Bing Crosby performs ‘White Christmas’ live in 1968
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Later today, at 11:35am on BBC Two, White Christmas hits TV screens. The legendary Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye movie told the story of two performers who help out their old army general. However, one of the women involved in the movie had her singing voice scrubbed from the movie.
Bing and Danny acted in White Christmas opposite the legendary singer Rosemary Clooney and the extraordinary dancer Vera-Ellen.
The two women played the Haynes sisters; up-and-coming performers looking for a way to make a name for themselves in the entertainment world.
The quartet eventually fell in love on screen, with Bing and Rosemary partnering up while Danny and Vera-Ellen pranced through the movie’s sets.
There was a stark difference between the women’s performances, however. While Rosemary was more than capable of singing her own tunes throughout the picture, it was another story for Vera-Ellen.
Vera-Ellen had all of her singing parts overdubbed by someone else behind the scenes. Most of the American actress’ singing parts were instead taken over by singer Trudy Stevens.
Not a lot is known about Trudy other than that she sang in the films White Christmas, Pal Joey and The Corpse Came COD.
Trudy wasn’t the only person to take on Vera-Ellen’s singing parts, however. Rosemary reportedly sang both parts of the Haynes sisters’ featured track Sisters; a duet between the girls fussing about being siblings and best friends.
So when both sisters were performing to Bing and Danny, it was really Rosemary Clooney’s voice being used twice at the same time.
There is one moment where Vera-Ellen’s voice is being used in the movie, however.
During the middle portion of the movie, when the protagonists board a train to Vermont, they gush about snow and its beauty. During this portion of the movie they deliver an a capella rendition of the song Snow.
This is the only time Vera-Ellen’s real singing voice can be heard in the movie.
White Christmas was a joint creative effort from Bing and his composer and longtime friend, Irving Berlin. The song had already been written, recorded and performed in the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, but Berlin convinced Paramount to write an entire film about it.
The company put up the $2 million needed for the film and only took 30 percent of the box office – which ended up being ginormous.
The 1954 movie was an instant hit. Its success brought in a staggering $12 million at the box office, equal to around $112 billion in 2020.
White Christmas is available to stream on NOW.
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