Sunday, November 9, 2014

WHY I DON'T LIKE EDDIE FISHER

My wife always jokes me that I like any performer as long as they are dead. She is partially right. The singers I like from the 1930s to 1950s do not have many of the era’s original performers alive today in 2014. However, just because an entertainer is dead, does not mean I like them. An example of this is Eddie Fisher. When singer Eddie Fisher died in 2010, it wasn’t a big headline. Each one of the obituaries said his daughter is Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in Star Wars. The way the obituaries read you would think his daughter achieved more success than he did. In the early 1950s, no one was bigger. Every record of his a hit. However, poor decisions and a horrible personality made his fall from the top and momumental as his rise to the top. I am one of those people that always say we should separate the personality from the talent. Usually I can do this, but not in the case of Eddie Fisher.

Legend has it that Eddie Fisher was "discovered" at Grossinger's Resort in the Catskills by comic showman Eddie Cantor. Cantor put Fisher on his show, and a star was born. Eddie soon landed a deal with RCA, and a small role in a movie. After a couple of minor hits in 1949, Fisher struck the charts hard with "Thinking Of You" and "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" in 1950. These were followed by "Any Time" and a cover of the Four Aces' "Tell Me Why" in 1951. He was a superstar in records, and even ventured to radio, television, and the movies. He made a movie for MGM even with then wife Debbie Reynolds called Bundle Of Joy (1956). He was in fine voice in the film, but he was so wooden it is no wonder why he did not make more movies.

By the late 1950s Fisher had lost his teen audience and his knack for hit records. He became tabloid fodder and began to take prescription drugs. As the 1960s rolled in, he dumped Debbie for Elizabeth Taylor, who in turn dumped Eddie for Richard Burton. While his personal life disintegrated in the 1960s, Eddie turned to the one thing he could count on: His vocals. Fisher fans guaranteed moderate sales, but otherwise the record buying public took little notice. A couple of minor hits from the 1960s were "Sunrise, Sunset" and the enjoyable "Games That Lovers Play." However, soon the booze and the pills ruined Fisher’s voice and he faded into obscurity.

Fisher would emerge from now and then, giving an interview where he bad mouthed one of his ex-wives, his children, and fellow singers. In one of his autobiographies, Fisher says he sat next to legendary crooner Bing Crosby, and Crosby was rude and talked about beating his children to Fisher. I not only think the story was exaggerated, I think it never happened. By the end of his life, Fisher was not talking to any of his family, and he burnt any work related bridges he had had.



You would think being discovered by Eddie Cantor, a man who is a definition of work ethic, would have rubbed off on Fisher. Considering his tough workaday roots and years of dead-end struggling for success, it's easy to see how EddieFisher lived for the here and now. Had he known that he would live into his 80s, it's likely that Eddie Fisher would've been a different man. In my opinion, Eddie Fisher had one of the worst personalities of anyone I have ever read about in show business. While, his voice was good, it sometimes bordered on the shrill side. Some of the people that worked with Fisher in the past even said he was tone deaf. So, I admit I do not like Eddie Fisher. My one CD I have of his is collecting dust among the much played albums of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Al Jolson. When my wife says I only like dead singers, I can tell her I don’t like Eddie Fisher. I guarantee you that her reply will be “Who?”…



8 comments:

  1. I don't understand why he would write that about Bing Crosby. Fisher wasn't exactly the perfect father either.

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    1. I believe Eddie. I heard that Bing was very nasty from many other sources.

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  2. Carrie Fisher had a show on HBO a few years back. in one segment she visits her father at a convalescent home. To see Eddie Fisher and the condition he was in a few months prior to his death was staggering. Perhaps he was a jerk in life, but I think old age and its complications were his final comeuppance.

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    1. In a nutshell, he did it to himself.

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  3. I was an teen when he 'hit' in the early 50s and I honestly didn't care for him then! The only song he came up with I thought was decent was Cindy, Oh Cindy. I think that was the only one I ever bought of his. I did keep up on all the movie mag. gossip articles about he and Debbie however - read them over and over and studied the photos carefully, mostly to see what Debbie was up to and wearing. I think I only watched his TV show in the early 50s a few times. Never new what Liz (or Debbie) saw in him!

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  4. I think Eddie had the best voice of all the singers including the ones singing currently. Listen to him on "Wish You Were Here" and "Forgive Me" and others. What a great voice. It is a shame he did not marry the right women in his life and used drugs, but that voice is what counts. Forget his private life. His Coke Time TV Show is just great. Pure magic. By the way I met Eddie several times and he was always very nice to me. Once in 1967 when he was playing at the Palace in N.Y. I managed to get backstage with my friend and met Eddie. He bought us lunch and sang several songs just for us. We still love Eddie.

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    1. When we like something, I find that it can be wanting not to look at the other side of the coin, so to speak, with a person. Eddie Fisher made you happy so you want to see that side of him and not the degenerate side of him who was SO selfish and insensitive to SO many others!!! He had to be nice to his fans because they bought the songs he sung and the tickets to go see him perform at his concerts. That's thinking of himself, i.e. selfish! I'm not telling you what to think, merely showing Eddie Fisher from a different perspective.

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  5. I have met Eddie Fisher many times through the years. I became a fan when I was only a teenager. When I saw him in person he was older but he still had that great voice and he was very nice to me and all of his fans.
    He had the best voice of all the male singers. His personal life should have no bearing on his talent. His fans miss him, but at least he is at peace.

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