Today is the birthday of Anna Sosenko (1909-2000). From 1933 through 1956, she was the manager and companion of Hildegarde, and a popular songwriter for Hildegarde and others, penning “Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup”, ”I’ll Be Yours,” ”Ask Your Heart” and ”Why Don’t They Leave Us Alone?” and the English lyrics for ”J’attendrai.” She was also a major collector of art and manuscripts and ephemera related to theatrical and literary personalities. And she produced radio shows and live annual benefit shows for the Museum of the City of New York starring the likes of Mary Martin and Ethel Merman.
When she passed away, her assets were used to start the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, which makes small grants to theatrical artists in need. Your correspondent was the grateful recipient of one a few years back and it really saved my bacon! So I literally celebrate her birth today!
To find out about the history of show business, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc