ICELANDIC SONGSTRESS IS CLIMBING
Private Letters typed by Karen Jarvie, retyped by R. Christopherson
A few years, we were at the popular home of Mr. Jon Thorbergron and his wife in Los
Angeles. Jon’s wife is not Icelandic, only in spirit. For years she has adorned the
Icelandic community and been one of them in all circumstances.
Amongst the guests one evening was Gudrun and Kjartan Christopherson from San
Francisco accompanied by their daughter Eileen and I will tell you about it.
There are three outstanding points that are outstanding in his memory that are connected
with Eileen which are -- the youth and charm which surounded her and how beautifully
she sang and she was so willing to sing and so nature [mature?] in her manner.
Since then, I have tried to follow her career, her victories, and there were no defeats. A
short time later I met her again I told her the lcelanders would likely appreciate getting a
picture of her and news of her. She consented to it so l visited her at her new beautiful
home a short distance from Los Angeles.
Eileen Christy is born Chritopherson at Baldur, Manitoba, Canada, a daughter of Kjartan
Christoperson (real estate man) and his wife Gudrun Steinson [Stoneson] (piano teacher). When
Eileen was 8 years old, they moved with their large family to San Francisco at the Lion's
Gate in California.
There she attended Aptis Junior High School at the same time she was taking part in operettas
and other things.
She was “Tiger Lily,’'Pand” and “Wendy.” She did it so well that she was given the
most prominent part in the “Mikado.” With all these victories Mrs. Gudrun quit teaching
her and wanted this rising star to take further training.
At the time she was in high school, she took a great part singing in the churches, at
weddings and other functions.When she was 14 years old, she started working in the bank
in her holidays. The bank management had heard of her ability to sing and got her to
sing “Sempra Libera” from La Traviata which enabled her to get a better position in the
bank and also solo parts in the bank choir.
At the finish of her high school, she worked for Mr. Edwin Lester, prominent in
municipal arts. As that time was one of six chosen from 300 contestants and got the part
of “Robetta” and "the Fortune Teller.” She sang in opera in San Francisco and Los
Angeles. Then she had an offer to go to New York but she had declined that offer so she
could give more time to her singing. She kept on at the bank Then she got seriously ill
and had to stop work and her studies. She got all better and started singing.
Then she won a $500 war bond and bursary at the Green Cross Search Lights program.
In January 1949, she took part in Atwater-Kent singing program contest and was one of
eight who were chosen and was determined to try next year.
After traveling to New York and Washington, DC in 1950, she tried again in the Atwater-
Kent singing contest and won first prize of $1000. With this victory, doors now
opened and she got a chance to be heard at MGM Moving Picture Company in Culver
City where she signed a contract instead of San Francisco "Magic Flute”. Last summer
she sang in the Hollywood Bowl “Die Hedermans”, “Adele", and the maid.
She has everything that can grace one human being. She sang so beautifully that it is still
ringing in my ears.
The last few months, she has taken part in 4 pictures the names of which are "Banner
Line”,“Fathers Little Dividends “Night into Morning” and“Three Guys Named Mike”
and we are patiently waiting until she gets singing more functions. She sings in ltalian,
Spanish, French and German.
She had a part in Standard Hour last September and played "Snow White" in Christmas
scene of Edgar Bergen.
Eileen Christy is small in stature,although of the norse—light hair and fair in complexion
and beautiful blue eyes. She is a good cook, raises beautiful flowers and loves swimming
in the blue Pacific Ocean in the hot days in California. Eileen is one of the few Icelandic
girls who has traveled the slippery roads of Hollywood but with her talent is singing and
acting, all her admirers will be wishing that all her hopes will come true and that she will
reach the highest peak in Grand Opera and pictures and there she will shine brightly.
When we bade good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Keller and their young son Gregory, I
felt nothing but good luck and happiness would accompany them as long as they lived.
Skuli G. Bjarnson
From transcribed document
The Original Draft of Icelandic Songstress with with Carol, Miriam, or Bev
There is a copy from Hank - Image 6575-6576
I believe this is the author's family in Logberg paper
Slideshow on Eileen Christy by Roy. Once open, just click on X to close the ad. Recommend Audio be on (half-way in).
Most of the photos here are below. If the family would like to supply a soundtrack or audio of Eileen singing, would be great to add the the slideshow.
Trying to find code messing up this link. To view slideshow, copy text lin k below and paste in new tab/window of browser.