The news of Shirley Temple's death cast a cloud over an otherwise sunny day here in Baltimore.
I do not hesitate to confess that some of my favorite times as a kid -- and, yes, in later years, too -- were spent watching her childhood movies. I didn't care how cornball or contrived the plots. I just loved her smile, her voice, her unpretentious talent. Not to mention the songs and the many vibrant actors who worked with her, helping to make even the silliest of the movies enjoyable and often quite touching.
Thanks to my pal Sebastian in Miami for reminding me this morning of a fabulous scene of Shirley Temple singing opera in the the 1936 film "Captain January." It's the well known "La La La" Trio from Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." OK, so it's supposed to be a sextet and have a whole lot of very serious words, but who needs 'em when you get a performance this delerious?
(Sorry this clip is colorized. I couldn't find a version in the original -- and so much better -- black and white.)