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Deanna Durbin

Deanna Durbin was the second child of British immigrant parents who moved the family to Southern California when she was still an infant. She demonstrated a singing talent at an early age and eventually began to study voice at Ralph Thomas' Academy in Los Angeles. In 1935, while only in her early teens, she successfully auditioned for a part in a proposed film biography of opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink to be made by MGM. The studio first put her in a short, Every Sunday, in which she co-starred with Judy Garland, another young, aspiring singer/actress, who was six months her junior. There is a story -- probably apocryphal -- that MGM decided to keep only one of the two and that Durbin was dropped by mistake. Actually, the studio did not renew her contract when the Schumann-Heink film was canceled. At this point, Rufus LeMaire, the casting director who had brought her to MGM and subsequently moved to Universal, signed her and convinced his new studio to put her in the film Three Smart Girls. While it was being made, Durbin became a regular on Eddie Cantor's radio show, and just before it was released, she began recording for Decca Records; she was just turning 15 years old.

Three Smart Girls was a big hit and Durbin became a star. She made an additional 20 films for Universal through 1948. In each, she usually sang a few songs, including a mixture of newly written material and arias from operas. Frequently, she made studio recordings of the same material for Decca. (The day of the original soundtrack album did not arrive until late in her career.) Unfortunately, her movies vastly overshadowed her recordings. Of her recordings, only "My Own" -- a song she also sang in the 1938 film That Certain Age -- made the charts. By the mid-'40s, Durbin had become disillusioned with Hollywood, especially after the commercial disappointment of Christmas Holiday (1944), an adaptation of a Somerset Maugham novel that marked her attempt to become a serious actress. Although she was the movie industry's highest-paid female star in 1947, she gave up filmmaking in 1948 at the age of 26. In 1950, she married her third husband, Charles David of Pathé Films, and moved to Normandy, France, where she remained out of the limelight. Nevertheless, her films continued to be shown on television and were made available on video. Many of her recordings, drawn from her films and radio appearances as well as the Decca catalog remained in print. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sensational Songbird

1. The Turntable Song

2. More And More

3. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

5. Always

6. Beneath The Lights Of Home

7. Any Moment Now

8. Californ-I-Ay

9. Can't Help Singing

10. Love Is All

11. Ave Maria

12. Old Folks At Home

13. Someone To Care For Me

14. Il Bacio (The Kiss)

15. Allelujah

16. It's Foolish But It's Fun

17. When The Roses Bloom Again

18. Love's Old Sweet Song

19. Amapola

20. Les Filles De Cadiz (The Maids Of Cadiz)

21. Ave Maria

22. Say A Prayer For The Boys Over There

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Deanna Durbin

1. Can't Help Singing

2. Spring In My Heart

3. Always

4. One Fine Day

5. Les Filles De Cadiz

6. Ave Maria

7. Love Is All

8. Beneath The Lights Of Home

9. Spring Will Be Late This Year

10. The Last Rose Of Summer

11. La Estrellita

12. Il Bacio (The Kiss)

13. Celito Lindo

14. It's Raining Sunbeams

15. My Hero

16. When The Roses Bloom Again

17. Amapola

18. Waltzing In The Colours

19. It's Foolish But It's Fun

20. Love's Old Sweet Song

x

Track List: The Golden Voice Of

1. Can't Help Singing

2. More And More

3. Spring In My Heart

4. Californ-I-Ay

5. Always

6. One Fine Day

7. Les Filles De Cadiz

8. Ave Marie

9. Love Is All

10. Home Sweet Home

11. Beneath The Lights Of Home

12. Any Moment Now

13. My Own

14. The Last Rose Of Summer

15. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

16. Someone To Care For Me

17. It's Foolish But It's Fun

18. Waltzing In The Clouds

19. Annie Laurie

20. Love's Old Sweet Song

x

Track List: Kiss Me Again

1. Can't Help Singing

2. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

3. Les Filles De Cadiz

4. Someone To Care For Me

5. Love At Last

6. My Hero

7. Poor Butterfly

8. Californ-I-Ay

9. More And More

10. Any Moment Now

11. Always

12. Cielito Lindo

13. Estrellita

14. Kiss Me Again

15. Something In The Wind

16. It's Only Love

17. When The Roses Bloom Again

18. Love's Old Sweet Song

19. Adeste Fideles

20. Silent Night

21. Annie Laurie

22. The Turntable Song

23. God Bless America

x

Track List: Can't Help Singing

1. Always

2. Amapola

3. Love Is All

4. Spring In My Heart

5. Can't Help Singing

6. When April Sings

7. My Own

8. Waltzing In The Clouds

9. Perhaps

10. It's Foolish But It's Fun

11. One Fine Day

12. It's Raining Sunbeams

13. Blue Danube Dream

14. The Turntable Song

15. Spring Will Be A Little Late

16. La Estrellita

17. The Last Rose Of Summer

18. More And More

19. Beneath The Lights Of Home

20. Say A Prayer For The Boys Over There

x

Track List: My Heart Is Singing

1. It's Foolish But It's Fun

2. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

3. When April Sings

4. Spring Is In My Heart

5. It's Raining Sunbeams

6. Waltzing In The Clouds

7. Amapola

8. Because

9. My Own

10. Brindisi

11. Love's Old Sweet Song

12. Il Bacio (The Kiss)

13. Mussetta's Waltz Song

14. Love Is All

15. Perhaps

16. One Fine Day

17. Beneath The Lights Of Home

18. Ave Maria

19. Loch Lomand

20. The Last Rose Of Summer

21. Home Sweet Home

Comments

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Very beautiful and so sweet.
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She died this past year.
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Who is this singing right now?
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eric.barrow1
A true song bird. Her music can soothe a heavy heart. RIP you beautiful angel.
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leslie_marti n _ y
I love her!!!
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leslie_marti n _ y
Deanna Durbin is simply wonderful, and I love her very much. When I heard about her, and saw my first movie of hers, I was eleven years old. She is now my heroine, and if you wanted to know anything about her, I could tell you, for I've studied her so much. I love to sing along with her, and to collect her movies and CD's. Even though she is ninety-one this year and I am thirteen, I still feel close to her.
Thank you Deanna Durbin!

Maureen M.

N.C.
Report as inappropriate
One of the best voices I have ever heard.
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Not sure I've encountered a prettier face/voice combo before
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rileysbooks
Deanna was one of my mom's favorite artists. She played and sang with her as we listened to her recordings. Fond memories.
Report as inappropriate
Not only a wonderful voice but a beautiful women as well and a very fine actress.
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mfran40
What a beautiful, sweet voice!
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If you have a heart and a soul this music will reach you no matter how old you are.
Report as inappropriate
like her voice and her movies she comes from a wonderful time.
Report as inappropriate
Deanna Durbin had a most beautiful voice. It was too beautiful to earn just a limited success and to be accidentally bypassed at a time when her success was on the ascent to the fame it deserved. She seems to have disappeared from a lime light that should still be ours to share and enjoy. God bless her for the limitted treasures in song that she left us. Broken hearted Jack
Report as inappropriate
gehoffer
Please rotate more of her in the female BB artist rotation.
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katiearrigo
I love Deanna Durbin. Her music is so great and reminds me of the olden days that I long for....even though I'm 30!
Report as inappropriate
Have always enjoyed any music sung by Deanna Durbin! She is a wonderful soprano! Signed, Lizetsgethap p y @ y a h o o . c o m
Report as inappropriate
mfran40
How wonderful that we can still hear this beautiful voice and other of her contemporari e s . The technology that can make this possible in the 21st century is truly miraculous.
Report as inappropriate
I have always loved and admired her singing of the above songs and others!

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