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Rosemary Clooney's 'Sentimental Journey' - 2002-02-22

On February 27, famed pop and jazz singer Rosemary Clooney will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. But there's a chance Clooney won't be present to accept it. Last month, she underwent surgery for lung cancer, and is recovering at home in Rochester, Minnesota.

This was supposed to be Rosemary Clooney's year: a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Sentimental Journey.

Fortunately, the surgery to remove cancer from Clooney's left lung was a success. Her condition was recently upgraded from serious to fair. Fans are hoping she'll be well enough to attend this year's Grammy ceremony.

Rosemary Clooney has been singing for most of her 73 years. Born in Maysville, Kentucky, she launched her career with her younger sister Betty in 1945, on a Cincinnati, Ohio radio station. Known as "The Clooney Sisters", they performed with the Tony Pastor Orchestra before going their separate ways in 1949.

Soon after her arrival in New York City, Rosemary signed with Columbia Records. Along with recording stars Kay Starr, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, Clooney became known as one of the era's Girl Singers. Her 1951 hit song Come On-a My House brought her international fame. Radio, television and film work followed, including a role in the top-grossing movie of 1954, White Christmas. Her early collaborators included Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Bing Crosby. Among Clooney's many albums for her current label Concord Records are tributes to composers Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Ira Gershwin.

The Recording Academy has named Rosemary Clooney one of five recipients of this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards, along with Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Count Basie and Perry Como. The honorees will be acknowledged at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California on February 27.