Marlene VerPlanck was a “girl singer” with the big bands of Charlie Spivak, Tex Benecke and the Dorsey Brothers, but she became a more familiar voice in everyone’s life when she became one of the most active jingles singers in the business. “MMM, good. MMM, good. That’s why Campbell’s soups…” That was the ubiquitous Marlene, singing about airplanes and selling musically everything else.
All the while, she was singing backup for everyone from Frank Sinatra to (no kidding) Kiss. She’s been singing through all the decades since, but mostly the American Popular Songbook.
Marlene is also the record-holder for interviews with Michael Bourne on Singers Unlimited. How often? We’ve lost count over the 30-plus years of the Sunday show, but she’s come to talk every couple of years about her many albums: her tribute to Alec Wilder, another to Johnny Mercer, another to songwriter Richard Adler, her sessions with the group Saxomania in Paris, and plenty more.
She’ll sing Irving Berlin songs on Dec. 3 at NJPAC; a concert of jazz songs on Dec. 12 at Mezzrow; and another gig on Dec. 30th at the Kitano.
Marlene recently returned to Singers Unlimited — this time to sing in the studio with pianist Allen Farnham and bassist Jay Leonhart.