1) She recorded not just the three Beatles arrangements available on cd's (Yesterday, Michele, and my favorite, Ticket to Ride done as a sort of 24 Italian Art Songs number) but in fact 12 Beatles songs. I'm dying to know which others. Back to teh intarwebz with me.
2) She has an official website even though she's been dead for over twenty years. It has a "news" section.
3) Best of all: the day she died, she was scheduled to sing The Internationale on Italian tv for some kind of Karl Marx centennial. She planned to sing it in the style of Marilyn Monroe.
I think she popped into my head because I ran across her cd while trying to find Patti/Melba (I always confuse them and always forget which it is) singing Home, Sweet Home to play upon moving into a new apartment, as one does. I could find neither Patti nor Melba, and so played Madame Ponselle. A lovely rendition also, though without quite that deep nostalgia of the almost lost sonic past that the version I usually play has.
Continuing in this vein of loose association, Madame Ponselle also sings a song I believe is entitled "Little Alabama Coon." I'm guessing that one's not on as many compilations these days. It's fun to imagine what the lyrics might be, and then to imagine her singing them. In blackface.
Oh dear. I just looked up the lyrics. Blackface would rank about fifth among the offensive things going on in that rendition. I wonder maybe if Cathy Berberian could have made something exquisitely sarcastic and hilarious of the whole thing. She could have done a whole program of now mortifying Stephen Foster songs or something. (The state song where I grew up is by Stephen Foster and has at least two lines that have been changed so fourth graders forced to sing it won't immediately become hysterical with laughter and there will be no race riots.) It's really a shame she's dead for so many reasons.
On the topic of the fallibility (???) of the internet, by the way, there was a horrible temptation, upon discovering that Ewa Podles has a rather sparse Wikipedia page, to update said page with perfectly factual information along the lines of:
Madame Podles is universally acknowledged to be the greatest singer in the history of sound.
Kids, you can't democratize knowledge. It's just not a good idea.