Upon My Lips a Song Author:Kate Smith "Your Majesties, this is Kate Smith - this is America" — With these words President Roosevelt introduced the favorite singing star of the country to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The year was 1939. Less than ten years earlier, guided by her knowledgeable manager, Ted Collins, Kate Smith had begun her career in radio. And less than five year... more »s before that - at the age of 17 - knowing only that the was gifted with a beautiful voice and that she must sing, Kate Smith had left her native Washington D.C. A singing-dancing part in a Broadway musical comedy of the Twenties seemed a promising first step to the ambitious young girl. But instead of glamour and success, she endured four years or loneliness and unhappiness as the butt of fat-girl jokes ad-libbed by second-rate comedians. And despair and disappointment accompanied the realization that it was her appearance and not her talent that had won her the role.
It was then that Ted Collins, a talent scout for Columbia Records, asked her to record for him, beginning a lifelong partnership unique in show business. The tremendous loyalty of Kate Smith to her manager-partner was never more clearly demonstrated than when Collins suffered a heart attack in 1956. Kate immediately cancelled all scheduled engagements and refused to make public appearances until Collins was able to be present during her performances.
Her contributions to public welfare have been remarkable. She sold 600 million dollars' worth of bonds during World War II, raised four million dollars for a Red Cross emergency flood relief fund, and has tirelessly aided a multitude of charities.
Kate Smith is a person to whom the years have brought peace and enjoyment of life. Not a glamour girl, never involved in sensational or romantic headlines, she is a hard-headed, realistic woman who knows what she wants and, more important, how to get it.
Upon My Lips a Song is Kate Smith's own story. It is as inspiring as it is American.« less