Looking for a Speaker for Your Event?
Debbie Darling is a speaker by profession and has, as part of her speaking repertoire, a host of hour long musical talks that are both entertaining and informative. She delivers these talks all over the country to women's groups, over 50 residential communities, country clubs, Kiwanis, Rotary, and independent living facilities. If you are looking for something different for your next meeting consider booking Debbie to perform one of her entertaining musical talks for you. They include:
The Great American Songbook
This talk goes into depth on the Songbook itself and four of the most prolific writers of the Songbook: Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Arlen. Ms. Darling talks about each composer and then sings some of their most famous songs. This is one of her most requested talks.
Ms. Darling takes you on a journey through the life of one of the most legendary performers of all time-Judy Garland. As she leads you through the ups and downs of Garland's tragic life Debbie performs many of her greatest hits along the way.
This talk is all about Richard Rodgers and his collaborations with both Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. Ms. Darling sings songs from both collaborations.
Music of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s
This talk is a musical walk down memory lane. Ms. Darling describes what was happening in the world during each era and what prompted some of the most noted pieces of music to be written. She then performs hits from each decade.
Ms. Darling not only performs the most loved holiday music but provides interesting anecdotes on some of the most famous holiday songs ever written.
Debbie provides a rich history of Sinatra and his music. She performs some of his most famous songs and explains what was happening in the singer's life at the time he recorded them.
Debbie takes you on a journey from Ms. Day's rise in popularity with the big bands into her very successful transition into film, singing many of her hit tunes along the way.
Nat King Cole
Debbie introduces you to the Nat King Cole you did not know. How he started his singing career, how he bridged the gap between blacks and whites in the entertainment industry and helped with the Civil Rights Movement. She includes many interesting anecdotes that made up the life and career of this very beloved artist.
One of the most prolific and patriotic songwriters in American History was a Russian Jew. This man gave us some of our most important songs from God Bless America to White Christmas. Follow Debbie as she introduces you to the man who became one of America's greatest and most beloved songwriters.
Debbie takes you on a personal journey to meet her grandfather's friend Dean Martin. From singing in the clubs of Cleveland, Ohio to his act with comedian Jerry Lewis to his rise as one of America's favorite singers and a member of the famed Rat Pack. Debbie takes you through his triumphs and tragedies. She performs some of his most beloved songs and gives you an intimate look into the man her grandfather called a friend.
Rosemary Clooney was an American singer and actress best known for her performance in the movie White Christmas. Debbie will take you behind the scenes of this singer's life and provide you with some insights as she sings many of her top hits.
Tony Bennett is one of the most beloved singers of our times. He has managed to create a career that started in the 1950s and continues stronger even today. His audience fans range from millennials to centenarians. Discover what it is about this singer that makes him so beloved. Debbie will introduce you to the life and times of Tony Bennett while performing his hit songs.
Even if you’re not familiar with the name Johnny Mercer, you are certainly familiar with his music. From such songs as Moon River, Accentuate the Positive, Blues in the Night, and That Old Black Magic, his list of hit tunes is endless. With over 1400 songs, including songs written for over 100 motion pictures and 23 theatrical productions to his credit, he was also a radio personality, recording artist and the co-founder of Capitol Records. In that position he was responsible for signing such talents as Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Whiting and more. Debbie will take you on a journey through the life and music of her favorite songwriter of all time, Johnny Mercer-a true American classic.
Johnny Mathis is a living American legend. With over sixty years in the music industry, Mr. Mathis is still going strong at age 83 and performs between 50-60 concerts a year. Nicknamed "The Velvet Voice", he is known for his ballads but has sung just about every genre of music imaginable. Debbie Darling will weave a tapestry of information and music in this talk. She'll describe the background of this highly talented man, while interspersing the information with his biggest hits.
Black Women of Jazz
The role that African American women played in the history of jazz has from its inception often been omitted from the larger narrative. Black women fought harsh stereotypes levied against their gender, race, musical abilities and basic rights to perform. Debbie Darling will introduce you to four iconic jazz vocal mavens who broke through barriers to pave the way for some of our favorite artists of today. Through this musical introspective on the lives of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Sarah Vaughan you will get a glimpse into the lives of four amazing women whose tenacity and determination forever changed the face of jazz.
Peggy Lee was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress. From her early days as a vocalist on radio to singing with Benny Goodman’s band to acting in films she evolved into a multi-faceted artist and performer. During her six decade career, she wrote music for films, acted, and recorded conceptual record albums and evolved musically with the times. She was an endlessly creative, well rounded and persistent artist who triumphed over considerable adversity. Join Debbie as she takes you on a retrospective of Peggy Lee’s life and music.
The Role of Music in World War II
Music had a huge impact on America during World War II both at home and with our troops serving overseas. Unlike World War I, which occurred in the pre-radio era, by the time of our involvement in World War II in December of 1941, virtually 96.2% of every American household owned radios. Music was used to boost morale at home and overseas. But it was used in an entirely different way than ever before. Debbie will take you through what was happening during our years of involvement in World War II and sing some of the biggest hits that helped get us through it all.
Bing Crosby was one of the most popular and successful musical acts of the 20th century. While best known for being a singer and movie star, he was also a television personality, the first singer to be termed a "crooner", and an astute businessman with investments in real estate, mines, oil wells, cattle ranches, race horses, music publishing, baseball teams, television and more. While he is best known for his famous rendition of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", from 1944-48 he was also the biggest box office draw in the world. In a poll of U.S. Troops at the close of World War II, Crosby topped the list as the person who had done the most for G.I. morale and a survey done in 2000 of movie tickets sold found Crosby to be the third most popular actor of all time behind Clark Gable and John Wayne.
The Magic of Motown
On January 12, 1959 a young African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy founded “Motown Records Corporation. His legendary Motown label made its mark not just on the music industry but society at large. While forging new territory for minorities Gordy made Motown a worldwide phenomenon and a force of social and cultural change. The Motown sound is one of the most significant musical accomplishments and success stories of the 20th century. This musical talk will guide you on a journey of the most successful independent record company in history and through its history and music introduce you to the “Magic” that became Motown.
Female Composers of The Great American Songbook
The Great American Songbook is one of the greatest resources of modern American music to this day. While most of the songbook was written by men, or the occasional female one hit wonders, several women wrote some of the songbooks most memorable songs. Women such as Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden, Carolyn Leigh, Nancy Hamilton, Blossom Dearie, Kay Thompson, Marilyn Bergman, etc. were ingenious songwriters and gave us some of the classic tunes that are still recorded today. Unlike the male songwriters of the Songbook, the female songwriters were often unrecognized for their genius and collaborations. Debbie will introduce you to some of the more prolific female songwriters. This musical talk will show you the incredible impact these women have played on American music.
When you think of Perry Como you think of that "warm, smooth, easy listening...slow-flamed romance that characterized popular music in the 1940's, 50's and 60's." In his career he was one of the most popular male vocalists of all time. In his personal life he had a true love and devotion to his family and to God. His easy going manner and cardigan sweaters made you feel you were just spending time with a friend. This talk takes you on a journey through this humble man's start as a barber in Pennsylvania to his rise as a beloved singer and television personality.
Burt Bacharach is an American composer, record producer and classically trained pianist. He has written hundreds of songs many of which have made it to the status of "standard". From his start as pianist and musical conductor for Vic Damone to his songwriting collaborations with Hal David, Carole Bayer Sager and others, this talk introduces you to the music of a man who became a household name and whose music literally made Dionne Warwick a singing star.
Women of the British Invasion
The British Invasion took America by storm and changed the course of music forever. While we all remember The Beatles. Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five etc., this talk is devoted to the women of the British Invasion. The gals who made a name for themselves across the pond in a male dominated industry. Cilla Black, Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Dusty Springfield and the most famous female British singer of them all Petula Clark. This is their story and their music.
The Music of Jule Styne
Jule Styne ranks as one of the architects of the American musical theater with scores to such Broadway classics as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy and Funny Girl to his credit. His talent as a pianist had him performing with the Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit Symphones by age 10. He developed his feel for popular music by working with the jazz bands of 1920s Chicago. His collaborations with the likes of Sammy Cahn, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, Bob Merrill, Leo Robin and E.Y. Harburg created some of the greatest songs ever written. Songs such as "The Party's Over:, "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Don't Rain on My Parade", "People", "Time After Time", "It's Magic", "Let It Snow", "Just in Time" and the list goes on. Jule Styne was an American Classic.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis, Jr. was an American singer, dancer, actor and comedian who is considered to have been one of the greatest entertainers to ever grace the stage. His popularity helped to break the race barrier in a highly segregated entertainment industry. This talk will take you from Sammy's humble beginnings in Vaudeville at age three to becoming one of the members of the legendary Rat Pack.
Music of the Decades - 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s
Pick a decade and we'll dive into what was happening in the world at large and in the music industry in particular to influence the music of that decade. From Ragtime to Swing, Bebop to Rock and Roll, to The British Invasion and more. Enjoy the history and the music of each individual decade. Each decade is self contained and is set up to be an hour to an hour and a half musical talk.
Coming in 2022
,The Big Band Swing Era (three part series), Carole King, The British Invasion, Women of Country
Musical Topic of Your Choosing
If you have a musical topic or performer you would like to hear about do not hesitate to ask Debbie to put it together. As long as she has enough notice she is happy to research it for you and put together something special and specific for your group.