“My Man:” The Vocal Signature of Fanny Brice
Brice’s performances of “My Man,” beginning with her debut of the song in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 and continuing through subsequent recordings and the rendition seen in the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld, demonstrate her increasing reliance on the vocal rather than the physical. By the late 1920s, she was using variations in rhythm, articulation, and vocal timbre that show a heightened understanding of the voice as an instrument of expression. Moreover, she had adapted the style, range, and tempo of the song to emphasize her interpretative choices.
This presentation traces the evolution of Brice’s vocal technique through her performances of “My Man.” It explores her development as a singer, the aspects of the song that facilitated her growth, and the likely reasons it became her vocal signature.
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