In addition to her films, Jeanette made frequent sold-out concert tours in the U.S.
Her first European tour was in 1931. Her Paramount films had made her tremendously popular overseas. She was also able to capitalize a bizarre rumor sweeping Europe. A satirical French novella, Jeanette MacDonald?, had reported that she had been the mistress of a Belgian Prince. When the Prince’s jealous wife caught them, the book fantasized, she hurled acid in Jeanette’s face, hideously disfiguring her. The press picked up this fantasy and elaborated on the details. They reported that Jeanette’s non-singing sister, Blossom, had assumed her identity on the screen. This explained why Jeanette hadn’t sung in one of her Fox films, made during the brief period when movie marquee’s proudly proclaimed “This is NOT a musical!” Jeanette indignantly denied the rumors, proving that she had never been out of the U.S. (This brought even more invaluable press coverage.) Whether or not her French and English fans believed the stories, Jeanette’s continental tour was a triumph. She was accorded “the greatest reception since Lindbergh,” as a breathless reviewer wrote.
Jeanette sang several times at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. She also did command performances at the White House for both Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.