Week 4: Discography

Here is my only experience with someone’s discography:

Some years ago I heard a song that rambled on and on and was quite charming and a little sad. They didn’t give the title of the song, but I knew it was Rosemary Clooney singing toward the latter part of her career because she used a distinctive singing/talking style as she got older.

Years went by and full discographies of artists started to be posted on the Internet. I figured the song was recorded around 1987-1998, but I thought it was on a live album, because the radio instance was live. I looked and looked with no luck. In February 2014 I sent an e-mail to the jazz radio station in Toronto and asked them. All I could remember was mention of baseball and hot dogs. They thought I was referring to the Nat King Cole hit Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer but I knew it was something else.

Four months went by and I said to myself “Darn, I have to try and find this song no matter how long it takes me.” So I went through every album during those years on Rosemary Clooney’s discography. I skipped the standards, and when I found a song that seemed likely, I would listen to the preview on iTunes. I finally found it early last summer and bought the track at iTunes!

It’s a song written by Dave Frishberg called Dear Departed Past, and was on the Demi-Centennial album from 1995. Once I found out I wrote back to the radio station to inform them and one of the hosts (David Basskin at Jazz FM 91, yay!) played the Dave Frishberg version from his own collection for me. Now that’s satisfaction.

When I saw the word “discography” in the dictionary and put it on my Sketch 52 list, I was reminded of this incident so chose to try a portrait of Rosemary Clooney. Try being the operative word, ha-ha. I shall try to practice more and improve my portrait skills.


I decided that I like using the Stonehenge paper for graphite. I have a couple of large pieces of it in three colours left over from making a handmade journal. I will probably try it again when I do a portrait practice.

I used my Staedtler Flexible Curve, left over from a long ago drafting course, to put the curves in for the text. It’s a handy tool to have around.

Materials I used:

Staedtler 2H pencil
Faber-Castell HB and 4B pencils
Black Micron and black Faber-Castell Pitt pens
Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencil (Red-Violet #194)
Stonehenge paper in Fawn colour
Canson Mi-Teintes paper in Burgundy for photo corners

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8 Responses to Week 4: Discography

  1. Roseanne Dix says:

    what a brilliant portrait Jude. Is that Rosemary Clooney ? Gosh my memory of her is in frilly petticoats and bobby-sox !!!….. Your drawing skills are formidable my dear !


    • I wanted to draw her from around the time of the album. I think with practice I could get the hang of doing portraits. Many graphite artists do time-consuming photo-realism but my hand couldn’t take that.


  2. chloetarot says:

    You are definitely too hard on yourself! I went and looked for images of Rosemary Clooney (I’d never heard of her), and in her later years she looks like your portrait – I would have recognised her from it. If I drew a portrait, I’m not sure you’d even know it was a real person 😀


    • You’ve never heard of Rosemary Clooney? Did you never see the old film “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby and Rosemary with Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen? Wonderful movie with lots of great musical numbers, including the title song.

      Lately, most people know her as George Clooney’s Aunt. She did a few cameos on the television series ER when George was starring in that. She’s dead now, speaking of the dear departed past. Sigh.

      Thanks for your comments on my drawing. I’m too hard on myself because I know I can do better, but I’m out of practice. I always feel a bit embarrassed comparing myself to others but I need to practice more.


      • chloetarot says:

        Oh, I have seen the movie, but didn’t know that was her. And I never watched ER.

        As for the drawing, this is all about practising again, and finding joy in it, isn’t it? 🙂


        • Yes, we need to find joy!!

          Rosemary looked quite different in her youth which is probably why you didn’t recognize her in that movie, and her voice changed too. She gained a lot of weight around the time of her nervous breakdown in 1968. It’s hard to believe she died 12 years ago, it will be 13 years in June.


  3. Beverly King says:

    Wow, I agree with Chloe – you are great at portraits! Seeing RC was a blast from the past; I remember her from the Bing Crosby shows and the Coronet paper towel commercials. Besides being a wonderful artist, it sounds like you’re quite the detective too. 🙂


    • I read Rosemary’s autobiography some years ago and remember things about her from that. I noticed there was a biography out in 2013 so I have an inter-library loan in for it, and hope they can get it. Sometimes there are things in straight biographies that you don’t find in autobiographies.

      Thanks Bev, I still feel a bit lame but our practice is helping a lot.


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