On the other hand, it could very well be someone who had an active career in other media - anything from theater to TV commercials (who knows?) - for whom the reaction might be, "Gee, I'd almost forgotten I did that!" Back in the late '70s, my squeeze at the time introduced me to an old friend from their days in San Jose community theater, a guy named Mark Lambert. Sometime later, it was mentioned in passing that he had supplied the vocal for "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" in Cabaret, and I was mightily impressed (I hadn't even known that the voice didn't belong to the actor who appeared onscreen). And it was still later that I learned that Lambert had originated the role of Henrik in the original B'way production of A Little Night Music. Since then he's had a fairly steady career in television.
So this mystery vocalist might be someone for whom Sleuth was just one of many dozens of other jobs, among which could be equal or greater claims to fame. But we're still all wondering if we'll ever know, huh?
Thanks for the nice words. Doghouse, I've been gradually convinced by the concept you articulated before: "if the singer's name is ever definitively established, the reaction thereto will likely be a collective, 'Who?!?'" Largely because I've thought that someone at least would know the singer's identity, as several people knew Lambert's identity.
I'm equally surprised, by the way, that he hasn't yet seen our efforts (if he's still around, of course)--the reason I've been trying to plaster it all over the Internet, to be honest. I'm betting that no one knows this person; still, I think his is a good voice, and I do hope, as you said, that our quest will bring him some measure of gratification.
Oh, and Doghouse--we don't know each other except on this forum, of course, but from our conversations here, I know that you have far more than one nice thought per day! And thanks for letting me know that you've been following this mystery--much appreciated. _________________________________
Bat, sometimes it's awful hard to think up nice thoughts, indeed, but, yes, trying counts! Lord, I hope we will know one day, just to have an answer at long last. (It still boggles my mind that Graham Hartstone didn't know, but so be it.)
I so greatly appreciate both of your contributions--as always, thank you both so very much.
Michael Feinstein posted this question on his Facebook page. As yet there is no answer. I don't think he knows. However he is out of the country I believe performing. He may sign into his archives when he gets home. I hope he can find the answer
Well, Feinstein is back, and unfortunately he hasn't yet responded to me or posted anything new to his Facebook page. Here's hoping he does so soon, whether yea or nay...
1. I've finally posted this to the TCM boards, link here.
2. I've noticed that @kevinsch (who first alerted us to Feinstein's posting) and carlcarlson1 have both disappeared. Heck, maybe the singer in Sleuth mystery does that to people... (But then what about me? Ah, well, I'm nuts anyway. )
Salzmank I just rewatched the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby (my favorite version). A few songs on the soundtrack were sung by a crooner named Nick Lucas. I thought he sounded somewhat similar to the singer in Sleuth. Have you ever heard of him? Also, I was surprised to see that the film's opening song, the classic standard "What'll I Do?", was sung by actor William Atherton. Atherton was the star of early 70's films like Sugarland Express and Day of the Locust. He seems like an odd choice to sing an old standard for the opening credits of the Gatsby movie when he wasn't even in it. Maybe Sleuth just used some random actor (Atherton maybe?) to sing the Cole Porter songs. Just trying to keep the thread going while we play "Waiting for Feinstein ".
Thanks, jervistetch. (And, hey, pop over to the riddle thread again whenever you get a chance. We miss ya! )
I hadn't heard of Nick Lucas, but I think his voice sounds a bit more American, whereas the Sleuth singer's is more Transatlantic, even to (but not quite) British.
I looked up Atherton's connection with Gatsby and found out that he sang "What'll I Do?" in between takes for Day of the Locust. It's entirely possible that Sleuth used some actor for it, but... Hm, d'après IMDb, Sleuth was partially shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. I wonder what else was being filmed there then, if anything...
Some late-in-the-day thoughts (and pardon if any are repeats of previously expressed ones; I've dwindled into an essentially lazy fellow, disinclined to review this and related threads):
My belief is that the means of determining the singer's identity are extant, either in the form of recollections of the singer himself or someone who knows/knew him (friend, relative or perhaps session musician involved in the recording) or on some long-buried document (call sheet, payroll record, etc), microfiche or other storage medium.
To the latter end, I began thinking about where such documentation may reside. One such resource is AMPAS's Margaret Herrick Library (www.oscars.org/library), recipient and guardian of voluminous document collections of studios, production entities or producers and hundreds of industry individuals. Among those is that of Joe Mankiewicz, described under their "Special Collections" listing as encompassing "45 linear feet" of papers. It's a long shot, as I'd guess such minor and run-of-the-mill documentation wouldn't be the type of thing he'd personally have maintained, but I'm forever coming across things around the house about which I wonder, "Why did I keep this?" And I'm a nobody. Their site provides contact info, in person, by email, phone or snail-mail (www.oscars.org/library/about#field-tabbed-content-tab-2) as well as a basic search form (catalog.oscars.org/vwebv/searchBasic).
Another possibility would be the production entity itself (or remnant thereof). Palomar Pictures International - the entity which produced Sleuth,and its copyright holder - was a film production subsidiary of American Broadcasting Company (itself having since been absorbed by the Capital Cities/ABC corporate conglomerate) in operation from 1968 to 1975. Who knows what Cap Cities/ABC still has and in what form?
Pursuit of either of these would of course be limited by the willingness and persistence of both the seeker and those they may contact to devote the time and energy to delve into it. In other words, if the answer exists in some documented form, the place(s) where it's most likely to reside is/are probably the most difficult to penetrate. But absent some fantastic, out-of-nowhere stroke of luck from the feelers you've put out, I can't think of anything else.
You’re far from a nobody, Doghouse. Your two suggestions here are brilliant!
Thanks for the vote of confidence, jervistetch. I just got to thinking back to when I went to work for a company that had recently acquired the Monogram/Allied Artists film library, and holy moly, the paperwork that came with it! A ton of stuff going back decades. Part of my job involved inventorying it, and what I came to learn about that or any other such company was that nobody would ever take the responsibility of being the one to throw anything away, unless they had instructions from the highest executive levels.
May I second that vote of confidence? Many, many thanks for these suggestions, Doghouse.
As you noted, though, "pursuit of either of these would of course be limited by the willingness and persistence of both the seeker and those they may contact to devote the time and energy to delve into it," and I'm not sure how much farther down the rabbit hole I want to go. (I've gone pretty far as is.) I'll try to reach out and see how that goes, and then... Oh, well. I have said I'd admit defeat before, and that sure ain't happened yet...
Even if we find the singer, I'm probably still going to wonder why it was so difficult to find him. Jervis pointed out how William Atherton sang for Gatsby; well, that's an unlikely singer, but one need not move heaven and earth to find it out. What happened with this guy? And, even if he were some truly unlikely or unknown singer, wouldn't he still have sung something, somewhere, sometime? I'm not only confused by the mystery but by the fact that there is a mystery, which seems needless. Ah, but the Sphinx, or the Sleuth, will keep its secrets!
Even if we find the singer, I'm probably still going to wonder why it was so difficult to find him. Jervis pointed out how William Atherton sang for Gatsby; well, that's an unlikely singer, but one need not move heaven and earth to find it out. What happened with this guy? And, even if he were some truly unlikely or unknown singer, wouldn't he still have sung something, somewhere, sometime?
That would be my guess: commercial jingles; theater; vocals for other motion picture "source music," perhaps a member of some group like The Alan Copeland Singers or whatnot.
That thing about Atherton leads me to speculate about some other well-known performer deliberately, shall we say, keeping his little secret. Can't recall (remember: lazy) if anyone has suggested it might/could have been Olivier himself. I confess I don't remember well enough how the voice sounded to judge whether that's a completely silly idea. I do seem to recall there had been some engineering employed to impart "tinniness" meant to suggest early recording technology.
Post by BATouttaheck on Sept 25, 2017 18:12:45 GMT
Could the secrecy have anything to do with avoiding the paying of residuals to the singer? * Speaking of residuals. Do actors (even extras) get paid whenever a movie or tv show is shown? This came up when I was describing the Great Sleuth Dilemma so it's kinda sorta connected.
* I disavow any connection to the residual theory (unless it proves to be the solution )
"I don't get how someone could be more annoyed with the response to a nuisance than with the nuisance which called for the response."
That thing about Atherton leads me to speculate about some other well-known performer deliberately, shall we say, keeping his little secret.
That was what I was thinking too, as the secrecy seems so needless... As for Olivier, we've considered both Olivier and Caine and, for the most part, ruled them both out. Olivier sang in The Entertainer, and--while he certainly could have changed his voice to some degree--his singing voice sounds nothing like the Sleuth singer's.
Someone more knowledgeable than I should probably answer your question, as I really don't know, but I thought it was a one-shot deal for singers, actors, extras, etc. That is, they're paid once, when the film's being made, and then no more, even when the movie is shown. (The company is paid, though, unless there's some kind of deal, if I'm remember correctly...) I knew someone who did extra work as one of those "people running away from the evil villain" in superhero movies, and she was only paid once.