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Rose Marie on singing Little Girl Blue

From her book Hold the Roses:

I wore black for a year. That was my way of showing respect for my husband. Everyone looked at me like a woman from the old country. I didn’t care. Everyone at the show [The Dick Van Dyke Show] was just great. Richard Deacon told everybody, “Don’t put your arm around her or she’ll start to cry. Don’t bring up any subject relating to Bobby--if she wants to talk about it fine.” They changed lines in the show that would remind me of anything...they were absolutely the best!

We went on to do the last year of The Dick Van Dyke Show......

For about a year after the end of The Dick Van Dyke Show, I did nothing. I couldn’t sing or even think about working. But then I got a call from Dinah Shore. She was doing a teenage special show and wanted Noopy and me to do the show. I didn’t want to, but Noopy wanted to do it and she begged me to please do the  show. So we did. Dinah and her daughter Missy, Noopy and I. We sang, we danced. It was a great show, and Dinah was wonderful to me. She told me to get off my ass and go to work. I said, “Yeah, it’s not that easy.”

They called me to do The Dean Martin Show and sing a ballad. I said, “I can’t sing. It doesn’t come out right.” Guess what song they wanted me to sing? “Little Girl Blue,” a real tearjerker if there ever was one. Greg Garrison, the director, called me and said he wanted me to sing a straight song and not do comedy. Greg was Milton Berle’s director on the old Texaco TV show, and he knew Bobby. They had talked cars all the time. He said he wanted to show the dramatic part of me--whatever that meant.

I finally said, “Okay,” and went to the studio to record the song, with Les Brown’s Orchestra. I couldn’t go through with it. I broke down and cried and ran into my dressing room. I had never done anything like that in my life, and I felt like an idiot. Greg didn’t come to get me--he let me cool off and just waited for me to go back to the mike and record. All the guys in the band knew. They had all known Bobby, so thank God, they understood.

The Dean Martin Show was great. They did all kinds of effects for my number and it was nominated for an Emmy. Then Dean sang, “[Smile],” to me and I couldn’t help it, the tears began pouring down. Then Dean kissed me and held me in his arms. It was quite a memorable moment.

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