People: Words & Music

Lauritz Melchior, great Dane of the Metropolitan Opera, sang Open the Door, Richard on a Kay Kyser radio show and got a chromatic catcall from the president of the National Association of Schools of Music for "debasing his art." Pooh, retorted jovial Heldentenor Melchior. If the musical stuffed shirts wanted more blatant examples of undignified monkeyshines, he could refresh their memories. Once, he recalled, he sang a hillbilly song on the Fred Allen show; another time, he danced an Apache number in which he impersonated a female who could have mopped up on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!