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Allen, Sue (18th October 1922-29th August 2016)

Vocalist who appeared in the “Beautiful Girl” montage in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain and went on to a successful career as a session singer. Early recordings on which she appears are The Complete Capitol Singles Collection of Frank Sinatra and Benny Carter 1952-1954. As a member of The Norman Luboff Choir, she lent vocal support on the Harry Belafonte songs, “Noah”, “Sylvie” and “Take My Mother Home”. She was also one of The Randy Van Horne Singers, a group that sang the theme songs to The Flintstones and The Jetsons and made regular appearances on Nat King Cole’s TV show.

One of her most famous recordings as a background vocalist was Sam Cooke’s massive hit, “You Send Me”, recorded in 1957. The same year, Allen appeared on The Pied Pipers in a Tribute to Tommy Dorsey, and recorded several tracks with The Ralph Brewster Singers for eventual release on A Jolly Christmas With Frank Sinatra, including “Adeste Fidelis” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. She was also a member of the Mel-Tones who backed Mel Torme on his 1959 release, Back in Town.

In the early ‘60s, she did some movie work for Henry Mancini, most famously as one of the voices on “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She also appears on the soundtrack of 1967’s The Young Girls of Rochefort, singing “A Pair of Twins” with Jackie Ward. The pair of them were members of The California Dreamers, a vocal group that backed The Gabor Szabo Octet on some recordings that would eventually appear on the album, Wind, Sky & Diamonds. It was back into the movie studio in 1969 for an opportunity to back up Elvis Presley on the soundtrack to Charro. Allen also collaborated with Rod McKuen on If You Go Away: The RCA Years 1965-1970.

In 1972, she sang The Music of Bob Friedman and celebrated The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t on TV. A couple of years later, Sue re-surfaced on The Carpenters’ Horizon. She is also credited with being a member of the trio Tuxedo Junction, which combined big-band songs with disco arrangements, and released their eponymous debut in 1977. Allen went on to record with the prog-rock band Triumvirat on their 1978 offering, A La Carte, and Frank Sinatra on his 1979 boxed set, Trilogy.

In 1980, Allen supplied voices for the animated TV specials, Dr. Seuss’s Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? and Yogi’s First Christmas. She performed similar duties on 1982’s Banjo the Woodpile Cat and Heidi’s Song, as well as reuniting with Henry Mancini on the soundtrack of The Trail of the Pink Panther. Her last screen credit seems to be as a singer in the 1984 film, Racing with the Moon.

She died in August 2016 when she was 93 years old.

Here’s “Beautiful Girl” from Singing in the Rain


  22. Leonard Maltin’s 2008 Movie Guide (Signet)