Penn Library

Marian Anderson: A Life in Song

Sol Hurok Presents:
Seasons of Success

Sol Hurok continued as Marian Anderson's personal manager from 1935 through the remainder of her performing career. Beginning in the late 1940s and continuing into the 1950s, Hurok arranged tours of Scandinavia; Europe; South America; Jamaica and the West Indies; Japan and the Far East; and Israel. Ms. Anderson performed at the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and at the White House during their presidencies, as well as that of Lyndon B. Johnson. She toured Canada and the United States, performing in over 600 American cities to over six million listeners in more than 1500 auditoriums.

Marian Anderson's live concerts were augmented by a recording career with RCA and by radio and television broadcasts that included a documentary produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly concerning her tour of the Far East in 1957. In her autobiography, Ms. Anderson writes of "never lik[ing] the idea of singing into a microphone" to make recordings. "I like to see faces before me. I like to sense a reaction. Singing into a microphone in a studio is like performing into dead space." Yet her recording of "Ave Maria" had already sold over three-quarters of a million copies by 1956, while several of her albums had already sold over a quarter of a million copies each. To close her remarkable vocal career, Sol Hurok booked a year-long farewell tour of the United States. It began in 1964 and culminated in a recital at Carnegie Hall in 1965.


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