Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month, as we celebrate The Danny Thomas Show over on Sitcom Tuesdays, I thought it fitting to honor another talented entertainer with whom he could have been linked forever had things turned out differently. I’m speaking of the great Kaye Ballard, who auditioned (off-camera) in 1957 to replace Jean Hagen as Danny’s second TV wife, a position that, of course, eventually went to Marjorie Lord. Incidentally, Ballard would later have a sitcom success of her own — however brief — in the following decade, but it’s still her theatrical career for which most of us remember her today.

Accordingly, I’m sharing with subscribers — who comment below to alert me of their interest — access to a live audio of Ballard headlining the 1972 Pittsburgh CLO Production of Minnie’s Boys, in a role originated on Broadway by Shelley Winters. Ballard is a natural fit for this part, and as you can tell from this excerpt of “Be Happy,” she sings the heck out of it. Enjoy!



Come back next month for another musical rarity! And stay tuned for more Danny Thomas!

31 thoughts on “BALLARD’S BOYS

  1. I had no idea Kaye had auditioned to be Danny’s wife!
    I would love to hear Kaye in Minnie’s Boys! It’s so great that audio of so many of Kaye’s stage performances exists.

  2. I knew of her as a comedienne but had no idea she could sing until I saw appearances she made on LAUGH-IN.

  3. Ballard opposite Thomas? I can’t see it at all. I heard that she auditioned to play Marie Barone in EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and was livid on not getting the part. Could she have toned it down enough to not be “too much”? I wonder. I doubt it.. Her Marie would probably have been Kaye Buell thirty years later.

  4. Jackson:
    I had absolutely no idea that Kaye Ballard ever auditioned for the replacement wife in Make Room For Daddy! Boy, I wish she had done something on-camera. It may not have worked, however, because those were two, shall we say, “bombastic” personalities!
    I enjoyed the posting you did of Kaye singing “Be Happy” and would like to hear what you have of the Pittsburgh Minnie’s Boys.
    Thank you very much!
    Jeff Alexander

    • Hi, Daniel! Thanks for reading and commenting — and subscribing.

      I have emailed you at your gmail address.

    • Hi, Jayson! Thanks for reading and commenting — and subscribing.

      I have emailed you at your msn address.

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