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Bonus Episode: Carol Channing and Corey

Updated On: February 29, 2024

Corey has interviewed people most of his life, discovering family twists WAY before this podcast. One of his favorite interview subjects was the late, great legendary entertainer, Carol Channing. During their time spent together, Carol serenaded Corey with tunes and shared why the arts are so important for young people. In a delightful Family Twist, Corey spoke to Carol soon after she got married to Harry, she 89 and he 91. The two were middle school sweethearts. Harry read that Carol always thought of him as her true love in her autobiography, and the two reconnected 70 years later – and quickly in love. In this episode, Carol and shares their love story.

Transcript

00:05

Welcome to Family Twist, a podcast about relatively unusual stories of long lost families, adoption, and lots of drama. I'm Corey. And I'm Kendall, and we've been partners for over 16 years. Hi, it's Corey. Kendall is taking a little time away for his birthday, and he's hanging out with his sister Stephanie. In the meantime, we've been planning some really awesome guests.

00:30

for upcoming episodes, as well as continuing to tell Kendall's story. Today is a bonus episode, and it is not a current interview. It goes back a few years, but I started my career as an entertainment journalist, and when the opportunity arises to interview a legend, I jumped at it. So today's conversation is with the incomparable Carol Channing. Now, Carol revealed some family twists of her own in her autobiography, which leads to the twist we talk about.

01:00

interview, Carol and her middle school sweetheart were able to reunite after Carol wrote about him in her autobiography and he tracked her down. And 70 years later they got married. It's an amazing story and well I'll let them get to that.

01:23

Is this Dr. Channing?

01:39

This is chilly California weather treating you today. Oh, it's-

02:03

I'm in California as well. I'm in San Francisco here.

02:09

Yes, yes. Yes, two weeks after I was born we came to San Francisco. Wow. Well, I did want to thank you very much for the work that you do in arts and education because I know without those programs and public schools that I would not be the person I am today. So I don't know how important that is.

02:35

It's, yeah, the theater programs, the fine arts, it's, you know, I think that they're definitely essential to helping, you know, make people fully, you know, very well-rounded individuals. Absolutely.

02:47

Just about a year. Oh, that's all well. I got to grow up there, and so did my husband Harry. And we grew up there.

02:59

everything came to San Francisco because it had a guaranteed audience. Right, exactly, exactly. Yes, and Saul Hurrock, I mean you couldn't do that in Wichita, you know, but he brought everything from Europe. Yashin Nomura from Japan, Japan's greatest entertainer. Oh!

03:20

He knew he would sell out in San Francisco.

03:26

I was one of them growing up because I had a 50 cents a week allowance. You've got to see some pretty amazing things I would imagine. Oh, I got wonderful-

03:37

Marian Anderson sing in our old opera house.

03:49

in one unit.

03:54

means to me and I won it and the prize was a trip to Honolulu for anyone you wanted to bring with you and I just turned 16 years old and I took my mother and we had a wonderful trip. Oh wow I bet that was fantastic. As important as arts there are the schools today what are some things that just regular folk like me what can I do or what can people do to get involved? Oh thank you. You see arts did something to Harry and me when we were a bunch.

04:25

and he was 13. Okay. I thought he looked biblical. I thought he looked like Moses sitting on Mount Sinai eating a fig, you know what I mean? Right. That wonderful big biblical look. Oh, well he's still that way.

04:44

I think it was 70, it may have been more. We got mirror.

05:09

rules.

05:17

always or he or...

05:36

The only people that had any...

05:39

We always.

05:44

People were coming to...

05:49

you

06:01

Absolutely.

06:39

going in Aptos Junior High School.

06:45

Suddenly when...

06:52

and all that.

07:17

All round middle for...

07:38

Team Middle, the best all-

07:46

And I got the same medal they have it on exhibit now. They have them on exhibit.

07:53

and it says, oh.

07:57

and it's

08:23

Absolutely.

08:26

We went to the educational system of California just a week ago about

08:36

here, you know, and what are you doing to the whole...

08:44

Wonderful.

09:45

over.

10:32

way.

10:57

RUN

11:06

say it's a complete education and the constitution says they have a right to it. Absolutely. They have an, yes, oh, you agree. Yes.

11:29

Thank you.

11:34

is we're in the...

12:09

world.

13:01

well we

13:07

engineer.

13:15

near today. Wow.

13:47

so much to me. Oh.

13:52

finishing Vincent Hulloy.

14:18

one of the women yours to soar and they won't.

14:28

dance now. Absolutely, absolutely.

14:38

to the board.

14:54

when you were here he was on the city council.

15:13

get into pregnancies and they...

15:41

Sure, absolutely.

15:57

Hold on!

16:28

HARD!

16:35

Bye!

16:50

..

18:00

Exactly.

18:37

It is, it is. I think the arts definitely help you make a more well-rounded individual for sure.

19:09

kindergarten. Absolutely. You know the people that I stay in touch with a lot of the people I was in school with and and I was very involved in the theater. But now they're working in all aspects of American society. They're teachers, they're in politics, they're doing everything. It's fantastic though. Yes, but you do because you're in the arts, aren't you? Well I definitely want to make sure we talk about your new CD as well, which I had a chance to listen to and it's a really nice collection of...

19:37

classic songs. How did that come to be? Oh, it came to be because my father was born in Augusta, Georgia, and he grew up hearing spirituals from...

19:52

hear him and he taught me these wonderful gospel songs. He taught me these songs. Oh, they're beautiful.

20:32

father.

21:04

Well, here I am. Almost sh-

22:26

WAAA

22:52

Thank you.

22:55

Bye.

23:01

That's great.

23:24

Do you think just?

23:30

diamonds are a girl's best friend that's one of them

23:34

It's just that I can't imagine anyone else but you singing.

24:29

You need?

25:30

You mentioned Hello Dolly and that was performance.

25:48

that from Hello Dolly since you've done it so many times that you just love.

25:55

you

28:31

Yeah.

29:14

chorus even.

30:55

Yeah, that's fantastic. I had never really thought about it that way. That's very interesting.

32:14

Some people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flas-

34:35

stage many many a time but is it still

34:40

What is that feeling when you get on stage?

36:15

It always is.

36:31

It's really something.

37:42

Yeah.

37:59

I appreciate you taking some time to speak with me today. Yes, Corey. Well, thank you so much. Please thank Kerry for me as well. I really appreciate what you two are doing for the arts here in California. Oh, thank you. It's a joy to...

38:15

You're showing.

38:18

Yeah, it's unfortunate, but hopefully we can do what we can to spread the word.

38:27

Well, thank you very much. You have a pleasant day.

38:34

A kiss on the cheek may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl's best friend. Okay, apologies. I had to do my Carol impression in there somewhere. Thanks for checking out this episode. The last time I saw Carol was in San Francisco and she was having a theater dedicated to her. And the theater kids that gathered to hear her speak and sing were just so enthralled with her, as was I.

39:04

She was an amazing person and it was truly an honor to spend some time with her. Thanks again for checking out this episode of the Family Twist, a bonus episode, and we'll be back very soon with new stories. See you soon.

39:20

This is the Family Twist podcast hosted by Kendall and Corey Stulz with original music by Cosmic Afterthoughts and produced by Outpost Productions and presented by Savoir Fair Marketing Communications. Have a story you wanna share? Visit FamilyTwistPodcast.com. All our social media links are there as well.

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