Day 187 of Colourisation Project – November 10
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Big Band leader, Glenn Miller did it in 1944; singers, Buddy Holly, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens did it all together in 1959; Patsy Cline in 1963; Jim Reeves in 1964; Otis Redding in 1967; Jim Croce in 1973; Ricky Nelson in 1985; John Denver in 1999; Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990; seven members of Reba McEntire’s band and her tour manager did it in 1991.
The common denominator here is that these luminaries of the music world all died in plane crashes. And there are many others too. That big triple whammy in 1959 came to be known as ‘The Day the Music Died’ courtesy of Don Maclean’s song, American Pie. Sadly throughout history plane crashes have surrendered some of the world’s greatest musical talents to the sky, contributing in part to their collective legend statuses.
Today’s subject, Jane Froman was not one of them but she could very well have been. Froman was one of the lucky ones to have survived a plane crash that killed just about every one else on board.
Born this day, November 10, 1907, Jane Froman was a remarkably courageous American singer and actress from Missouri. During a career spanning thirty-years, Froman performed on stage, radio and television despite chronic injuries that she sustained from the plane crash. At the outbreak of World War 2, Froman was one of the first performers to volunteer entertaining the troops both at home and abroad.
Froman suffered severe injuries when the United Services Organisation Boeing 314 she was travelling in crashed on February 22, 1943, killing 24 of the 39 passengers on board. As the plane was banking into a turn for approach, a wingtip caught a wave, sending the plane crashing into the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal.
Froman had given her seat to another passenger, Tamara Drasin, who was killed in the crash, a gesture which bothered her the rest of her life. Froman came out of it with severe injuries; a cut below the left knee nearly severing her leg, multiple fractures of her right arm, and a compound fracture of her right leg that had doctors threatening to amputate. After months in hospital, Froman was sent to a convalescent home to recuperate. Froman faced the prospect of amputation daily as infection set in again and again. She had to wear a leg brace for the remainder of her life.
In 1952 her life was made into a movie, With a Song in My Heart, with Susan Hayward in the lead role. Froman was deeply involved in the film’s production, serving as the film’s technical advisor. Froman’s voice provided the actual soundtrack for the movie which consisted of 26 songs. Susan Hayward was nominated for an Academy Award for a brilliant performance and the Capitol album of songs from the movie was the number one best-selling album of 1952.
Froman overcame personal tragedy and debilitating injuries to become one of America’s most loved performers and went on to have her own television show in the 1950s.
In 1980 Froman died of cardiac arrest in her home at the age of 73.
For her numerous contributions, Jane Froman was awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for Radio at 6321 Hollywood Blvd.; for Recording at 6145 Hollywood Blvd.; and for Television at 1645 Vine Street.
Froman suffered badly from a stutter which started around the time her father left her family never to return. In the early 1930s Froman went to Hollywood where she made three movies but her acting career failed to take off as her stutter was difficult to conceal. This was not the case though when she sang. She had a beautiful contralto voice which can be enjoyed here in this clip provided for you today.