Wednesday, July 23, 2014
DORA HALL: A CAREER HARD BOUGHT
Some people are blessed with talent, work hard and become a star. Others develop and grow and become a success. Still others are blessed with a husband that owned the largest disposable cup company in the country who had no problem paying for their recordings and TV specials. Not really others, I guess. Just Dora Hall.
Dora Hall may just be the biggest name in vanity recordings, if only because her bottomless financing allowed her to produce countless albums, singles and even television programs. She was married to Leo Hulseman, the owner of the Solo Cup company. Dora wanted to be in showbiz, so Leo paid for recording sessions and record pressing so she could become a star. The records were issued on Dora's own lables: Cozy, Premore, and Reinbeau to name a few. They were sold via Solo Cup packaging, with an ad of a particular release and an order form. Send in the form and a few weeks later folks got a record that they played once and was destined for thrift stores.
Seriously, Dora Hall records show up regularly in thrift stores, and they are almost always in perfect condition. She's not that STRONG a singer, but she makes up for it in enthusiasm. Still, that's not a ticket to repeated plays. Dora didn't let a little thing like talent keep her from putting out more stuff, though. There was money for that. That money bought some great collaborators, like arranger H.P Barnum, members of the Wrecking Crew, and Randy Newman.
Beyond the records, there are the TV specials. Allegedly these were actually aired, and my guess is that they were aired on stations that sold time to Dora. She got some minor stars to show up, had big production numbers and choreography, and actually ended up with some eye rolling, yet charming, productions.
Why am I going on about Dora Hall? Because on Thursday, July 24th, we're playing nothing but Outsider musicians on the morning show. These are folks that often might lack skills or conventional talent, but they have a drive to record and perform. You'll definitely hear Dora on the show, as well as loads of other remarkable musicians that we've loved over the past decade of morning radio. And call/text/e-mail your requests! We love that KMSU listeners love Outsider musicians!
Here's yet another reason that I love YouTube madly. There are a couple of complete Dora Hall specials on it! They're less than half an hour long, so they won't suck away much of your life. Who knows? You might actually be entertained.
BONUS: A really bad medley from Dora's Once Upon A Tour!