2007   MARCH 7   #066

Ramon Novarro - Long Ago in Alcala

Ramon Novarro - Long Ago in Alcala (2:52)

For those of you who thought celebrity recordings originated with the (excellent) Golden Throats recordings, you are sadly mistaken. Vanity recordings go back, WAY back, to even the stars of the silent era! Rudolph Valentino, Joan Crawford, and yes, Gloria Swanson tried their best at singing, most with very middling results.

But this is a great exception, the somewhat-forgotten-today silent star Ramon Novarro (he competed with Valentino for parts) only put 4 songs to record, this song, "Long Ago In Alcala" is probably the most amazing, here, the star of the first Ben-Hur belts out a song about a sailor and his love, I think, because this song just goes a million miles an hour, with Navarro leading like the pro that he is.

- Contributed by: Bill Taylor