Wednesday, March 6, 2013
"THE MATINEE IDOL"
Leslie was exactly that, suave,debonair and his voice a thing of beauty.
His stunning good looks and charm made him an absolute winner, especially with the ladies.
Hollywood had already defined their idea of male beauty in actors such as Clark Gable, Alan Ladd, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and Tyrone power to name a few.
Leslie was all that and more!! But he arrived on the scene when the art world rejected people of color, whose abilities demeanor and excellence posed a seeming threat to the white establishment.
Maybe I seem somewhat prejudiced or one sided; but I think I have that right because Leslie,(Leslie Scott) was my father. A man who exemplified for me, all that I thought a great artist and true representation of masculine beauty should be.
When he walked into a room or down the street, frequently people would gasp or take a moment to catch that little extra glance. I loved it because I knew they recognized in him a true "Matinee Idol".
The shot above displays what was so very obvious.
In my memoir which I am still writing, I am much more forthcoming with regards to our father son relationship and the respect he earned from friends and colleagues.
Recently we acknowledged the passing of one of his leading ladies in "Porgy and Bess"Ms Gloria Davy.She left us on November 28th 2012 at the age of 81.
Ms Gloria Davy was born in Brooklyn New York March 28th 1931.
She made her home in Geneva Switzerland where she passed after a very long illness.
These images of her help us to remember an elegance of a time long gone.
The picture with my father was shortly after she replaced Leontyne Price in the role of Bess.
Ms Davy had performed fifteen roles in four seasons at The Metropolitan Opera but because of racial sickness in our country she was forced to seek employment abroad, where more roles were offered and not denied because of her color. "A Tremendous Loss"for The USA.
Here is a small review written in an Italian newspaper in Milano concerning Leslie and Ms Davy in their debut at the famed "La Scala" Opera house.
In a way I wish they had been critiqued more for their vocal excellence rather than (as they put it) "The Torrid Love Scene".In which I'm sure they were most titivating.
On and off stage they were simply "Delicious.
In this most historic photo we see Leslie Scott, Leontyne Price and Cab Calloway (Sportin Life) in a recording session of Porgy and Bess at CBS. Notice the insignia on the microphone.
Leslie had toured the world with Ms Price and was fortunate to have replacements of similar excellence when destiny called, and the voice of the century was born !!!!
Leontyne Price set a standard of vocal beauty that to this day has not been surpassed.
Those of us who were there at her beginnings will never forget the many moments.
Last but not least we see Leslie Scott, Helen Hayes and Martha Flowers. Another understudy to Ms Price.
Not so well known of his leading ladies was Irene Williams depicted in this article from Jet Magazine.
Although Leslie Scott passed at age 48, his accomplishments were many.
The matinee idol with shoes to big for anyone to fill, he is still remembered by many as a romantic, an artist,a friend and a Father.
He was our true, "Matinee Idol"
Sent from my iPad