Marian Spelman, A Local Icon, Passes
UPDATE: Memorial Services Set for Marian Spelman
A memorial service, open to the public, for singer Marian Spelman will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in the chapel at Arlington Memorial Gardens cemetery, 2145 Compton Road, Mount Healthy.
Posted Jan. 23:
If you ever had the pleasure of hearing Marian Spelman sing, you knew who she was. Ruth Lyons and Channel 5 had many talented singers on TV -- Ruby Wright, Bonnie Lou, Colleen Sharp -- but Marian Spelman -- who died today at 85 -- was unique. She had this wonderful soprano voice, and a wonderful range -- and a wonderful sense of humor. She could do serious songs and hit these terrific high notes on Ruth Lyons' "Fifty-Fifty Club"... and the next day do a hilarious novelty song.
Marian Spelman seemingly could do everything. She sang with the CSO and Cincinnati Pops. She did musical theater. She MC-ed fashion shows. She performed each year at the Ohio State Fair with other Channel 5 stars. On some Saturday mornings, she would schlep up to the WLW tower in Mason, and perform on the "Everybody's Farm" show.
And longtime Reds fans remember that the baseball season never started at Crosley Field (and the early days of Riverfront Stadium) until Marian Spelman sang the National Anthem.
I only met her once or twice, including seeing her perform with Ruth Lyons stars at Towne Mall in Middletown in 1986 or so to benefit the Ruth Lyons' Children's Christmas Fund. I was a bit nervous to meet her, thinking she might be stuffy (because she had That Voice), but she was as friendly as could be. And that's what her coworkers tell me about her today, that she was a sweet, funny, gentle lady, as I prepare the obituary for our Web site and tomorrow's paper.
Anyway, I'm hoping some of you have fond and favorite memories of Marian Spelman.... and I'm looking forward to reading your postings.