Doris Fisher

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This artist was a fisher whose net was full of hit songs, and the talent ran in the family. Doris Fisher's father was Fred Fisher; in terms of father-daughter rivalry, there might have been intense competition…
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This artist was a fisher whose net was full of hit songs, and the talent ran in the family. Doris Fisher's father was Fred Fisher; in terms of father-daughter rivalry, there might have been intense competition but either Fisher had plenty of reasons to be elated about what was on the end of the hook, or the hook itself since the subject is writing hit songs. With the heels of her father's masterpieces such as the brilliant "Your Feet's Too Big" stomping on her, Doris Fisher's creative footprints include at a triumvirate of massive hits consisting of "You Always Hurt the One You Love," "Put the Blame on Mame" and "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall." Collectively, more than 200 cover versions have been recorded of these songs.

Meanwhile, father and daughter were not the only members of the family busy scribbling ditties. Her brothers also came up with songs that have become standards. A listener's morning might begin with "Good Morning Heartache" courtesy of Dan Fisher, while Marvin Fisher is the fellow who established "When Sunny Gets Blue." Doris Fisher was also active as a singer of songs, fitting into both the big band and orchestral settings. She was associated with Eddy Duchin's ensembles as well as a group she led herself, Penny Wise and Her Wise Guys. The Penny Wise stage name was actually created so that Fisher might not be accused of promoting herself on the strength of her famous father.

In 1938, a strange little song she tossed around with an even stranger little man resulted in her first hit. That "Tutti Frutti" is sometimes confused with a similarly named song recorded years later by Little Richard. What these two servings of "Tutti Frutti" have in common, besides being ridiculous novelty songs, is the sheer eccentricity of the performers associated with them, in Fisher's case that being guitarist, pianist and singer Slim Gaillard. Her "Tutti Frutti" something of a taste sensation in the hands of Gaillard's performing duo Slim & Slam, Fisher then introduced a softer, less sticky mood in "Whispering Grass," this time partnering the song with her father. It was perfect for the popular vocal group sound of the early '40s; the Ink Spots had a hit with it while the decade was in its infancy.

It wouldn't be long until Fisher found her most enduring songwriting partner, the lyricist Allan Roberts. The pair's procession of hits could easily be compared to the flow of pizzas from an Italian kitchen at the height of the dinner hour -- especially "Angelina (The Waitress at the Pizzeria)". That song became established as part of Louis Prima's repertoire. Other songs written by Fisher and Roberts include "Invitation to the Blues., "Tampico" and "That's Good Enough for Me." Their work attracted the attention of Hollywood, beginning with songs for the Rita Hayworth vehicle Gilda. Fisher left the music business in 1949, moving to Detroit and delving into a new collection of interests including Americana and interior design. She launched a second career in the latter field.