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Marilyn Monroe

Although film actress and Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of a large number of albums, she rarely stepped into a recording studio to make a commercial recording and only appeared in five real movie musicals (with a few other musical performances in her straight films), making for a total record and soundtrack output of less than three dozen titles that are recycled endlessly along with bits of movie dialogue and radio and TV appearances on the frequent reissues. Nevertheless, she had a good voice that matched her seductive visual appeal, and her limited catalog includes effective interpretations of the work of such songwriters as Harold Adamson and Hoagy Carmichael; Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer; Irving Berlin; Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen; Cole Porter; and Leo Robin and Jule Styne.

Monroe was the illegitimate daughter of Edward Mortenson (who abandoned her mother before her birth and died in a motorcycle accident when she was three years old) and Gladys Pearl (Monroe) Baker, a film cutter. Her mother was mentally unstable and was institutionalized when the child was five, leaving her to a succession of orphanages and foster homes. At 16 in 1942, she married Jim Dougherty, an aircraft plant worker who soon enlisted in the merchant marine as his participation in World War II. Left alone, she joined the war effort by taking a job as a paint sprayer at the Radio Plane Company. There she was spotted by a photographer on assignment for Yank magazine to take pictures of women in the defense industry, and the resulting photographs led her to a career in modeling; she divorced her husband in 1946. The same year, she was signed to a one-year contract at 20th Century Fox, where she changed her name and took acting, singing, and dancing lessons. Monroe was given tiny parts in a couple of Fox films, then dropped. Columbia Pictures signed her in March 1948 and gave her her first important role in a B-picture, the musical Ladies of the Chorus (1949), in which she had two featured songs, "Anyone Can See" and "Ev'ry Baby Needs a Da-Da-Daddy," both written by Allan Roberts and Lester Lee. She was then dropped by Columbia and, in financial straits, accepted an offer to pose nude for a calendar; she was paid 50 dollars. She got small parts in films on a freelance basis in 1949 and 1950, including Love Happy, the last Marx Brothers movie, and the acclaimed dramas The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. In 1951, she returned to Fox with a seven-year contract and appeared in supporting roles in nine films over the next two years.

She was finally given a substantial part in the thriller Niagra, released in January 1953, and she also got to sing a song in the film, Lionel Newman and Haven Gillespie's "Kiss." In the summer of 1953, Monroe co-starred with Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical with songs by Jule Styne and Leo Robin. She made a strong impression, singing "A Little Girl From Little Rock," "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," and "Bye Bye Baby" from the original show score as well as "When Love Goes Wrong (Nothin' Goes Right)," written by Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson for the film. She proved herself up to the vocal demands for the most part, though Marni Nixon, Hollywood's most prominent ghost singer, dubbed in some notes for her. MGM Records released a 10" LP soundtrack album.

With the release of the comedy How to Marry a Millionaire in November and the December publication of the inaugural issue of Playboy magazine, which contained her 1949 nude photographs, only adding to her celebrity, Monroe became a major star in 1953. She capped her fame by wedding retired baseball player Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954, though the marriage lasted less than a year, ending in divorce on October 27. Monroe's ascent to stardom led to a recording contract with RCA Victor Records. Her next film was the Western drama River of No Return, released in April 1954, but she managed to sing four songs in it, "One Silver Dollar," "I'm Gonna File My Claim," "Down in the Meadow," and the title song, all written by Lionel Newman and Ken Darby. Her studio recording of "River of No Return" for RCA briefly appeared in the singles charts in July. In December, she had a co-starring role in There's No Business Like Show Business, a major movie musical starring Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey and also featuring Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, and Johnnie Ray. The movie was an anthology film of the music of Irving Berlin, and Monroe sang the newly written "A Man Chases a Girl" with O'Connor as well as the vintage Berlin songs "You'd Be Surprised," "After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It," "Lazy," and "Heat Wave." Decca Records released a 10" soundtrack LP from the film, but Monroe's contract with RCA precluded her participation in it; her parts were replaced by Dolores Gray, and RCA released its own EP of Monroe singing her songs from the film.

Monroe worked less frequently after 1954, attempting to take greater control of her career. After the spring 1955 release of the comedy The Seven Year Itch (in which she played "Chopsticks" on the piano with co-star Tom Ewell), she didn't work for a year. In the interim, she married playwright Arthur Miller on June 29, 1956. She gave one of her strongest performances in Bus Stop, released in the summer of 1956, in which she played a saloon singer who performed a sultry version of Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's 1942 song "That Old Black Magic." The Prince and the Showgirl, released in the spring of 1957, gave her the opportunity to sing Richard Addinsell and Christopher Hassall's "I Found a Dream." Another lengthy layoff ensued before Monroe returned to outright musical comedy with Paramount's Some Like It Hot in 1959. The film's 1929 setting and Monroe's casting as band singer Sugar Kane gave her three musical numbers, all period songs: A. Harrington Gibbs, Joe Grey, and Leo Wood's 1922 tune "Runnin' Wild!"; Harry Ruby, Herbert Stothart, and Bert Kalmar's 1928 standard "I Wanna Be Loved by You"; and Matt Malneck, Fud Livingston, and Gus Kahn's slightly anachronistic 1931 hit "I'm Through With Love." United Artists Records released a soundtrack album and even issued a Monroe single of "I Wanna Be Loved by You"/"I'm Through with Love." Monroe returned to Fox for Let's Make Love, released in the summer of 1960. She played an off-Broadway actress wooed by a billionaire played by Yves Montand in her final movie musical, and got to sing a trio of Sammy Cahn-James Van Heusen songs, "Let's Make Love," "Specialization," and "Incurably Romantic," in addition to a revival of Cole Porter's "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Columbia Records released the soundtrack album. Monroe next filmed The Misfits, a drama written by her husband, but she and Miller divorced in January 1961 shortly before the movie was released.

Her next and last musical appearance occurred in May 1962, when she led the audience at Madison Square Garden in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy. She had flown in from Los Angeles where she was shooting Something's Got to Give with Dean Martin, and it was absences like that which led Fox to fire her from the picture. On August 5, 1962, she was found dead of an overdose of barbiturates that may have been either an accident or suicide.

In the fall of 1962, 20th Fox Records released Marilyn, an album of soundtrack recordings from her films There's No Business Like Show Business, River of No Return, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It spent more than two months in the charts. The album was reissued in 1972 in a TV offer under the title Remember Marilyn. Around the same time, the Legends label released an album called Marilyn Monroe that included everything from film excerpts to a television commercial and Monroe's performance of "Happy Birthday." The album was reissued by Sandy Hook Records under the title Rare Recordings 1948-1962 in the 1980s. Starting in the 1990s, many small labels, especially overseas, released CDs that repackaged the same material. Monroe's fame has only increased since her death, making such albums popular despite their repetitiousness and often inferior quality. In 1998, Varese Sarabande released a version of the soundtrack of There's No Business Like Show Business including Monroe's performances for the first time; the same year, Rykodisc reissued an expanded version of the soundtrack to Some Like It Hot. Marilyn Monroe's singing constitutes a limited but significant part of her overall appeal as a performer. Especially because there is a tendency to focus on her fame and her troubled life over her actual work, it is worth listening to as an example of the real talent she brought to her performances. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: A Very Special Collection

Disc 1

1. Some Like It Hot

2. The Ladies Of The Chorus (From "Ladies Of The Chorus")

4. Every Baby Needs A Da Da Daddy (From "Ladies Of The Chorus")

6. Do It Again

7. Kiss (From "Niagara")

8. She Acts Like A Woman Should

9. A Fine Romance

11. Bye Bye Baby (From "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes")

13. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend (From "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes")

15. One Silver Dollar (From "The River Of No Return")

16. I'm Gonna File My Claim (From "The River Of No Return")

17. The River Of No Return (From "The River Of No Return")

18. Down In The Meadow (From "The River Of No Return")

19. After You Get What You Want You Don't Want It (From "There's No Business Like Show Business")

20. Heat Wave (From "There's No Business Like Show Business")

Disc 2

1. Lazy (From "There's No Business Like Show Business")

2. You'd Be Surprised (From "There's No Business Like Show Business")

4. That Old Black Magic (From "Bus Stop")

5. When I Fall In Love

6. Runnin' Wild (From "Some Like It Hot")

7. I Wanna Be Loved By You (From "Some Like It Hot")

8. I'm Through With Love (From "Some Like It Hot")

12. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (From "Let's Make Love")


Track List: Bombshell

1. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

2. A Fine Romance

3. That Old Black Magic

4. When I Fall In Love

5. Happy Birthday Mr.President

6. Every Baby Needs A Da Da Daddy

7. Do It Again

8. Kiss

11. Bye Bye Baby

12. You'd Be Surprised

13. One Silver Dollar

14. I'm Gonna File My Claim

15. The River Of No Return

16. Down In The Meadow

17. After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It

18. Heat Wave


Track List: Cinema

1. Everybody Needs A Da-Da-Daddy

3. Incurably Romantic

4. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

5. A Little Girl From Little Rock

7. She Acts Like A Woman Should

8. Bye Bye Baby

9. Heat Wave

10. River Of No Return

11. A Fine Romance

12. Down In The Meadow

13. That Old Black Magic

14. Some Like It Hot

15. Running Wild

16. I Wanna Be Loved By You

17. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

18. Let's Make Love


Track List: I Wanna Be Loved By You

1. After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It

2. Bye Bye Baby

3. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

4. Do It Again

6. Heat Wave

7. I Wanna Be Loved By You

8. Kiss

9. She Acts Like A Woman Should

10. The River Of No Return


Track List: The Complete Marilyn Monroe

3. Let's Make Love

4. When I Fall In Love

6. Incurably Romantic

7. Heat Wave

8. I Found A Dream

9. I Wanna Be Loved By You (From "Some Like It Hot")

10. A Little Girl From A Little Rock

11. Anyone Can See I Love You

12. Every Baby Needs A Da-Da-Daddy

13. Some Like It Hot (From "Some Like It Hot")

14. There's No Business Like Show Business

15. That Old Black Magic

16. Runnin' Wild

17. Lazy

18. Ladies Of The Chorus

19. I'm Through With Love

20. Do It Again

23. One Silver Dollar

24. Down In The Meadow (From "River Of No Return")

25. I'm Gonna File My Claim

26. River Of No Return

27. She Acts Like A Woman Should

29. When Love Goes Wrong

30. After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It

31. You'd Be Surprised

32. Happy Birthday Mr.President

33. Bye Bye Baby


Track List: The Essentials

1. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

2. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

3. I'm Thru With Love

6. A Fine Romance

7. She Acts Like A Woman Should

8. Kiss

9. Do It Again

10. After You Get What You Want (You Don't Want It)

11. You'd Be Surprised

13. Happy Birthday Mister President


Track List: Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

1. Do It Again

2. Kiss

3. She Acts Like A Woman Should

4. A Fine Romance

5. Two Little Girls From Little Rock

6. When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right

8. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

9. You'd Be Surprised

10. After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It

11. Heat Wave

13. One Silver Dollar

14. I'm Gonna File My Claim

15. The River Of No Return

16. Down In The Meadow

17. Some Like It Hot

18. Runnin' Wild

19. I Wanna Be Loved By You

20. I'm Through With Love


Track List: Marilyn Monroe - Limited Edition

1. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

2. A Little Girl From Little Rock

3. When Love Goes Wrong

4. Bye Bye Baby

5. Do It Again

6. Kiss

7. You'd Be Surprised

8. (This Is) A Fine Romance

9. She Acts Like A Woman Should

10. Heat Wave

11. I'm Gonna File My Claim

12. River Of No Return

13. Down In The Meadow

14. Lazy

15. My Heart Belongs To Daddy


Track List: The Very Best Of Marilyn Monroe

1. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

2. Some Like It Hot

3. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

4. When Love Goes Wrong

5. Bye Bye Baby

6. A Little Girl From Little Rock

7. River Of No Return

8. I'm Gonna File My Claim

9. She Acts Like A Woman Should

10. Kiss

11. Lazy

12. I Wanna Be Loved By You

14. You'd Be Surprised

15. Heat Wave

17. When I Fall In Love

18. A Fine Romance

19. Do It Again

20. Down In The Meadow


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Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest Friday tomorrow will be the best day of your life now that you have started reading this don't stop but if you ignore this you will have bad luck post this on 15 songs in 143 minutes when you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear
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You will always be an ongoing figure for people to love. I love ya and so does a lot of people I know! R.I.P Marilyn Monroe
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How beautiful, Norman ❤️ I live in Michigan, but always dreamed of visiting Marilyn's final resting place. I heard the reason her crypt is a different color compared to the other ones was from all the people visiting/tou c h i n g , leaving kisses on hers that it's become discolored over the years! ��
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I love you so much Marilyn, grateful to be able to visit you every week and bring you flowers,you will always be a mother to me and I'm proud to be named after you and I'm thankful to have met those still around who are friends of yours I know your spirit is full of love and I know I'll see you one day I love you momma Marilyn always Norman Monroe
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I love u so much Marilyn Monroe ❤️��
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Marilyn I so sorry for your lost I love u so much every day I think of u . U the most beautiful prettyest girls I met in my whole life the day I die I hope I see u at haven your fans love u so much but the haters don't care the people who do love u there always here for u no matter what happens in life I wish I get the chance to see you in my dreams �� rip God is watching over you and everyone i love u so much one day I going to Decorate my room as u ❤️u mean a lot to me and other people I wish
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oh my god i love Marilyn Monroe voice. Also she is very beautiful. I wish i could have got to meet her too bad i cant now!
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Damn......MA R I L Y N your voice you your self are a godess R.I.P love you Norma Jeane Baker:)<3<3< 3
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Marilyn Monroe I miss you so much
I like your song and you are ageless
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She's flipping beautiful. I'm so sad she died, but then again I could never see her getting old. She'll never die. She's Marilyn Monroe!! She's ageless.
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Why'd you die I miss you so much I wish you were still alive you are my idol!!! ❤️
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Marilyn Monroe I miss u so much I can't stop thinking about u .u mean so much to me I cry about u every minute ilove u marilyn
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She is my chicken soup... :)
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Marilyn Monroe RIP how shes an inspiration to me shes gorges i love her shes my role model i wish to be as famous as she, she is an inspiration to all women and girls if u follow ur dreamm u cannn make it absolutly i wish to be her soooo much bit saddly i cant nobody can she is ireplacible no one forget her she climbed a celebrity latter i like to call it she was an orfen for some time in her life and now she lives on if she was alive i would wish to meet her shes just amazing!!!!! ! (:
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Love her ����❤️ma' Queen
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1 Kiss your left hand
2 Say your crushes name
3 Close your hand
4 Pick a school day
5 Say your name
6 Post this on 15 different songs and on the day you picked is the day your cherish will ask you to be more than friends.
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Luv ) #MonroeTime ) @vegasluvs
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Things Marilyn taught me
@ Diamonds are a girls best friend
@ How to marry a millionaire
@ Gentlemen prefer blondes.
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I friggin love all of her movies! <3 Gentlemen prefer blondes <3 :)
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#marilynmonr o e
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Love marilyn follow me if you think so too
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She is amazing
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Love Marilyn monroe
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God I wish I was born in her times Maybe if I was one of her close friends I could of prevented whatever happened to her. ;-; She's so darn adorable! Jeez! She's like the cutest thing that walked on earth.
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Marilyn Monroe
Beautifully put, her softspoken voice with a very vibrant attitude only one of a kind, even as generations come and go she'll be remember after all as a gorgeous lady.
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She died in 1962
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Show off it matters that u r a dedicated fan not that u skyped NIALLER I love one direction probably the same amount as u same as any directioner so haven't u ever heard of all DIRECTIONERS love them the same and when we all combine we are too powerful so yea and I don't think one d would like ur user name
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What year did she die??
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i like track no. 11. classic cut!
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I don't like marilyn she married Jfk behind d jackies back
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I miss Marilyn Monroe...R.I . P
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Not as cool as 1d. But she is my idol.
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Miss her!
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I would do anything to go back to this Hollywood time
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i would give anything to go back in time and meet her
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this song makes me to sleep
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its not where you came from, its where your going :)
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i would do anything for her to be alive and larger than life today , or to go back in time to admire her when she was alive and thrivng .oh Norma Jeane Mortenson you'll always be alive in my heart and soul
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and she had problems LONG before fame. fame didnt have to much to do with it.
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She was so beautiful fame can really get to people R.I.P MM
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mckisickcait l y n n
She is my role model R.I.P Marilyn Monroe
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i love her
she is my role model
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i still consider her the most beautiful woman in the world.
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She was considered the most beautiful woman in the world at the time
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I love Marliyn Monroe even if she is dead
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I Love Marilyn!!!! She is My Role model Of Wanting to Act And Sing! I Love her So Much!!! I Might Be A Little obsessed Lol(;
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love her! sexy!
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