Grace Moore in Skaneateles, 1936

Grace Moore, the “Tennessee Nightingale,” was an opera star, a recording star and a radio star, and in the 1930s a film star as well. Raised in Tennessee, she began her singing career at the Black Cat Café in New York’s Greenwich Village, moved on to Broadway musicals (introducing Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do”), debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1928, played opera houses in Paris and London, and appeared as Jenny Lind in the 1930 film A Lady’s Morals, the first of her eight films.

So when she arrived in Skaneateles, stayed at the Kan-Ya-To Inn (today’s Sherwood Inn) and breakfasted at the Krebs, it was news:

“Grace Moore, Metropolitan opera and film star, today toured the Finger Lakes Region. Last night she was a guest at Kan-Ya-To Inn, Skaneateles. She left shortly before noon for a motor trip to other of the Finger Lakes. Tomorrow she plans to return to the inn at Skaneateles to spend the week-end… So delighted was the singer with the Finger Lakes country today that she left word in Skaneateles to prepare to receive a party of friends whom she would invite to join her for the weekend of relaxation there. This morning she dined at Krebs, autographing a card for Fred R. Krebs.”

— “Grace Moore Pays Visit to Finger Lakes,” Auburn Citizen-Advertiser, April 24, 1936


The next year she would star in When You’re in Love with Cary Grant and for years would remain the most popular selling classical artist on record. Grace Moore died in a plane crash in Denmark, after a sold-out concert appearance, in 1948. A movie based on her life, So This Is Love, was made in 1953.

* * *

Photo above from One Night of Love (1934); there’s lots of Grace Moore on YouTube; here’s a link to a tune from One Night of Love.


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