Milli Vanilli Meets Rosemary Clooney – or – Syncing the Titanic


Years ago, I was booked to fill in as Musical Director on a ship. I was told that they were doing “42nd Street” and since I had not played or conducted that show, I asked for the score to be sent to me in advance. When I received it, I worked very hard on it to be as prepared as possible. There was a screaming stride-ragtime-y solo in the overture and I really worked on that to perfection. When I got on the ship and got to rehearsal the day of the show, I was told that the show was on tracks and I was not to play at all and although a spotlight was to come on me for the overture solo, I should mime playing. I was so insulted by this that I was determined to get even. So that night when the spotlight came on me, and the solo began, I looked out at the audience, smiled and put my hands up on each side of my head like I was surrendering. The band laughed so hard, that the horn players could not even play along with the track. ~ Bill Hindin

Rosie the Riveting

When I worked for Princess Cruises as senior Musical Director, I was told at the end of a cruise that Rosemary Clooney was coming on the next cruise to talk about her career and do several concerts. She was not bringing on a pianist or Musical Director, so I was told to call her up after we set sail, introduce myself and see what her musical requirements were. So, I nervously called her and she said to come right up. When she opened up her cabin door, there was Rosemary Clooney in her trademark red muumuu with a voice like a baritone. I nervously said “Hi Ms. Clooney I am Bill Hindin the Musical Director.” I will never forget her kindness when she replied, “My friends call me Rosie. Please call me Rosie.” I exhaled and found her to be a kind, warm, gracious, amazing person and, of course, an incredible performer. The concerts that followed were truly nirvana and a highlight of my performing career. ~ Bill Hindin