You’re listening to Pearl Bailey from 1946 and you’re on the Sound Beat.
Pearl made her Broadway debut that year, performing “It’s a Woman’s Prerogative” in St. Louis Woman. Though audiences weren’t enamored of the play, her performance marked the beginning of a decades-long love affair between Bailey and the American public. That “special time together” included a Tony award for Hello, Dolly! and later pop-culture staples like “The Love Boat”, “The Muppet Show” and “Hollywood Squares”.
Ol’ softy President Richard M. Nixon made it all official in 1970 proclaiming Bailey “Ambassador of Love”. The position was rumored to pay 80,000 hugs annually with a guaranteed pension of half that amount. Nixon even accompanied Bailey on the piano. Turns out he was an amateur composer. Click here for video of Nixon’s Concerto No. 1…and some Truman jokes thrown in for good measure.