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Christine Johnson
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Vocalist
    (September 8, 1911-June 9, 2010)
    Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
    Contralto opera singer
    Originated the role of Cousin Nettie Fowler on Broadway in 'Carousel'
    Sang 'You'll Never Walk Alone,' 'June Is Bustin' Out All Over' and 'This Was a Real Nice Clambake'
    She only had one other major Broadway credit to her name aside from Carousel.
    Although she originated the role on Broadway, she was not able to reprise the role of Nettie in the 1956 film version.
    Because she limited her output largely to the concert hall and stage, she has been largely forgotten.
    She sang the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess with conductor Leonard Bernstein (and she did an amazing job - despite not being, you know, a black woman).
    She studied at the Nashville Conservatory of Music before moving to New York in 1937.
    She won the Metropolitan Opera auditions, in 1943, which led to her becoming the youngest person ever to sing the role of Erda in Wagner's Das Rheingold.
    She was the first performer to ever sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone,' perhaps one of the most recorded and covered songs of all time.
    It has been said that Richard Rodgers wrote and arranged the famous song with her in mind.
    She stayed with the show for several hundred performances, earning a Tony Award nomination.
    She didn't have a favorite cover version of the song, but appreciated Barbra Streisand's rendition in tribute to the victims of 9/11 the most.
    She opted for early retirement and moved back to Owensboro, where she married and taught music.
    One of her music pupils was a young singer name Florence Henderson.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


 
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