Roz Russell YouTube Treasure: “Some People” Can’t Sing


Rosalind Russell always swore that she did her own singing for the 1962 movie Gypsy. That may be, but they sure didn’t use it! Lisa Kirk (from Broadway’s Kiss Me Kate) dubbed Roz in the film, except for the pattery portions of the singing, the kind Rex Harrison probably could have done (though Roz sounds way butcher than Rex ever did).

But here’s a real find–a YouTube helping of Roz’s real voice on the song “Some People” (the one Ethel Merman, Tyne Daly, Liza Minnelli, and Patti LuPone all sang the shit out of). Hearing this, you can see why they beamed in Lisa Kirk. Roz’s voice certainly has character, but her overenunciation and the fact that she often goes flatter than Natalie Wood makes you wonder how she won a Tony for Wonderful Town nine years before this. At the end of each phrase, Roz veers off like Halle Berry at the wheel and sounds like she couldn’t hit a note with a baseball bat. Supposedly, Merman got ahold of these recordings and played them at parties to make herself feel better about not getting the movie. Which makes me wonder: Why didn’t they just dub Roz with Merman?