Wednesday, September 09, 2015

They Can't Take GRETA KELLER Away From Me

A sweet sorrow will comfort you hearing the voice of Greta Keller (1905-1977). Rather than wax melancholic over the wax, discover for yourself the nostalgic niche occupied, perhaps to waning interest, by the interestingly wan Greta Keller. Perhaps it's Keller's lingering German accent that makes her interpretations bittersweet, the tremulous attention she gives toward interpreting the lyrics, or just the aura she presents as a world-weary and aging chanteuse on a dreary tour through smoke-filled nightclubs.

Madame Keller's private life, as her voice suggests, included a variety of traumas. The worst was the murder of her husband David Bacon, apparently while he was patronizing a gay brothel. He was vaguely known at the time for portraying The Masked Marvel in a movie serial. Pregnant at the time of the tragedy, Greta's child arrived stillborn.

In 1940 she opened "Chez Greta" at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, Cole Porter and Maurice Chevalier all toasted her as one of the best. In 1947 she opened a new "Chez Greta" in St. Moritz Switzerland and in 1960 returned to New York for two years at the Waldorf Astoria. She continued to tour the world through the 60's and early 70's, evoking nostalgia and stoking libidos. Her rendition of "Married" can be heard in the 1972 film "Cabaret."

Dietrich was more theatrical, Hildegarde evinced more humor, but the tender Greta Keller has a way with a sad song.

Instant access, no Rapidshare, codes, or confusion in getting to a page where the link is hidden amid a dozen garish ads:

They Can't Take That Away From Me (or you)

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