"Indian Love Call" (first published as "The Call") is a popular song from Rose-Marie, a 1924 operetta-style Broadway musical with music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, and book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II.[1] Originally written for Mary Ellis,[2] the song achieved continued popularity under other artists and has been called Friml's best-remembered work.

Indian love call poster from the movie Rose Marie (1954 film)

The play takes place within the Canadian Rocky Mountains and features the sonorous tune in the overture and in Act One while the love interests call to each other per a supposed Aboriginal Canadian legend about how men would call down into the valley to the girls they wished to marry.[1][3] In most (or all) versions of Rose-Marie, including the best-known movie version, the tune is reprised several times throughout the narrative.[4]

Popularity Edit

The musical was the longest running musical of the 1920s, enjoyed international success, and became the basis of four films with the same title.[1] As the musical's biggest hit,[5] "Indian Love Call" outlived its origins. The New York Times described the song as being among those Rudolf Friml songs that became "household staples" in their era.[2] The song was said to have been a favorite of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[5]

Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald version Edit

"Indian Love Call (Also The Call)"
Song by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald
PublishedSeptember 2, 1924 Harms, Inc., New York[6]
Genrepop, folk
Composer(s)Rudolf Friml, Herbert Stothart
Lyricist(s)Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II

When Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald performed the song as a duet in the 1936 film version of Rose Marie, it was a hit that remained a signature song for the two singers throughout their careers.[1][7][8] As featured in the 1936 film version, Nelson Eddy as Sergeant Bruce and Jeanette MacDonald as Rose Marie are alone by a lakeside campfire. They hear a distant and haunting call across the lake, which Bruce tells her is "just an Indian". They listen and hear in the distance a mysterious feminine voice make its reply. The rest of the scene has been summarized thus:

It is an old Indian legend, he tells her. Years ago two lovers from different tribes met here. Their families were enemies, sort of a Romeo and Juliet affair. They were discovered and sentenced to die, but their spirits still live. When a lover gives the call, their spirits echo it, sending it on until it reaches the one he loves. Rose Marie is moved by the beauty of it. She stands at the edge of the lake and gives the haunting call. Sergeant Bruce takes it up and sings the classic "Indian Love Call".[4]

That same night, after Rose Marie has gone to her tent, she hums the song while beside the campfire and Sergeant Bruce quietly hums the response. In a dramatic moment later in the play, after Sergeant Bruce rides off on his horse to arrest Rose Marie's brother for murder, she sings "Indian Love Call" in an attempt to summon him back. Still later, as Rose Marie performs the last act of Puccini's Tosca, she hears the voice of Bruce singing "Indian Love Call". Finally, she "hits a perfect high note and collapses in the middle of the stage".[4]

Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's recording of "Indian Love Call" (with "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" from Naughty Marietta on the B-side) sold over a million copies,[4] was included in the 1974 compilation film That's Entertainment!, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.[9] It was the only song from the stage score that MacDonald recorded, although Eddy recorded a number of songs from Rose Marie, including a different version of "Indian Love Call" performed as a duet with Dorothy Kirsten.[4]

Plugging into the popularity of the Eddy and MacDonald version of this song and attempting to avoid confusion with the 1954 remake of Rose Marie, the 1936 version of the movie was broadcast on television under the title Indian Love Call.[4][10]

Slim Whitman version Edit

"Indian Love Call"
Single by Slim Whitman
A-side"Indian Love Call"
"China Doll"
Slim Whitman singles chronology
"Cold Empty Arms" / "In a Hundred Years or More"
"Indian Love Call" / "China Doll"
"An Amateur in Love" / "By the Waters of the Minnetonka"
"Indian Love Call" on YouTube
Professional ratings
Review scores

In 1952, yodeling cowboy singer Slim Whitman released a version of "Indian Love Call" as his second single. The song peaked at number two on the country charts, crossing over into the pop music Top Ten, and made Whitman a star.[12] It was also a top ten hit in the UK in 1955.[13] In 2023, it was included on the soundtrack of the film Asteroid City by Wes Anderson.

Track listing Edit

7-inch single (Imperial 45-8156, 1952, United States)[14]
1."Indian Love Call"2:30
2."China Doll"2:32
7-inch single (London Records 45-HL 1149, November 1952,[15] reissued in 1955, UK)[16]
1."Indian Love Call" (from Rose Marie)2:30
2."China Doll"
  • Gerald and Kenny Cannan

Charts Edit

Chart (1952) Peak
U.S. Billboard Best Selling Pop Singles[17][18] top 10
U.S. Billboard Top Country & Western Records — National Best Sellers[19][20] 2
U.S. Billboard Most Played Juke Box Folk (Country & Western) Records[19][21] 2
Chart (1955) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[22] 7

Other versions Edit

Use in popular culture Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d Bloom, Ken and Vlastnik, Frank. Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York, 2004. ISBN 1-57912-390-2
  2. ^ a b Tommasini, Anthony (July 18, 2004). "RECORDINGS; Rudolf Friml, Beyond 'Indian Love Call'" – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ "Imperial Theater". New York City Theater.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Rose Marie (jeanettemacdonaldandnelsoneddy.com)". Archived from the original on February 7, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Juilliard Journal Online (September 2004)".
  6. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office. (1924). Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1924 Musical Compositions New Series Vol 19 Part 3. United States Copyright Office. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  7. ^ a b "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Answers.
  8. ^ Martin, Douglas (February 3, 2003). "Mary Ellis -- opera singer, star of musicals". SFGATE.
  9. ^ "2008 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inductees" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Rose-Marie (1936) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.
  11. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. June 7, 1952 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ All Music Guide: Slim Whitman Biography
  13. ^ "SLIM WHITMAN | Artist | Official Charts". UK Chart Archive. Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  14. ^ "Slim Whitman – Indian Love Call / China Doll (1952, Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  15. ^ Country-western News at Google Books
  16. ^ "Indian Love Call / China Doll (1955, Tri-Centre, Gold Lettering, Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved March 12, 2023.
  17. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media Inc. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 13, 1952 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media Inc. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 15, 1962 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ a b Joel Whitburn (2002). Top Country Singles, 1944 to 2001: Chart Data Compiled from Billboard's Country Singles Charts, 1944-2001. Record Research. ISBN 978-0-89820-151-2.
  20. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media Inc. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 15, 1952 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media Inc. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 1, 1952 – via Google Books.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ Notable Biographies: Artie Shaw
  24. ^ Alicia Leschper. "LOWERY, FRED". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  25. ^ "Groove Music and Spotify: FAQ - Microsoft Support". support.microsoft.com.
  26. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 151. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  27. ^ The Dream Duet at Discogs (list of releases)
  28. ^ "Gloria Lynne". www.soulfulkindamusic.net.
  29. ^ "El Idolo de México". Discogs. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  30. ^ "Buechner CD Gets Rave Reviews".
  31. ^ Mancini, Mark (March 24, 2017). "10 Invasive Facts About Mars Attacks!". MentalFloss.com. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  32. ^ Martin, Mary (1976). My Heart Belongs. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-03009-2.(pp. 58–59)
  33. ^ "TV Guide, TV Listings, Streaming Services, Entertainment News and Celebrity News". TVGuide.com.
  34. ^ "The Cape Radio (used for length of Muppet duet)". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  35. ^ "Mickey Rooney 1977 Rainier Beer Commercial". YouTube.
  36. ^ The Washington Post: For Valentine's Day, a Pair Of Songbirds at Kennedy Center
  37. ^ "Wes Anderson's Asteroid City Soundtrack Out from ABKCO Digitally Today". Focus Features. June 23, 2023.