"Florence Agnes Henderson was born Feb. 14, 1934, in the small town of Dale in southern Indiana."
Goodbye to Florence Henderson.
Just the other day, I was listening to the Broadway channel on the satellite radio in my car, and they played "Cockeyed Optimist" from the 1967 revival of "South Pacific," and I was blown away by how great it was, even by comparison to the next song they played, the very famous and beautiful Shirley Jones performance of "Till There Was You" (from "The Music Man").
Maybe you know these 2 Broadway stars better from the way they came across on 1970s television scaled down into the role of perfect mom. If I were 10 years younger, I'm sure I'd have a closer emotional connection to "The Brady Bunch" and "The Partridge Family." I'm more of a "My Three Sons" and "The Monkees" person (to name the first 60s counterparts to those two 70s shows that spring to mind). I didn't even have a TV in the early 70s. And not because I was snobbishly avoiding having one. We tightly conserved our money back then, and buying a TV did not make the cut. We substituted radio. I remember listening to the Watergate hearings and the 1973 World Series on the radio.
Anyway, I was so impressed by Henderson's singing of "Cockeyed Optimist." I wish I could find video of the performance, but you can listen to the audio at the link above, and you'll just have to picture her in character as the Navy nurse from Arkansas, in the South Pacific during WWII, who falls in love with a rich French widower and has to learn to accept his mixed-race children.
I have heard people rant and rave and bellow/That we're done and we might as well be dead/But I'm only a cockeyed optimist/And I can't get it into my head....