Jeanne Little's voice

Jeanne Little's voice
Mike Walsh AM, OBE Hayden Productions
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Guest host Derek Nimmo interviews Jeanne Little about her distinct voice on The Mike Walsh Show.

Jeanne recounts her appearance on the British talk show Parkinson (hosted by Michael Parkinson) on 21 January 1981. She says in her biography 'Hello Darling': The Jeanne Little Story by Siobhan O'Brien (2006) that the story she tells here about the Oxford professor was a yarn she made up for the show.

'One thing you never do with Jeanne Little – that's the first time you see her – you don't switch off. You have to stick with it and see, "Is she real?" ... Fifty percent love her and fifty percent think she's a Martian'. Michael Parkinson

There's an interesting background story to Jeanne's striking voice. Her biography posits that a bout of diphtheria as a baby damaged her vocal chords and is responsible for the raspy quality of her voice. Intriguingly, her singing voice is unaffected as you can hear when she sings 'Born to Be Wild', 'Falling In Love Again (I Can't Help It)' and 'You and Me'.

The woman sitting next to Jeanne Little is actor Judy Lynne.

Excerpt taken from The Mike Walsh Show: Episode 0065 broadcast on 12 May 1980.

Notes by Beth Taylor