When I listen to the song,”The Man I Love” from the film of the same name,I’d swear the husky,cracked tones are definitely that of the film’s star,Ida Lupino.But the voice for Gershwin’s great song is that of band singer and radio actress,Peg LaCentra,one of the many great song dubbers who went uncredited by the studios.
Peg LaCentra (1910-1996) was born in Boston but moved to New York in 1931,working on radio. When Artie Shaw started his first orchestra in 1936, Peg became his vocalist. She also had her own radio show in 1939 – the same year that she married Paul Stewart – they were together for 46 years until Paul’s death in 1986.
In Smash Up, The Story of a Woman,Peg was the velvety voice of Susan Hayward, singing “I Miss That feeling”. And she dubbed again for Ida Lupino in Escape Me Never.
She also played a night club singer in Joan Crawford’s Humoresque. In a bar scene, Peg is playing piano and singing “Embraceable You”. Reminiscent of Bette Davis in Dark Victory, Joan joins in with Peg. A great scene.
And Peg appeared in a short lived TV series in 1957,The Marge and Gower Champion Show.
On You Tube, I found a World War 2 short made for G.I. audiences,featuring Peg talking to the forces and singing “Embraceable You” . Her own voice was lovely and there is a two-disc album of her recordings (many with Artie Shaw) from 1934 to 1946. (Also on You Tube).
I don’t know if Peg and her husband ever appeared together.
Peg also had an uncredited part in Barbara Stanwyck’s Crime of Passion.
Aside from that two year period in Hollywood from 1946 to 1947, Peg’s career seemed to dry up apart from some TV appearances in the 1950s and 60s.
Talking of Artie Shaw, I didn’t know till now that one of his 8 wives was Elizabeth Kern, daughter of Jerome Kern.
(Shaw’s actress wives were Lana Turner, Ava Gardner,Doris Dowling and Evelyn Keyes).
I like Artie Shaw’s comment , “I could never understand why people wanted to dance to my music. I made it good enough to listen to.”