May 4, 2016

20,000 Vinyl LPs 56: Audrey Hepburn ~ Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack

vinyl LP 
photo by Styrous®

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Audrey Hepburn. To me, as well as probably millions of others, her greatest role was that of Holly Golightly in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's. The film was based on the Truman Capote novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's.     

vinyl LP back cover
photo by Styrous®

The score for the film was composed by Henry Mancini. Aside from his Award winning song, Moon River, arguably one of the most beautiful songs ever written and which ranked number 11 on the 1964 top chart list, my favorite song is Hubcaps and Taillights. The song is one of the great stripper songs of all-time along with The Stripper, by David Rose, and the incredibly sensual 1939 jazz standard written by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers, Harlem Nocturne. My favorite version of Nocturne was by Earl Bostic; his rendition is outstanding! Both Hubcaps and Nocturn are saxophone spectaculars. Obviously, the sax, with its deep, throaty timbre, is a sensual instrument that lends itself nicely to eroticism.

The fashion designs for Hepburn/Golightly were by the French designer, Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy.            

vinyl LP label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

The basic plot of the film is about Holly, a country girl turned New York café society girl. As such, she has no job and lives by socializing with wealthy men, who take her to clubs and restaurants, and give her money and expensive presents; she hopes to marry one of them. According to Capote, Golightly is not a prostitute but an "American geisha."

vinyl LP sleeve front
photo by Styrous®

Breakfast at Tiffany's was received positively at the time, and won two Academy Awards: Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Moon River. It was also selected as the fourth most memorable song in Hollywood history by the American Film Institute in 2004. The film was also nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Actress for Hepburn, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction.

In 2012, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

vinyl LP sleeve back
photo by Styrous®

Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium. She was the epitome of chic. She was a fashion icon as well as a movie star, was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend in the Golden Age of Hollywood and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

photo by Bud Fraker

Bud Fraker, who photographed her in 1956 (photo above), was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1916. He Attended Los Angeles City College. He was hired by Hollywood photographer A.L. 'Whitney' Schafer at Colombia. He photographed stars of the 1930s. He also worked for Paramount Studios in the Publicity Photography Department and assisted in the portrait gallery

Hepburn was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF and George H. W. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work with UNICEF. Grateful for her own good fortune after enduring the German occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations. Hepburn's travels were made easier by her wide knowledge of languages; besides being naturally bilingual in English and Dutch, she also was fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, and German.      

On the evening of 20 January 1993, Hepburn died in her sleep at home. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, "Unending Love" by Rabindranath Tagore. Funeral services were held at the village church of Tolochenaz on 24 January 1993. Maurice Eindiguer, the same pastor who wed Hepburn and Mel Ferrer and baptised her son Sean in 1960, presided over her funeral, while Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of UNICEF delivered a eulogy.

A beautiful article by Luca Dotti, the son of Hepburn, appeared in the May, 2013 issue of Vanity Fair (link below). 

Luca Dotti & Audrey Hepburn
photographer unknown

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posthumously awarded her the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her contribution to humanity, with her son accepting on her behalf.  

"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other."
                                             - Audrey Hepburn

Viewfinder links:        
Audrey Hepburn articles/mentions          
Hubert de Givenchy, Kennedy & Hepburn ~ timeless style       
Net links:        
Audrey Hepburn Filmography and stage roles      
Audrey Hepburn website         
Vanity Fair ~ My Fair Mother       
The Guardian ~ Hepburn profile     
YouTube links:       
Moon River
Audrey Hepburn sings Moon River     
Hub Caps And Tail Lights       
Earl Bostic - Harlem Nocturne              
David Rose ~ The Stripper               
Moon River documentary
Audrey Hepburn ~ A&E Biography

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, May 4, 2016 

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