“Hello Dolly” – An Evening with Carol Channing

HAPPY 96th BIRTHDAY, Carol Channing, the great star of Broadway, film, television, recordings and even a Super Bowl half-time show!

The enchanting Ms. Channing.

The last time I saw Carol was quite a few years ago. I was performing at Vine St. Bar & Grill, a then-famous Hollywood jazz show room. We followed Anita O’Day, who loved our music and invited me to come see her perform the next night in Beverly Hills.

When I arrived, I was led to a small ringside table for Anita’s guests which I shared with Carol. Anita was brilliant that night, despite being a bit “in her cups,” as usual. Carol and I had a gloriously good time and went backstage to congratulate Anita afterward.

Anita was delighted to see Carol, gave her a hug and then turned to me with a dismissive comment and a look like she’d never seen me before in her life – when she had actually just seen me, heard me, raved about me and extended an invitation to me the night before!

I was naturally mortified. Carol broke out into her delightful cackle and told me that Anita, whom she considered a friend, had once done the very same thing to her!

Oh, sweet Carol. You made me smile and feel good that evening, just as you’ve done every time I’ve ever seen you perform. Thank you!

31 January 1921

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