Swooning teen-agers put Vaughn Monroe, whose crooning
bulges with virility, at the top of their listening lists. His booming
baritone has set box-office cash registers to jingling and Mr. Monroe to
counting his musical millions
MR. VAUGHN WILTON MONROE is a
large handsome young man whose business it is to stand in front of an
orchestra which bears his name, and bellow songs in a voice reminiscent of
both Nelson Eddy and Leo the Lion. For this, and related activity, he
currently is grossing nearly $2,000,000 a year. He is the number one orchestra
leader of this country, according to such show business authorities as
Billboard and Motion Picture Daily; the number one male vocalist, according
the the best-seller record lists of Variety; and the Adonis of Band Leaders,
according to a plaque presented to him by the Hairdressers of Cleveland, Ohio.
He also is proving to be the greatest boon to the nation's
all-night disk jockeys since the discovery of insomnia.
Last January, for instance, a gentleman named Ed McKenzie,
known to the Detroit radio audience as Jack the Bellboy, was passing a slow
night at his turntables in the studio. On a whim, he picked up a Vaughn Monroe
record and said, "Well, let's hear now from Old Nasal Nose, the poor man's
John Charles Thomas. In the recording by Old Mushmouth, note carefully the
muscles on the tonsils, the sinews on the adenoids. Here he is, Vaughn Mon-schmoe!"
The next day, angry teen-agers swarmed upon the radio station.
Jack the Bellboy was deluged with letters, typical of which was the following:
Why don't you drop dead, take the A-train, or jump in the river? Boy-- you're
When you start picking on my boy Vaughn Monroe, the fireworks really start.
First of all, he's the most wonderful man, the best-looking male vocalist in
the country and he
can outsing anybody you can name any day. Why don't you keep your rotten
How about playing Vaughn Monroe's latest-- without your usual sarcastic
An ex-Bellboy fan
After reading thousands of such letters Jack the Bellboy (who
actually is a close friend of Monroe) smiled contentedly, piled up the
letters, and walked in to ask for a raise. Today, whenever the Bellboy wants
to give his Hooper rating a boost he attacks Monroe and happily waits for the
letters to come pouring in.
"This," says Jack the Bellboy, "doesn't happen with any other
star-- not even Crosby or Sinatra."
Apparently, a lot of things are happening to Vaughn Monroe
lately that are not happening to other stars. The entertainment world is in a
slump, but not the deep-toned Mr. Monroe, whose controversial voice has
brought him titles like the Voice with Muscles and the Voice with Hair on Its
Chest (friendly); and the Foghorn, Old Leather Lungs and the Million-Dollar
Monotone (critical). His weekly radio program is in its fourth year, and a
good deal of money is rolling in from a number of other sources.
[This article continues on page 64 of Collier's Magazine]