Doris Day’s new CD, Doris Day Complete Christmas Collection, is a sentimental journey to the holiday spirit. It’s also a perfect excuse to have some good girl talk.
Our phone chat covered a lot of bases and the essence of our conversation was full of laughter, love, appreciation, and about how much she loved working and how she really misses it.
Since life brought her to the Carmel Valley 30 years ago, she is a bit far from the Media District to resume her career. And she won’t fly or endure long car rides and, most importantly, Doris won’t leave her babies — her beloved dogs and cats.
She’s down to five dogs now, “Three little ones and two biggies,” she says, “And so many have passed on, it takes a toll … it’s really, really hard.” Her pets are her passion.
Luckily, Toluca Lake’s own Jim Pierson, a producer of PBS specials and music CDs and DVDs, has developed a wonderful friendship with Doris and was key in producing her recent album, My Heart, which returned Doris to the charts last year.
Knowing that Doris had only done one Christmas album (in 1964), they decided to gather all the Christmas songs she has performed throughout her career into this lovely and heartwarming new collection.
When I tell Doris that her fans are so thrilled, as always she says, “Really?” It’s hard for her to comprehend how much she is adored. But Doris truly loves her fans. They send bails of mail that arrive in giant post office containers and she pays attention.
She’s thinking of popping by her hotel more often, the very dog-friendly Cypress Inn in the midst of Carmel, to greet some folks. “I love the place and it’s time to have some fun. I like to talk, and I’m fine with taking pictures. It’s so sweet seeing all the dogs with their people companions enjoying the Inn.” (I’m thinking, lucky visitors.)
Doris talked of the Christmastime she spent with Bob Hope. They rode together in a big sleigh in a Hollywood Christmas Parade. “Bob would call me all the time and say, ‘Come with me.’ If I wasn’t working, I’d go wherever he’d be going. He would do some jokes with me and I’d sing, we would sing, always doing something good for people. We were great friends and would do each other’s radio shows.”
The conversation naturally turned to memories of our working together on The Doris Day Show on TV, which ran from 1968 to 1973. We really laughed and enjoyed some of the odd, quirky, and unexpected stuff that happens during shooting a series.
We also started working on the Actors and Others for Animals charity during the series. In-between scenes, Doris would be on the phones talking to her famous friends and getting incredible items for the auction at our first Celebrity Fair at the Oakwood School. That was 1972, and now I can tell Doris that A&O is the go-to place for spay and neuter. After 40 years, we’re going strong and she is rightfully proud of that.
When Doris moved to Carmel, she started a national organization called The Doris Day Animal Foundation. Check the website (dorisdayanimalfoundation.org) and scroll down to “Founder’s Corner” to hear a special message from Doris and learn about all the good she is doing.
It’s funny, she doesn’t really feel like she is doing enough and is a bit at sixes and sevens — dismayed really. I firmly told her she has to get a computer! And Doris agreed. (Doris, when you read this column, it better be on your new computer!)
I’m tickled just to think of Doris reading her fan pages and exchanging chat on Facebook, learning of the animal success stories by email and feeling the love and sharing her love with, well, all who love her….
Can’t be too much love.
Miss Joseph remarks that you’ll learn more of The Doris Day Pet Foundation’s 35th Anniversary surprises in part two of the interview coming soon in the Pet Issue this spring. For information on ordering Doris Day’s holiday CD go to Amazon.com and type in “Doris Day Complete Christmas Collection.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first part of an exclusive two-part interview with singer/actress and former Toluca Lake resident Doris Day. Look for part two to run this spring as part of The Tolucan Times annual Pet Issue.