Image Source: Wikipedia

Lily Pons

Alice Joséphine Pons (April 12, 1898 – February 13, 1976), known professionally as Lily Pons, was a French-American operatic soprano and actress who had an active career from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. As an opera singer she specialized in the coloratura soprano repertoire and was particularly associated with the title roles in Lakmé and Lucia di Lammermoor. In addition to appearing as a guest artist with many opera houses internationally, Pons enjoyed a long association with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where she performed nearly 300 times between 1931 and 1960.

She also had a successful and lucrative career as a concert singer which continued until her retirement from performance in 1973. From 1935–37 she made three musical films for RKO Pictures. She also made numerous appearances on radio and on television, performing on variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, and The Dave Garroway Show among others. In 1955 she topped the bill for the first broadcast of what became an iconic television series, Sunday Night at the London Palladium. She made dozens of records; recording both classical and popular music. She was awarded the Croix de Lorraine and the Légion d'honneur by the Government of France.

Pons was also adept at making herself into a marketable cultural icon. Her opinions on fashion and home decorating were frequently reported in women's magazines, and she appeared as the face for Lockheed airplanes, Knox gelatin and Libby's tomato juice advertisements. A town in Maryland named itself after her, and thereafter the singer contrived to have all her Christmas cards posted from Lilypons, Maryland. Opera News wrote in 2011, "Pons promoted herself with a kind of marketing savvy that no singer ever had shown before, and very few have since; only Luciano Pavarotti was quite so successful at exploiting the mass media."

Birth and Death Data: Born April 12th, 1898 (Draguignan), Died February 13th, 1976 (Dallas)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: soprano vocal

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 26 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-59725 10-in. 3/26/1930 Où va la jeune Indoue Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-59726 10-in. 3/26/1930 Là bas, dans la forêt Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-59727 10-in. 3/26/1930 Aria of the Queen of the Night Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor CVE-59807 12-in. 3/12/1930 Lucia di Lammermoor Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with flute obbligato vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor CVE-64398 12-in. 12/8/1930 Ardon gl'incensi Lily Pons ; George Possell Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra and flute obbligato vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor CVE-64399 12-in. 12/8/1930 Spargi d'amaro pianto Lily Pons ; George Possell Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor CVE-67459 12-in. 2/19/1931 Caro nome Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor CVE-67460 12-in. 2/19/1931 Tutte le feste Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-67481 10-in. 3/2/1931 Una voce poco fa Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-67482 10-in. 3/2/1931 Una voce poco fa Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor MVE-70856 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor MVE-70857 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor MVE-70858 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor MVE-70859 16-in. 10/18/1931 Broadcast on unemployment relief Herbert Hoover ; Will Rogers Radio broadcast : Speeches and vocal and instrumental performances vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-98185 10-in. 12/2/1935 The jockey on the carousel Andre Kostelanetz ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-98186 10-in. 12/2/1935 I dream too much Andre Kostelanetz ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra and male vocal chorus vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-98187 10-in. 12/2/1935 I'm the echo (You're the song) Andre Kostelanetz ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-98188 10-in. 12/2/1935 I got love Andre Kostelanetz ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027220 10-in. 9/26/1938 La promessa Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027221 10-in. 9/26/1938 La pastorella delle Alpi Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027222 10-in. 9/26/1938 Comment disaient-ils? Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027223 10-in. 9/26/1938 Green (No. 5 from "Ariettes oubliées") Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027224 10-in. 9/26/1938 À des oiseaux (The birds) Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027235 10-in. 9/28/1938 Les Roses d'Ispahan Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-027236 10-in. 9/28/1938 Les filles de Cadix Frank La Forge ; Lily Pons Soprano vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
(Results 1-25 of 26 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pons, Lily," accessed October 25, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103093.

Pons, Lily. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103093.

"Pons, Lily." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 25 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103093

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.