Home » Jazz Musicians » Doris Day

Doris Day

One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Von Kapplehoff on April 3, 1924, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her parents divorced while she was still a child and her mother gained custody. Like most little girls, Doris liked to dance. She would sometimes dance with friends and, sometimes, just by herself. She had dreamed of being a ballerina, but an automobile accident ended whatever hopes she had of dancing on stage. It was a terrible setback, but after taking singing lessons, she seemed to find a new vocation, and began singing with local local bands. It was while on one singing engagement that she met Al Jordan, whom she married in 1941. Jordan was prone to violence and they split after two years, not long after the birth of their son Terry Melcher, who later became a record producer. In 1946, Doris married George Weidler, but this union lasted less than a year. Day's agent talked her into taking a screen test at Warner Bros. The executives there liked what they saw and signed her to a contract (her early credits are often confused with that of another actress named Doris Day, who appeared mainly in B westerns in the 1930s and 1940s). Her first starring movie role was as "Georgia Garrett" in Romance on the High Seas (1948). The next year, she made two more films, My Dream Is Yours (1949) and It's a Great Feeling (1949). Audiences took to her beauty, terrific singing voice and bubbly personality, and she turned in fine performances in the movies she made for Warners (in addition to having several hit records).

She made three films for the studio in 1950 and five more in 1951. In that year, she met and married Martin Melcher, who adopted her young son. In 1953, she starred in the title role in Calamity Jane (1953), which was a major hit, and several more followed: Lucky Me (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and what is probably her best-known film, Pillow Talk (1959). She began to slow down her filmmaking pace in the 1960s, even though she started out the decade in a hit, Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960).

Her husband, who had also taken charge of her career, had made deals for her to star in films she didn't really care about, which led to a bout with exhaustion. The 1960s weren't to be a repeat of the previous busy decade.

Read more


Radio & Podcasts

New Releases With Birthday Shoutouts to Doris Day, Pearl Bailey, Alberta Hunter and More

Read "New Releases With Birthday Shoutouts to Doris Day, Pearl Bailey, Alberta Hunter and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This broadcast presents new releases from Dan Perantoni, Idit Shner and the Jim Self/John Chiodini Duo with birthday shoutouts to Doris Day (100!), Pearl Bailey, Amina Claudine Myers, Alberta Hunter, Rachel Therrien, Tessa Souter, Meredith d'Ambrosio and Norah Jones, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music during this time of pandemic so they can continue to distract, provoke, comfort and inspire. Playlist Dan Peranton} “Yatra--Ta" from Lovin' and a ...

Read more articles


Doris Day (1922-2019)

Doris Day (1922-2019)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Doris Day, whose melting pop vocals on records and pert sunny image in movies in the 1940s, '50s and '60s made her both a successful multimedia star and a national dart board, died May 13. She was 97. While Day's image was an ideal for many American women coming of age after World War II, it also came to personify '50s conformity and good-girl subservience. Both of these images would be held up to ridicule in the tumultuous 1960s, when ...

Award / Grant

Doris Day Christmas Album

Doris Day Christmas Album

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Each December for the past 10 years, I've carefully chosen a different album for inclusion in my annual JazzWax Vintage Holiday Album Hall of Fame. I established this yule repository in 2008 to steer you to great old-fashioned favorites that may be unknown to you or have been forgotten. I'm a shameless fan of holiday music, provided it meets my criteria: smart song choices and arrangements. My vintage pick this year is The Doris Day Christmas Album. Recorded in 1964 ...


Book / Magazine

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door

Source: Michael Ricci

HER LIFE on screen played like an American fairy tale.

A new biography looks into the shadows and 'Untold Story' of Doris Day On screen, she was America's smiling, singing darling. But off screen, her husbands weren't Rock Hudson and her life was no light romp.

A former singer with Les Brown's band in the 1940s, Day also was a bestselling recording artist whose trademark songs -- “Sentimental Journey" and the Oscar-winning “Que Sera, Sera" -- seemed to epitomize her ...


Performance / Tour

Cabaret Singer to Debut "Tribute to Doris Day" in Seattle

Cabaret Singer to Debut "Tribute to Doris Day" in Seattle

Source: All About Jazz

Broadway Singer/Actress Yolanda “Yoly" Tolentino, best known for her role as Lady Thiang in the Broadway production of “The King and I" opposite Lou Diamond Phillips, brings her one-woman cabaret “Que Sera Sera: A Tribute to Doris Day" to Seattle, Washington. The versatile singer (jazz, R&B, opera, musical theatre and pop) sings selections made popular by legendary actress Doris Day from the Great American Songbook. Ms. Tolentino is the winner of the 2003 San Francisco Cabaret Competition and has presented ...




Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.