Friday, October 2, 2009

As Graceful As A Gisele

One of the loveliest and most popular exports from Canada during the 1950’s was songstress and violinist Gisele MacKenzie.

While probably best remembered for her years on Your Hit Parade (See my first MOMPD blog 'Twas Rock & Roll That Killed Your Hit Parade), Gisele also appeared on her own TV show in the late 1950s, and was a staple on radio and TV variety shows of the 1950s and the early 1960s.

Although possessed of a pure, nearly crystalline voice, Gisele rarely scored on the top 40 charts. Her single  Hard To Get (1955), which ranked at  #31 for that year, was her biggest hit.

I remember her best playing the violin with her mentor, and friend Jack Benny.  Gisele and Jack were both accomplished violinists (Jack only pretended to be awful), and the chemistry between them was a joy to behold.

So, for a Friday afternoon quickie, I present a couple  of clips of Gisele and Jack, doing what they did best.  Delighting audiences with their playing, and comedic timing.

(Double Click To View on Youtube)

(The running gag on this episode was Jack’s purchase of cheap Hong Kong suits . . .which explains why it comes apart on him at the end).

And one more . . .  from Your Hit Parade (circa 1954) with Gisele showing us her vocal talents.

We lost Gisele in 2003, at the age of 76. 

She was, and always will be, something very special from the early days of television.

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