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Millie Weitz

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Millie Weitz never aspired to a career in music, which didn't stop her from contributing in a serious way to the history of recorded music. A purely amateur performer who happened to be a member of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, she was part of the non-professional cast recruited for the original run of the ILGWU-fostered musical Pins and Needles in 1937, and got her rendition of the show's "Nobody Makes a Pass at Me" recorded by Decca Records. That recording, guileless and honest and open, has endured across six decades or more and counting, and was included on the Decca LP Memorable Moments in Musical Comedy at the outset of the era of the long-play record, and featured on the MCA-Universal box set Front Row Center: The Broadway Gold Box 1935-1988 in 1996. And Weitz, though never aspiring to be a professional performer, has remained attached to the show -- she performed her featured hit 69 years later at a benefit for the ILGWU in San Francisco in 2006. ~ Bruce Eder