For Immediate Release                      Contact:   Gail Towns              or           Tara Strickland
                                                                       732.987.2266                        732.987.2291

Georgian Court Tea Series Presents “Mrs. Gould Welcomes Kate Smith”

Performance to Focus on Singer Known for Rendition of “God Bless America”

Lakewood, N.J., Aug. 26, 2009—Join “Edith Kingdon Gould,” wife of George Jay Gould, for a delightful afternoon of song and stories with famed “God Bless America” singer and radio star “Kate Smith.” This unique interactive theatrical performance and elegant tea party, which brings to life figures from the past, is produced by St. George Productions of Medford, New York, as part of Georgian Court University’s “Biographies from The Court” series.

Available 11:30 a.m. performances (Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) are on September 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 26 and October 3 and 10. Available 3:00 p.m. Sunday performances are on September 20, 27 and October 4, 11, and 18. Performances will take place in the Mansion on GCU’s Lakewood campus. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the performance; please plan your arrival accordingly.

The cost is $40 per person and includes the performance and tea luncheon. For groups of 20 or more, discount pricing is available. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by calling 732.987.2263 or e-mailing There will be no refunds within 14 days of a performance.

Kathryn Elizabeth Smith was born in 1907 in rural Virginia. She performed locally in theaters and nightclubs and was discovered by a New York City show producer in 1926. She was featured in the musical comedy Honeymoon Lane on Broadway and later in Hit the Deck and Flying High.

Smith began making records in 1926; among her biggest hits were “River, Stay 'Way from My Door” (1931), “The Woodpecker Song” (1940), “The White Cliffs of Dover” (1941), “I Don't Want to Walk without You” (1942), “There Goes That Song Again” (1944), “Seems Like Old Times” (1946), and “Now Is the Hour” (1947).

Columbia Records put Smith on the radio in 1931. She was an immediate success on the air and later on television, hosting a series of music and talk shows into the 1950s. She had the most popular radio variety hour, The Kate Smith Hour, which aired weekly from 1937 to 1945. At the same time she had the top-rated daytime radio show, the midday Kate Smith Speaks, a news and commentary program. Her theme song on radio and television was “When the Moon Comes over the Mountain” (1931), whose lyrics she helped write.

In 1932, she had a cameo role in Paramount's The Big Broadcast. Then she starred in her own movie, Hello Everybody! In 1943, Smith sang “God Bless America” in the Irving Berlin picture This is the Army. Berlin regarded this song as his most important composition. Smith predicted, in 1938, that the song would still be sung long after all of us are gone—and it surely will.

In 1950, Smith entered television with a Monday-Friday afternoon variety show, The Kate Smith Hour (1950–1954). It proved so popular that NBC gave her a primetime show on Wednesday evenings, The Kate Smith Evening Hour. Her last TV series was CBS's The Kate Smith Show, a weekly half-hour musical series in 1960.

In the 1950s, she began making LP albums, with such bestsellers as Kate Smith at Carnegie Hall (1963), How Great Thou Art (1965), and America’s Favorites: Kate Smith/Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops (1967).

Smith ended her career on a high note. She became a singing good-luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team with her renditions of “God Bless America,” helping to inspire them to two successive Stanley Cups (1974 and 1975). Fittingly, the last song she sang was that Irving Berlin anthem on a bicentennial special just before July 4, 1976. She died in Raleigh, NC, on June 17, 1986.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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