Cary Grant’s “Christmas Lullaby”

late 1940s --- Cary Grant --- Image by © CinemaPhoto/Corbis

Cary Grant in the 1940s

Cary Grant is often noted as one of the best and most attractive actors of all-time. His film resume includes some of Hollywood’s best films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946) to the comedy “His Girl Friday” (1940).

But out of all of that, Cary Grant said his best production was his daughter Jennifer.

Grant became a father for the first time at age 62 with his fourth wife, Dyan Cannon. The two were married from 1965 to 1968. Grant retired from films in 1966 when Jennifer was born; a career that began in 1932 and ended with the film “Walk, Don’t Run.”

Grant doted on his daughter and this is exhibited in the only record he ever made, “A Christmas Lullaby,” which was recorded for her. The 45 was made through Columbia Records and the b-side included the song “Here’s to You.” 

When Grant recorded the album, Cannon had already filed for divorce.

“Dyan Cannon said she is adamant that there will be no reconciliation. Regardless of how often Cary Grant comes to New York to visit her and the baby,” said an Oct. 22, 1967, news brief.

A Columbia Records executive wanted Grant to make a holiday record for several years, recommending that Grant could recite a holiday piece, according to Is That All There Is?: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee” by James Gavin. Grant felt a recitation was trite and said instead he wanted a friend to write him a holiday lullaby.

Cary Grant, Dyan Cannon and their daughter Jennifer in 1966.

Cary Grant, Dyan Cannon and their daughter Jennifer in 1966.

Grant selected singer and songwriter Peggy Lee to write the lullaby for him.

“I’m quite nutty about Peggy Lee,” Gavin quoted Grant. “And I think many of her lyrics are quite profound. Strangely profound. She has a unique choice of words.”

Associted Press articles on Dec. 20, 1967, headlined that ‘Cary Grant Cut an Album For Children.”

His song is half spoken, half sung.

“I’ve never made a record before,” he said in Dec. 20, 1967, news brief. “Singing is not new to me. I started in vaudeville.”

Grant also sang a bit in some of his films such as the Jean Harlow film “Suzy” (1936) and the Cole Porter biopic “Night and Day.”

Though Cannon and Grant were divorced, he still got to see a great deal of his daughter. Jennifer Grant wrote in her 2011 book “Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant” that he recorded everything-from holidays to birthdays- and meticulously labeled photos for her.

“He took such joy in being a dad,” Jennifer wrote. “And in life in general—and his happiness showed.”

Jennifer and Cary Grant in 1970.

Jennifer and Cary Grant in 1970.

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