My Discovery of Janice Mars — Manhattan Cabaret Performer of the 1950s

December 19, 2016
I shared an album with a friend today and would love to share with everyone.
(It appears that the rights holders themselves have put this recording on YouTube via CDBaby.)
Janice Mars was my great discovery of 2015, a performer of natural talent and superior skills who exemplified sophisticated Manhattan cabaret of the 1950s, recorded but once (which recording disappeared for nearly 50 years) and worked only sporadically thereafter. And yet, this is perhaps my most treasured recording of all — there is so much here to one can enjoy, think about and admire. I find something new with every listen.
Listening again today, I can only wonder why every label refused to pick up this fantastic album of hers — it had been self-produced. Miss Mars had been a cold-water flat neighbor, friend (and perhaps lover) of Marlon Brando when both were unemployed actors. In the late 50s, after his success, it is said that he put some money into her little after-hours gin joint where she performed and other theater singers drank after their shows let out.
When Miss Mars’s great-nephews, who’d heard family tales of a Brando connection, called Brando, they were startled to learn that he still had the tapes in his closet! Soon the tapes were on their way to Kansas, which Miss Mars’s great-nephews made into this wonderful CD.
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