Keeping Marian Spelman's Memory Alive
About 50 of Marian Spelman's friends and family gathered at Arlington Memorial Gardens this afternoon to remember the wonderful WLW radio/TV singer. Rob Reider and Nancy James led the group in hymns, then folks shared their favorite memories of Spelman, a Ruth Lyons/Bob Braun "Fifty-Fifty Club" singer from 1952 to 1975. Around the chapel were her record albums, programs from the Cincinnati Symphony, Pops, and Dayton's Kenley Players, one of her landscape paintings (who knew?), and photos (including 3 with Steve Allen from her appearance on his show in 1951).
Folks like Nick and Nina Clooney, Ch 5 producer Dick Murgatroyd, announcer Bill Myers, bandsman Bill Walters, Wray Jean Braun (Bob's widow), Nancy James, Rob Reider, Ch. 5 engineers, former coworkers and others took solace in knowing Marian would always have a place in their hearts.
But we need more than that.
We need to preserve her wonderful soprano rendition of the 'Star-Spangled Banner." Does anyone have a copy of it? For years -- if not several decades -- Spelman sang the National Anthem at Opening Day at Crosley Field, and Riverfront Stadium. She was so terrific, that she was always first choice to sing the National Anthem for major events.
Recordings of her Ruth Lyons' show Christmas song still exist, thanks to the preservation efforts by old WVXU-FM years ago. But who has a recording of her singing the National Anthem? Anyone? It should be tracked down and preserved digitally by the Media Heritage preservation group at the Voice of America, or WMKV-FM, which plays historic broadcasts.
And CD copies should be sent to the audio engineers at Great American Ball Park so her voice could open a Reds game at least once a year... And also sent to US Bank Arena, the Shoemaker Center and Cintas Center to be used, if needed, for pregame ceremonies. Maybe even make it available to some high schools too. We need to keep her voice alive.
Anyone have a copy of her "Star-Spangled Banner?" Let me know.