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Roger Smith

Meet Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret, an outrageously pretty young singer and actress whose long coppery hair must be the envy of the ingenue set, joined me and other interested parties in not having breakfast Friday morning.

The time was 10.30, and, while neglecting platters of eggs, we talked about her career and her new picture, 'State Fair', which is her reason for being here.

('State Fair' will be premiered simultaneously in 11 Texas cities, among them Houston, on April 4. Ann-Margret is hopping about the state whipping up curiosity about the picture, which was made partly on the Dallas fair grounds.

Ann-Margret, whose other name is Olsson, is a dedicated singer of all kinds of songs, and for her 'State Fair' test, she confided, she withdrew all the stops and sang 'Bill Bailey', a song designed to separate the ingenues from the grown-ups.

"I just love", she said - eyes beginning to gleam, "to get up on that stage with a mike and..."

Something interrupted, but later she obliged by singing part of 'Bill Bailey' into a wire-rrecorder I happened to have in my hand. The mike is about the size of a thumb-nail, so she sang it softly. Very prettily too.

She listened gleefully to the playback.

"I just finished recording an album in Nashville", she said, "so that's where we record. RCA has a very good studio there".

Ann-MArgret, who lets me call her Miss Olsson as a mark of special favour, is very happy about 'State Fair', because Richard Rodgers added five new songs, and she sings one of them.

"It's beautiful", she said, "I love it."

Somebody asked her what she does to relax.

"I haven't been relaxed in years", she said with a giggle, "though I hate to get up in the morning. I can never believe it's six o'clock. No really, I like to go dancing".

Then she confessed that she is an accomplished Twister, having been confirmed in her expertise by no less an authority than the management of the Peppermint Lounge in New York, which awarded her a medal.

Has she mastered that other youthful exercise, the Hully Gully?

"No", she said, "but I know about the Mashed Potato. It's something like the Charleston...".


By George Christian


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