Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Paula Wayne, Where For Art Thou?

I have been asked to repost the three singles that actress/singer Paula Wayne recorded for the Colgems label.

Here they are, but I still don't know very much about her.

Way back in 2006, I posted an entry trying to find out more information on her.

Alas, I haven't found much else since that time.

I know she was a singer/actress who appeared with Sammy Davis Jr. in the classic Broadway show "Golden Boy."

In addition to Colgems, she recorded for a few other labels, and had her songs on several Broadway cast recordings.

She was in a few other shows, and later became a mentor to up-and-coming Broadway show people.

This is from the Kiowa County Hall of Fame website (http://rebelcherokee.labdiva.com/kchallfame.html):
Paula Wayne was born Paula Watkins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Watkins on a farm northwest of Hobart, November 3, 1934. She grew up in Mountain View and Hobart, graduating from Mountain View in 1953. She attended Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha majoring in voice and for a time at the Julliard School of Music in New York. As Paula Wayne, she made it to Broadway in the '60's.

Her best known part was as Laura opposite Sammy Davis, Jr in "Golden Boy" which ran for over a year. Miss Wayne sang on the 'Tonight Show' and other TV shows, appeared in "Best Foot Forward" with Liza Minnelli, sung with the touring company of 'Pajama Game', appeared with Milton Berle and has been featured singer in many supper clubs, including the Copa Cabana. She married Robert Shelley and has 3 children.

Other than that, I have no idea about her, none at all.

If you can fill in the blanks, please contact me through this blog.

Here are the singles and two Scopitone videos, one for a Colgems song, the other for another tune she recorded for a different label that cops the first video's images.

Paula Wayne - Yours Until Tomorrow.mp3
Paula Wayne - You With the Darkness On Your Mind.mp3
Paula Wayne - Now That I Need Him.MP3
Paula Wayne - It's a Happening World.mp3
Paula Wayne - It'll Break Your Heart.mp3
Paula Wayne - Denver to L.A._2.mp3


Blogger Unknown said...

I did a search of the New York Times archives, and while I found nothing that would shed any light about Paula Wayne as a woman, the search results give a little more insight into her career.

27 Sept 1961 - The off-Broadway musical Hi, Paisano! debuts at the York Playhouse with Paula Wayne in the cast as Sheila. The play follows the adventures of young Italian immigrant Dino discovering America for the first time. The play received a harsh review from Times critic Lewis Funke: Though “everything looked promisingly bright and cheerful … it was not long before Dino was in trouble, and so was his musical.” His review of the acting was more generous: “Say this for [lead actor David] Canary: he goes through the evening giving every indication of honesty believing in what he is about and he has valiant support from colleagues such as … Paula Wayne.”

3 April 1963 - Mr. Funke reviews the off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward starring a 17-year-old Liza Minnelli at Stage 73. Paula Wayne portrays Gale Joy. Funke gives the show a good-not-great review, mostly praising the talent of Minnelli, “though all the youngsters are fresh and vibrant and generally simulate a kind of high-school innocence.”

1 May 1963 - Coty Salon on Fifth Avenue hosts a promotional event where celebrities give away sprigs of muguet des bois, including “‘Best Foot Forward’ stars Lisa Minelli [sic] and Paula Wayne.”

31 January 1964 - The New York Times announces: “Paula Wayne has been signed to play opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in the musical version of ‘Golden Boy.’ Miss Wayne was last seen as the film star in the Off Broadway revival of ‘Best Foot Forward.’ On Broadway she performed in ‘Wonderful Town,’ ‘Say, Darling’ and ‘Night Life.’ ‘Golden Boy’ is due on Broadway Sept. 28.”

28 September 1964 - Golden Boy opens at the Majestic Theatre with Paula Wayne starring as Lorna Moon opposite Sammy Davis, Jr. Times critic Howard Taubman bestows a mixed review full of boxing analogies on the musical revival of a depression-era drama, calling it “as crisp as a left jab and as jolting as a right uppercut” and referring to two of its production numbers as “a knockout, not only for the whirling excitement of its action but also for the powerful punch in its comment.” He continues, “But at the core of its story ‘Golden Boy’ hardly scores at all. Despite its constant reach for the heart, it does not land there convincingly.” For Miss Wayne’s part, she “plays the tough, tender Lorna with a blend of ardor and disillusion.”

4 April 1965 - Paula Wayne appears in the variety benefit show “Broadway Answers Selma” alongside 52 other notables, including Alan Alda, Alan Arkin, Jack Albertson, Victor Borge, Tom Bosley, Carol Burnett, Art Carney, Carol Channing, Maurice Chevalier, Ossie Davis, Sammy Davis, Ruby Dee, Sir John Gielgud, Buddy Hackett, Walter Matthau, Dick Shawn, Martin Sheen, Barbra Streisand, and Eli Wallach. The show benefits various charities selected by the Anti-Defamation League.

11:50 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

22 August 1965 - Paula Wayne debuts at Grossinger’s Catskill Mountain resort, headlining a Sunday night show in the Grossinger Playhouse and Terrace Room.

29 August 1965 - Paula Wayne returns to Grossinger’s one week later, alongside comedians Allen and Rossi. According to their ad, Miss Wayne “made such a big hit last weekend … that she has been signed to headline the gala Labor Day (Sunday night) show here.”

19 October 1965 - Wayne appears alongside Golden Boy co-stars in a full-page Macy’s ad celebrating the anniversaries of both the Broadway show and the department store with the “Macy*s Sale of the Year.”

22 November 1965 - Wayne appears in another benefit concert, the 32nd annual Night of Stars at Madison Square Garden to benefit the United Jewish Appeal. Included on the bill are Johnny Carson, Duke Ellington, Alan King, Otto Preminger, Soupy Sales, Leslie Uggams, and Bobby Vinton.

26 November 1965 - The New York Times runs the following announcement: “Ann Hilton will take over the leading female role opposite Sammy Davis in ‘Golden Boy’ on Dec. 6. She will succeed Paula Wayne who leaves to fulfill nightclub commitments. Miss Hilton, who has been the standby for the role of Lorna Moon for the last two months, will be making her Broadway debut in the musical.”

28 November 1965 - “Lovely Paula Wayne” appears in a Grossinger’s ad as scheduled to star in “one of the holiday shows.”

15 January 1966 - Wayne appears on the 15th United Cerebral Palsy Telethon on New York’s WOR-TV Channel 9. Other guests include Ladybird Johnson, Steve Allen, Tony Bennett, Godfrey Cambridge, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jay and the Americans, Nipsy Russell, Soupy Sales, the Shangri-Las, the Shirelles, and Señor Wences.

11 February 1966 - The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show features Paula Wayne as a guest. Other guests are Trini Lopez and Corbett Monica. It is broadcast in color on WNBC-TV Channel 4 in New York at 8:30 p.m.

24 April 1966 - Grossinger’s advertises that Paula Wayne will headline shows during Decoration Day weekend at the Grossinger Playhouse, along with George Kirby, Barbara McNair, Allen and Rossi, and Jack Mason and Norm Crosby. A later ad notes the success of that show, as they “had to turn away scores of people for the Decoration Day weekend.”

7 July 1966 - Wayne appears with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on WNBC-TV Channel 4 in New York at 11:30 p.m., in color. Robert Young also appears on the program.

21 July 1966 - Wayne stars at the Copacabana with comedian Mal Lawrence.

21 November 1966 - Wayne appears alongside Red Buttons, Godfrey Cambridge, Don Ho, Ed Sullivan, and others at Madison Square Garden for the 33rd annual Night of Stars to benefit the United Jewish Appeal’s “program of refugee relief and resettlement in Israel.”

9 December 1966 - Wayne appears on The Mike Douglas Show on WOR-TV Channel 9 in New York at 4:30 p.m. Henry Morgan is also a guest.

17 October 1967 - Wayne appears on The Woody Woodbury Show on WNEW-TV Channel 5 in New York at 11:15 p.m. Rudy Vallee is also a guest.

11:51 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

10 March 1968 - Wayne begins a stint headlining shows at the Puerto Rico Sheraton in San Juan, continuing through 30 March.

25 August 1968 - Grossinger’s runs an ad announcing its Labor Day weekend slate, with Paula Wayne and comedy team Reese and Davis supporting headliner Jan Peerce.

22 December 1968 - Paula Wayne appears at Grossinger’s during the holidays, headlining shows with the Snowmobiles and Landon Lee through 1 January 1969.

28 February 1969 - The New York Times runs the following announcement: “Paula Wayne has been signed to star in ‘Beau,’ a musical version of William Inge’s ‘Bus Stop.’ She will play the nightclub singer, the part Kim Stanley did in the play and Marilyn Monroe in the movie. Mr. Inge and Gerry Raad wrote the book and Mr. Raad the songs. The Broadway opening has been scheduled for Oct. 2.”

3 July 1969 - Paula Wayne headlines at Grossinger’s. This is the last time Wayne’s name appears in a Grossinger’s ad in the New York Times.

10 August 1969 - The Nemerson Hotel in South Fallsburg, N.Y. advertises its “Gala Labor Day Holiday” lineup, which includes Paula Wayne, Bernie Berns, and Charlie Manna.

5 September 1969 - By this date, Beau appears to have undergone a name change to Cherry, and Gene Bua, Vivian Blaine, Thelma Oliver, and Art Lund have joined the cast. Its opening has also been rescheduled for Christmas week.

30 January 1970 - The New York Times reports that Paula Wayne drew the names for the New York State Lottery. Apparently, Cherry still has yet to open, as it reports that she “will appear soon in a new musical called ‘Cherry.’”

4 July 1971 - Boardwalk Sheratons has Paula Wayne scheduled for a free show at the Convention Hall with co-star Corbett Monica.

20 July 1972 - Paula Wayne headlines a show at Laurels Hotel and Country Club at Sackett Lake, Monticello, N.Y.

2 February 1973 - Wayne is scheduled for dinner and late performances at Club Plaza in New York City. The advertisement reads, “Called ‘the greatest female vocalist in the country’ by Frank Sinatra, Paula Wayne has headlined at leading nightclubs.” This is the last mention of any new activity by Paula Wayne in the New York Times.

11:51 AM

Blogger Larry said...

Very interesting lineup of accomplishments. It ends in 1972, which is also interesting. And nothing about her recordings. Thanks!

6:00 AM

Blogger Alain Duplay said...

She was my teacher (and teacher to many others) at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida.

What I recall, in addition to the credits you have listed, is that she also appeared on Broadway in "Ziegfeld Follies of 1957," "Damn Yankees," "Night Life" and "Paint Your Wagon." In addition, she appeared on LP recordings of "Oklahoma!" and "South Pacific," and sang at President Kennedy's Birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden, where Marilyn Monroe also sang.

She replaced Judy Garland in a nightclub act when Judy was too ill to appear - they were friends after Paula and Liza appeared together in "Best Foot Forward." I believe she also appeared opposite Burt Reynolds in a TV show, "The Hawk," for which she won an Emmy.

To the best of my knowledge, she is retired and living in Florida.

10:50 PM

Blogger Lyn said...

Great post, great comments. Thanks!

4:08 AM

Blogger oscarjaffe said...

Can you repost the links, which have expired? Thanks!

9:33 AM

Blogger Joseph Myerson said...

I am one of her sons. She has two, and a daughter. She is retired from performing and teaching and is active in supporting the arts. She is well and happy and enjoys travel. Thank you for your kind thoughts and interest.
Shalom v'Shalom
Joseph Myerson

12:15 PM

Blogger peach Watkins said...

My name is Georgianna Watkins I am Paula Wayne's niece. My dad was her brother Bobby. I have been searching for relative's of my dads family. Please contact me my email is lovemybike29@yahoo.com. I lost contact with his side of the family. I had an older sister Janis she passed away in 2011.

2:40 PM

Blogger Dick Gozinya said...

I met Paula Wayne in Orlando Florida 3 days ago. She lives in Miami Florida

6:21 PM

Blogger wendy hudgins said...

Paula is my aunt, I'm marys daughter...paula is and always has been amazing...my sister chris is also in the business as a host on hsn

5:17 PM

Blogger wendy hudgins said...

Paula is my aunt, I'm marys daughter...paula is and always has been amazing...my sister chris is also in the business as a host on hsn

5:18 PM

Blogger Sara Lester said...

She is also my moms neighbor in the summer in Kansas when she isn't in FL. she is a wonderful woman with a beautiful voice and I am grateful I get to see her and her sister when I am visiting my mom! Wonderful women the both of them!

9:46 PM

Blogger David Myerson said...

Hello, my name is Andrew Myerson. I'm the son of Joseph Myerson and the grandson of Paula Wayne. I'm currently doing a documentary about her life and career. You can view the trailer here:


If you have any materials, namely stock footage of performances, tv apperances, etc. Please contact me by any of the methods below.

email: myersonandrew@gmail.com
cell: 407 421-1723

This blog is greatly appreciated and any additional help would be of great benefit to the project.
Thank you,


4:19 PM

Blogger Cootiebug said...

I met Paula and her sister several years ago at a health spa. Since I'm several years younger I didn't know the name but she was being treated like "somebody" so I had to learn more. Over the course of a week there we had many friendly conversations. She told me that when Golden Boy was playing in NY she had to have body guards because there was such an uproar over her character kissing a black man. I can honestly say she and her sister are two of the nicest people I've ever met.

6:37 PM


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