Gisèle MacKenzie was a Canadian-American singer, most famous for her performances on the popular television program Your Hit Parade.
She was born Gisèle Marie-Louise Marguerite LaFlèche in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and studied violin and voice at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. She had her own Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio program, Meet Gisèle, before moving to Los Angeles, California, in 1951. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955.
MacKenzie possessed a crystalline, resonant singing voice, and perfect pitch. She recorded albums and singles on various record labels, most notably Capitol and RCA. In 1953 she reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart, with her rendition of “Seven Lonely Days”. Her biggest selling song was “Hard To Get” in 1955.
MacKenzie was an accomplished violinist and performed many comedic musical duets with mentor Jack Benny. She remarked that Benny was so enthusiastic about his own violin playing that at each break in rehearsal he would get his violin and they would play duets. In an often-played clip, she and Benny perform a violin duet of “Getting To Know You”, in which she breaks their synchronization several times to add some extra musical flourishes, to his mock irritation. Finally, he breaks in with a lengthy flourish of his own, and evokes audience laughter with mock indignation: “Fool around with ME, sister!”