Hello, Carol! Happy 95th!

Happy 95th birthday to Carol Channing. I’ll never forget the time that she was a guest on an awards show I conducted. I wrote an arrangement of Hello Dolly for her entrance. She sang a chorus and then started her speech. Several meandering minutes in, my cue light started flashing. They wanted me to play her off. You know, start the music quietly, and cresc gradually to play her off. I got on the horn and said “It’s Carol Channing! I can’t play her off!” Stage manager was having none of it – “Play!” she said, so I started the band and she gave me a look of shock and maybe a little awe and wrapped it up. I found her later and apologized and she said in her characteristic growl, “Ah, honey, don’t worry about it. That’s show biz!”

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