Phyllis Diller, American Comedian, Actress, Author, and MusicianMadeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article & Radio Show for July 2022.

Our Radio Show and blog features Phyllis Diller, American stand-up comedian, actress, best-selling author, musician, and visual artist

Many of the world’s comedians, business owners, teachers, psychologists, medical doctors, mathematicians, biologists, chemists, scientists, engineers, writers, and others have studied and played musical instruments since they were children. These eminent individuals have integrated music into their thinking process. Included is an article on the benefits of studying with baroque or classical music in the background to work more focused, calmly, faster, with more accuracy.

Article of the month: Budgeting Your Way to Success” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D.

Radio Show Feature Question for July 2022:  How did Classical music play a part of Phyllis Diller’s life as a comedian, actress, author and musician, and what musical instrument did she play?


Phyllis Diller was born as “Phyllis Ada Driver” on July 17, 1917, in Lima, Ohio to Frances Ada (née Romshe) and Perry Marcus Driver. Her father was an insurance agent. She began studying the piano intently as a small child and played through high school, and college. “As a child she became interested in classical music, writing, and theater.” She said, “as a child she was naturally funny!”

Phyllis Diller, “recalls her mother pushing her toward the piano, and though she was “no Mozart,” she took intensive lessons and imagined herself “sitting before a fabulous concert grand” instead of giving performances for a piano teacher and her sleepy dog.”

She “attended Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago for three years studying the piano.” She had thought “of becoming a music teacher.” She then became a student at Bluffton College in Bluffton, Ohio studying literature, psychology, history, and philosophy. She was also the editor of the school’s newspaper.

In her senior year at Bluffton, she met Sherwood Anderson Diller. They married and moved to California. By the age of 37 years Phyllis and her husband had 5 children. She was taking care of her children, working full time for a radio station.

She says, “I never did anything talent-wise. I was in the office end. I was in press, continuity, advertising, and merchandising. They would never let me in the other side of it. They didn’t think I had any talent- the idiots! I auditioned- they said, “No good!” It’s just they couldn’t see me because I was an office girl to them. They couldn’t see me at all.” (Great Comedians Talk About Comedy by Larry Wilde, 2000.)

She said, “I worked a year on an act because my husband kept nagging me to do it and I finally decided, “What the hell! I’ll do it.” Her husband had failed at his business. “She was equipped with a sense of humor, and needed to provide for her children. She set out to become a stand-up comic in a profession in which women were practically non -existent.”

 Phyllis Diller began “her professional debut at the Purple Onion, a San Francisco nightclub, in 1955.” In 1958, she was on Groucho Marx’s ShowYou Bet Your Life” which gave her National exposure”. Phyllis was very funny.

 “By this time, she thought she could be as funny as the men she was watching on television. She achieved a national breakthrough on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show in 1958.”

Phyllis Diller’s Symphonic debut:

In 1971, at the age of 53, Phyllis Diller “received a call from the Pittsburgh Pops asking if she would do a show. With her mind in the music world, Diller responded and said she would love to and that she would play some Bach and Beethoven. The caller was so stunned that he did not let on that he only intended for her to perform her comedy.”

 Two years before she had played on Liberace’s TV Show, a piece she had written called “Phyllis’s Fugue”. The Pittsburg Pops had obviously not heard the show. (Erin Blakemore’s article, “Her Other Forte: Comedian Phyllis Diller Was Also a Concert Pianist”.

1969 Liberace Show Phyllis Diller Duet:

 “Thus, began Diller’s career as an accomplished pianist. From 1971 to 1982 Diller performed with over 100 symphony orchestras across the United States and Canada. The show was called The Symphonic Phyllis Diller. During these performances she would seriously perform pieces by Beethoven, Bach, and others as a solo pianist with an orchestra while integrating comedic elements.”

“Her fingers flying over Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.”

“One reviewer calling her “a fine concert pianist with a firm touch.”

“She did a comedy album called “Born to Sing” and was a member of the Society of Singers, supporting singers in need.” As a stand-up-comic she played Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the Tropicana in Atlantic City, Jack Paar Tonight Show, 50 times, and many other shows.”

29 Movies and TV Shows:

“She appeared in more than 40 TV shows, including ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ (1961-1970), ‘The Phyllis Diller Show’ (1966-1967), ‘Super Password’ (1987-1989), ‘Hollywood Squares’ (1967-1980, 2002-2004), and ‘Boston Legal’ (2007). She made her first feature film appearance in the American period drama ‘Splendor in the Grass’ (1961). Some of her popular films are ‘Eight on the Lam’ (1967), ‘Pink Motel’ (1982), ‘The Perfect Man’ (1983), and ‘Everything’s Jake’ (2006). She earned a ‘Daytime Emmy’ nomination for ‘Outstanding Service Show Host’ for ‘A Tribute to Bob Hope’ (1998). She was awarded a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ in 1975.”

Best-selling Comedy Books:

Phyllis Diller wrote “Housekeeping Hints (1968), “Phyllis Diller’s Marriage Manual” (1967), “The Complete Mother” (1969), “The Joys Of Aging and How to Avoid Them” (1981) and several other books.

Phyllis Diller’s Concert costume:

Phyllis Diller was an American stand-up comedian, actress, best-selling author, musician, visual artist, wife, mother of five children, grandmother to four grandchildren, and great grandmother. She “loved to make people laugh.” Phyllis Diller passed away on August 20, 2012 at the age of 95.


 How to keep your child’s school skills current during the summer:

  1. This summer find out what programs your library has for your child. Share with your child the joys of reading in your home every evening.
  2. Are you planning to take your child on vacation this summer? How about having a journal for your child to write in about their vacation? Ask them what they learned about each place they visited and what did they enjoy most about each place?
  3. Ask your child to help you cook dinner for the family by having them help you with a recipe. They will be reading and assisting in measuring out ingredients, which will help them in both math and science.
  4. The local science and history museums offer classes for children. Find one that will be most interesting to your child.
  5. Have your child help you make up Flash Cards in bright colors and letters to learn multiplication tables and vocabulary words.


“Budgeting Your Way to Success” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM

Forbes magazine said, “78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck”.

Several of my university students have told me “their finances are a mess and their mortgage loans on their cars and houses are too high. They felt overwhelmed by their finances.”   I shared with them my Momma’s wisdom of budgeting and banking for their success.

You have overdrawn your bank account for the third time. Your rent check has bounced, your power bill check has bounced, your monthly insurance payment has bounced and your car has just broken down. Your bank has charged a transaction fee of $35 per bounced check. This is the fastest way to double what you actually owe by adding all of these extra charges.

My Momma, Romayne Leader Frank, a lawyer and counselor, taught her clients and me how to budget our money. During my high school years Momma taught me to make a budget of my expenses, to keep a ledger of the money going into the bank and the money to be paid out for expenses. She also taught me to put my entire paycheck, after taxes were deducted from the pay check, in the bank. Then I would pay all my bills and take out only the necessary amount for food and necessities. The remaining money went into my savings account. As a college student in New York City, I always had a job to help me pay for tuition, apartment rent, utilities, and food.

So, let’s get started and think this out together. You want everything in your budget. Whether it’s your personal or business finances, you have to have a plan in place for your success and you need to learn to budget your money.

What are the eight questions you need to answer to build your budget?

  1. Are you withholding enough money from your wages to pay for taxes?
  2. How much money do you earn each month after taxes?
  3. How much is your rent or mortgage payment each month?
  4. How much is your power bill, gas bill, water bill, sewer bill, telephone, cell phone and insurance for your apt/house, self and for the car each month?
  5. How much does it cost to put gas in the car each week to go from home to work and then return home? Multiply the total amount by 4.
  6. How much does it cost in groceries each week? Multiply the total amount by 4.
  7. How much will it cost for entertainment and new clothes per week? Multiply the total amount by 4.
  8. Are you budgeting for unforeseen consequences such as family emergencies, loses not covered by insurance, emergency travel and other events? Include an amount per week and multiply by 4.

All your expenses need to be included in your budget. Once you have written down your total amounts for your bills/expenses per month you subtract them from your monthly pay check that you will be receiving after taxes. The amount that is left is the beginning of your rainy-day fund to invest for your future to eventually buy a car or a house.

The concept is to spend only what you have and to stay on budget. You cannot buy frivolous things that you do not need and cannot afford. You have to stay within your budget.

By having your budget in place, you will know exactly how much money you have left over every month to begin saving for your future.

Remember you cannot spend what you do not have.

By following these steps and learning how to budget your money, you will be budgeting your way to success. © 2019 Madeline Frank

(This is our fourth article on teaching you, to take hold of your finances.)

If you need a speaker or virtual speaker contact Madeline at: [email protected]


“Classical Classic FM Launches Revision Hour: Classical Music for Concentration and Exam Advice for Students” (May 20, 2022) by Classical FM

“The six-part series will see students through the exam period with classical music to aid concentration as well as top tips for revision and relaxation, every Sunday evening from 9pm.”

The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook:
 “Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun easy way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.:
 Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World”. This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy.  “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:
Download Your Copy Today!  Amazon | iTunes |
Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is available through amazon. To order your copy as an e-book on Kindle click on the following link:


Wishing you and your family a Happy July 4th from your Non-Invasive Medicine…Music Expert, Madeline

For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award-winning teacher, an best-selling author, researcher, speaker, conductor, and concert artist. She has discovered a scientific link between studying a musical instrument and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2022 Madeline Frank