While preparing to perform at President Kennedy’s Birthday Salute in 1962, Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald reflect upon their friendship and efforts towards advancing the civil rights movement, hoping to influence the Kennedy brothers’ policies. The episode also highlights the very private party following the gala honoring JFK’s birthday, where Marilyn was famously photographed with the Kennedys. Also featured is one of Marilyn’s many battles with 20th Century Fox Studios over a photograph featuring her, the legendary jazz pianist Hank Jones, and her costume designer for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, William Travilla. Jones was also Marilyn’s pianist at the 1962 “Happy Birthday” performance.
What I really want to say: That what the world needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negros, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.Marilyn Monroe
(And for the purposes of this episode, Soul Sisters, too.)
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Allen K. Wood
Norma Jeane: Discovering Truths
Marilyn’s 1962 Happy Birthday performance, and her relationship with Ella Fitzgerald.