YOURE ONLY HUMAN ONCE DOUBLEDAY, DORAN CO., INC., GARDEN CITY, N.
Y. 1944 To those best friends my husband, my mother, and my father
who put up with me offstage, and to those countless thousands on
the other side of the footlights who have been the inspiration for
this life. I Prelude and Fugitive Thoughts i II By the Old Mill
Stream But Not for Long 12 III From Black Gat to Broadway 34 IV The
First Time I Saw Paris 57 V Music Boxes and Round Tables 82 VI
Good-by, Broadway, Hello, France 101 VII The Metropolitan 125 VIII
The Provincial Circuit 144 IX Sing a Song of Hollywood, a Pocket
Full of Wry 160 X Love-Is-a-Beautiful-Thing Department 178 XI
Celluloid Fame 197 XII A Cooks Concert Tour 215 XIII Louise AuVoir
243 XIV Far Away Meadows 262 YOURE ONLY HUMAN ONCE EVERY PRIMA
DONNA has to write her memoirs. Its part of the tradition. It is
also a very human wish-fulfillment. Who hasnt thought, when the
world kicked too hard, If I could only write a book There, in
repressed defiance, lies the natural instinct to tell the world
where to get off an instinct, alas, that too often takes itself out
in the tardy retort framed sotto voce, or the year-in, year-out
threat mumbled to oneself, Just wait till I write that book Now
here, with the retort courteous and the quip modest, is the book
Ive darkly hinted at writing. Most prima donnas ride herd on their
memories at a ripe old age when no one can say them nay. Then, when
the career is all finished and left safely behind in the past, a
woman can be as sentimental as she will about her own day and age,
giving scorn and damnation to the present. The voices that
flourished in the good old days There was no dancer like Taglioni.
No coloratura untoPattL No champagne, no diamonds, no audiences
like those that existed you know when. The hell with that. It will
be a big surprise to me if I ever get old, but if I do I want to
sit back and relax. I want my ringside seat to be a comfortable
rocking chair from which I dont have to strain to see shadows in
the wings. If, at that time, I come around to reminiscing that
students unhitched the horses from my car riage and drove me
through the streets in triumph let me, but strictly for home
consumption. Now, while I can still wade through my mistakes and
while I can still hear the echo of the boys in camp saying Come on,
Grace, come on, encore, encore 2 Youre Only Human Once I want to
satisfy this peculiar human and prima-donna-ish itch to scribble my
memoirs. After all, ones public, wherever and whatever It may be,
certainly sees ones mistakes. They can still say, Gee, wasnt Grace
Moore off last night And they can stiU say, Wasnt she wonderful And
they certainly do say, Why does she do such damn things I dont have
to throw dust in the public eye with tales of unhitched horses and
hosannas in the streets. The praise is in the current record so is
the blame. Fve been hotheaded, ambitious, and Irish lace curtains
one day, the curse of the banshees the next. But I can say a lot
about the good fun Ive had the frolic of an era thats quickly
burning itself out on a dozen battlefields. I started as a star,
and having been one now for twenty years, I look back on a fine
stretch of time. In it the whole scope of opera has changed. During
that period, those two Frankensteins of the Machine Age, the moving
pictures and the radio, have in turn first isolated living music
from its great public and thenreturned it with a vigor and
robustness unprecedented in musical history. Twenty years ago opera
had dwindled down to two dominating centers, the Metropolitan in
New York and the Chicago Opera Association, with the provinces
taking what it could from the annual jaunts of the Hammerstein and
Gallo opera companies. Now you can hear Carmen, Tramata, Boheme,
Figcuro in Newark, Hartford, San Francisco, St. Louis, Rochester,
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