll think you have a bovine in your house and will be jealous!

  5. Well, my last comment to Jeannelle got a bit garbled in the making, didn't it? I meant foisting her on new people, not foisting new people on her!!!

    A thousand pardons.

  6. Oops, still not saying what I mean! By her, I meant Anna Russell, not Jeannelle! Certainly not Jeannelle! (Trying to write clearly seems to become more difficult near the end of a calendar year. I guess that's what happens when you're having too much fun to let your self-editor kick in.)