Obscure & Neglected Female Singers Of Jazz & Standards (1930s to 1960s)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Ridin'High, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Ethan Stoller

    Ethan Stoller Well-Known Member

    Anna Marie Genovese was a talented singer from Syracuse New York. She performed under the name "Anna Marie." Her lone LP was Interludes With Anna Marie, a 10-inch record on the obscure Vesta label. From the liner notes:

    "Many vocalists can put 'life' in a song, but it is a rare treat to hear a vocalist combine this talent with a melodic voice. Her perfect control and delicate phrasing result in a rendition pleasing to everyone, and a definite thrill to critical admirers of vocal art.

    "As a teenager, self-taught, Anna Marie was the winner on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour, and made guest appearances with Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, and other name bands. She has sung in several clubs in New York City and throughout New York state, and last year was a successful contender on the nationally-televised Chance Of A Lifetime Show."

    The liner notes don't mention the word "jazz" which is surprising, since the titular track "Interlude" (a.k.a. "Night In Tunisia") is a standard in the bebop canon, not the Broadway/Tin Pan Alley tradition. You can check out her jazz chops at this link, which has a bunch of cool, obscure tracks from this era: The Lonely Beat: One Hundred Themes from the Naked City

    Here's another song from the Interludes record:

    Anna Marie Genovese died in 2001.
  2. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you both for indulging me. It's interesting to learn that the New York Times also reported the total number of recording as 80. And I agree that Goodman and many of the musicians he hired had a lot of experience recording in the studio.

    There is a book that can give us the definitive answer. Called Benny Goodman: Listen to the Legacy, it's the definitive Goodman discography. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a copy at the present time.

    I do have access, though, to a general jazz discography (Brian Rust's), in which Goodman's studio sessions are presented over several pages. Although it is an older and less detailed discography than the one mentioned in the previous paragraph, it might be an acceptable alternative. Here are my findings ...

    • The first Goodman session featuring Martha was on September 6, 1937.
    • The last Goodman session featuring Martha was on May 4, 1939.
    • This means that Martha spent a year and a half (18 months) with Goodman.
    • The first song she waxed was indeed "Bob White," the last "You and your Love" (following "The Lady's in Love with You").
    • I counted a total of 56 studio recordings featuring Martha. This 56 count includes recordings that were left unreleased by the Victor label.
    • Some of these 56 masters are remakes. For instance, she first recorded "A Little Kiss on the Twilight" and "What Goes on Here in my Heart" in May of 1938, and then again in July of 1938. "Feelin' High and Happy" was first recorded on April 8, then re-recorded on April 22. Etc. In such cases, I counted both the original version and the remake. If we were to count only the remakes, the total number of studio recordings would naturally drop, to about 50.)
    So, those are my "preliminary findings." Later this month, I will probably be able to check the Benny Goodman: Listen to his Legacy, too. If the information there is significantly different, I will report here.

    Once again, thanks to Toilet Doctor and Mister Jones for helping me satisfy my curiosity!

    Also, while we are still talking about Martha Tilton with Benny Goodman, let's add images of the LP that I mentioned in a previous message:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  3. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Andover, MA
    I'd like to pick up a copy of Benny Goodman: Listen to the Legacy since I'm always struggling to coordinate what I have on CD, LP, 45 and 78. It would be great if it also included his pre-Victor recordings (i.e., the Rhythm Markers and the stuff he did as a sideman before that).
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  4. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Glad you are adding her to our "archives."


    She also wrote the lyrics to "Kissing Bug," a song which has been recorded by a good number of singers -- June Christy, Bill Henderson, etc. Joya herself recorded it with Duke, and reprised it in her Sings Duke album.


    She was also part of a curious Ellington experiment. Around 1944, he kept not one but three different female singers! Each female vocalist was meant to focus on a different type of song and personal style. Seen above, from left to right, the three women were Joya, Kay Davis, and Maria Ellington. (You might be better acquainted with the latter as Maria Cole, the name that she took after getting married to Nat King. By the way, Ellington didn't forget to feature a boy singer, either. Al Hibbler was also part of the Duke's ensemble at this point.)

    Duke's lament: "I was very lucky to have three such singers as Kay Davis, Joya Sherrill and Marie Ellington all at one time, but there is a sad corollary to be detailed. All three were pretty, all three married, and all three left me."

    One of those later times has been preserved on this 1964 LP, which I happen to have. (I believe that it's also on CD.)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As the front cover makes amply clear, it was a special Ellington project. Joya is given special billing, but sings only a couple of songs.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  5. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Footage has been preserved:


    A little known, non-publisized fact: Duke was present and at the control room for the album date that took place in Chicago. The fact just couldn't be divulged because Duke was under contract with another label. He was absent from the New York date.

    I too bought my copy used ($5.99), though in my case it was from a record store. I agree that it is a lovely album, particularly when it comes to the band and the arrangements. As for Joya, well, I constantly find myself running hot and cold with all of Ellington's female singers. She sounds great in the clip that you picked, but at other times her vocals leave me indifferent.

    Oh yeah. We are talking about five-and-ten cent, drugstore labels. They can be so annoying, as they pirate the same batch of songs by any given singer, but re-combine them in ways that might dupe us into assuming that each album has different material. In this case, there are least three albums of these albums, featuring Joya's three vocals:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I know that I have the first one above, which seems to have been the original LP issue. The liner notes state that these were Joya's debut vocals as a solo singer. (This could mean that her numbers date back to the 1940s, and were originally released on 78-rpm records, which could have been the transfer sources used by the producers of this LP. That would in turn explain why the orchestral numbers have a better sound, since those instrumentals might have been recorded from the 1950s, or even early 1960s.)

    It's interesting to note that "Lush Life" was one of the numbers that Joya picked for her alleged solo debut. She claimed to have introduced the song while she was Ellington. (There are other contenders for the title, however, and she could have been wrong.)


    It's actually a hybrid of a children's album and a jazz album. She sings rhymes like "Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater" and "Little Bo Peep," set to jazzy arrangements. Some of her performances are wordless (scat); others apparently have lyrics that she modified from (or added to) the traditional versions.

    Neat. For anyone curious to hear and watch more from this TV show, there are some clips in YouTube. Naturally, she sings several songs for small children in them.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  6. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    Who is that talking to Kruschev? The American ambassador? :)
  7. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor "Rockin' chair's got me"

    Thank you for a fine and informative post. Often, liner notes' info - that's all we have. Lady sings very gracefully...
    The link, you provided, also was very interesting. Beside Jerri Southtern, who is not belong to our list, I counted 5 more very obscure and very neglected singers there.

    It would be nice of you, Ethan Stoller, to post on each of them or at least on some of them...
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  8. AudiophilePhil

    AudiophilePhil Senior Member

    San Diego, CA

    Felicia Sanders (born c. 1922, Mount Vernon, New York, USA – died February 7, 1975) was a singer of traditional pop music. She sang in the 1940's, with big bands and on the radio based in Los Angeles, California. She is was the first singer to do the song "In Other Words (Fly Me to the Moon)".

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  9. Jbeck57143

    Jbeck57143 Forum Resident

    IL, USA
    According to Dr. Chilledair at:
    People vs. Dr. Chilledair: Helen Carr

    Helen has two songs on the 1958 King Curtis Atco single Ific/You Made Me Love You; however, Ific is an instrumental, so she's not on that. You Made Me Love You can be heard on YouTube at:

    But it's hard to tell if Helen is singing on that. If she is, she blends in very well with the Cumming Sisters.

    The Atlantic Records Discography: 1958 at:
    Atlantic Records Discography: 1958
    has the following credits for that single (Atco 6124, also LP 33-103):
    King Curtis Sextet
    King Curtis (tenor sax) Herman Foster (piano) Al Casey, Wally Richardson (guitar) Jimmy Lewis (bass) Belton Evans (drums)

    There's no mention of who's singing.

    The next listing is for 2 songs with Helen and the Cumming Sisters which were never released:
    Helen Carr With King Curtis' Orchestra
    King Curtis (tenor sax) Herman Foster (piano) Al Casey, Wally Richardson (guitar) Jimmy Lewis (bass) Belton Evans (drums) Helen Carr (vocals) The Cumming Sisters (vocal group)
    NYC, July 1, 1958

    Right Kind Of Love
    Are You Ready Freddy

    Those same credits are on
    CURSON Ted

    For the Atco single. They include some other songs as well, but that may not be right. They may be confusing Are you ready Teddy with the unreleased Are You Ready Freddy.

    You Made Me Love You is on a couple of King Curtis compilations:
    The 3 CD The Complete Atco Singles (from Real Gone Music):
    King Curtis - The Complete Atco Singles - Amazon.com Music
    (They only have one copy left for now)

    and the 3 CD King Curtis: Wail Man Wail - The best of King Curtis 1952-1961 (from Fantastic Voyage):
    King Curtis: Wail Man Wail - The best of King Curtis 1952-1961: Amazon.co.uk: Music
    (It's temporarily out of stock because I bought the last copy)

    Helen and The Cumming Sisters are included in the credits for the Wail Man Wail CD at:
    Wail Man Wail The Best of King Curtis 1952 1961 by King Curtis @ARTISTdirect
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  10. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor "Rockin' chair's got me"


    "Born Felice Schwartz in Mount Vernon, New York, she sang in the 1940s, with big bands and on the radio, based in Los Angeles, California.
    She stopped singing professionally to get married to Michael Snider (who was in the army), and had a son, Jefferson with him. They eventually got divorced both having part-time custody of their child. In 1950 she returned to singing in a nightclub in Hollywood, Café Gala. She was heard there by Benny Carter, who thought enough of her talent to recommend her to Mitch Miller, Columbia Records' artist and repertory director. She was picked, in 1953, by Columbia's biggest orchestra leader, Percy Faith, to sing vocal on a song he wasrecording, taken from the film Moulin Rouge—a biographical film about Toulouse-Lautrec.
    The song, known as "The Song from Moulin Rouge" was recorded on January 22, 1953 and released by Columbia with the credits shown as "Percy Faith and his Orchestra featuring Felicia Sanders." She had been paid only union scale and her name appeared below Faith's in small letters, but she had a success. The song scored #1 on all the record chartsand was to be her greatest success.
    Just before the record was released she was hired by New York's famous Blue Angel nightclub, and she played there for a long time, being the first singer to do the song "In Other Words (Fly Me to the Moon)"—although she did not record it until several other singers had done so. When she recorded "In Other Words" at Decca Recording studio, it was backed with "Summer Love" (composed by Victor Young) in1959.
    Miller kept finding other songs to have her sing, but only one other scored among the Top 30: "Blue Star", based on the theme from a well-known television series, Medic.

    Patricia was a wonderful Jazz singer with voice full of emotions:

    I Wish You Love

    I'm Through With Love
    Felicia Sanders -- I'm Throught With Love

    If You Go
    02 Felicia Sanders If You Go

    My Kind of Trouble is You
    Felicia Sanders -- My Kind of Trouble is You

    Felicia Sanders -- Anyone Would Love You

    on TV (crappy audio, sorry)
    Felicia Sanders, Yesterdays Medley, Rare TV Performance

    Felicia Sanders, Gotta Have Me Go With You, Music Maestro Please, Rare TV Performance

    Guys, try to provide some samplers.
    One more time:
    (If your direct link to youtube is not working, try such a trick:
    Copy address to your file, highlight it and press Ctrl + K, then Enter).
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  11. AudiophilePhil

    AudiophilePhil Senior Member

    San Diego, CA
  12. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Mr. Russell Connor spent his lifetime researching and writing about Benny Goodman's music, and few others could approach the scope & quality of what he put together. He is seen above, in Goodman's company.


    "Discographically speaking," you will find everything here ... and lots more. Here is the table of contents:
    • The Ben Pollack Era
    • The Ben Selvin eEra
    • The Benny Goodman Era
    • The Red-Label Columbias
    • The War Years : V-Discs And AFRS Transcriptions
    • Postwar Columbias And "The Benny Goodman Story"
    • The Capitol Series
    • The 1950's : Concerts, Television And The Benny Goodman Story
    • The 1960's : Another Mission To Moscow And A Grand Reunion
    • The 1970's : Concerts, Cassettes And Carnegie Forty Years Later
    • The 1980's : The Final Chapter
    If you are considering tracking down a copy, Mr. Jones, bear in mind the following:

    1) this book is an expansion of previous Goodman discographies that the author had published, since the 1950s or so. Each of them have a different title. This one is from 1988.

    2) In 1996, Russell Connor published yet another update:


    As stated in its blurb, this 1996 tome "presents swing fans, jazz scholars, and collectors with newly discovered recordings, broadcasts, and engagements of the famed clarinetist unearthed since publication of Connor's original landmark work." The book also offers corrections to the 1988 text. (Relatively minor things. For instance, Connor might have belatedly found out that a certain album contained a different alternate take from the one that had been previously listed.) So, this is essentially a supplement to the 1988 text. For the general purposes of casual fans such as myself, it is not indispensable; the "meat and bones" are in the 1988 book.

    3) After Russell Connor's passing, the task of exploring Goodman's huge music legacy has been continued by another excellent discographer, David Jessup. In 2010, he published the following book:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  13. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks, AudiophilePhil, for always championing Felicia.

    AudiophilePhil singled out Felicia's version of "Summer Love" and Toilet Doctor gave first place to her recording of "I Wish You Love." I'll add the following clip, which gives us the opportunity to see and hear Felicia in person, and in glorious color:

    (One minor matter that I almost forgot to point out, Phil: the lady in the photo from your first post above is not Felicia. It is Jo Stafford.)

    We actually discussed Felicia a few months ago (posts #580 & #581 on page 24; post #570 on page 23), but, as I've said before, the more the merrier. Actually, let me paste here the old posts, so that we can have a fuller picture of what has been said so far. My old post includes pics of all five of Felicia's albums:

    Bye, Felicia!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  14. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Andover, MA
    Excellent analysis! Am I correct in assuming the 2010 Jessup version is the one to get? "Supplemental Discography" suggest, however, that Jessup just provided additional stuff rather than entirely updated the previous version(s). Perhaps Wrappin' It Up plus the Jessup additions provides the complete picture? An Amazon reviewer says you need Wrappin It Up and Listen to His Legacy. Very confusing.
  15. Jbeck57143

    Jbeck57143 Forum Resident

    IL, USA
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  16. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor "Rockin' chair's got me"

    misterjones said:
    I have a couple of the ASV/Living Era issues (Connee Boswell and Anita O'Day). They seem to do a good job collecting older singers in a one-CD format.

    "In an act of monumental musical vandalism the entire [ASV] catalogue [665 titles] was deleted." (Ray Crick, founder of ASV and Retrospective labels)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  17. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Andover, MA
    Not totally deleted. I still have mine.

    I assume they are concerned about unissued titles, since the issued CDs are still around. Otherwise, no back-up tapes or CDs?
  18. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Senior Member

    I like what I'm hearing. Great musicians & recording quality. I'm a huge fan of Contemporary & Mr. Koenig. I was aware she had made an album for Mode but not that she married Mr. K. & made an LP for his company. (The Mode tracks on YouTube say "not available in the U.S.")
  19. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Senior Member

    Let me correct myself. At least some of the Mode tracks are there & they're great.
  20. Lou Ming

    Lou Ming Forum Resident

    Stamford, CT
    Two cents worth re: Tom Waits and Something Cool. Rickie Lee Jones used to perform the tune, and featured it on the "Girl at her Volcano" EP. She was very close to Waits in the those early days. Just saying'.

  21. Reader

    Reader Senior Member

    e.s.t. tenn.
    I have nothing of value to add to this thread but as I stated in an earlier post this is great. I know next to nothing about most of the singers mentioned here but like a lot of what I hear.

    Thanks again to Ridin' High for starting this thread and everyone who has posted info and links.
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  22. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor "Rockin' chair's got me"

    I bought this CD, you mentioned, (some time ago) by Fresh Sound, collecting both albums on one disc with new remaster:


    1957 album I love more. Some tracks are really stand out. My favorite would be gorgeous version of 'Round Midnight' and 'Sleepy Time', where she went way lower than in the other songs:

    Joy Bryan - When It's Sleepy Time Down South
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  23. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor "Rockin' chair's got me"

    I hope one day Ridin' High will come up with Index List for you and me: the names and post numbers, where to look for them.

    By the way, don't forget to press "like" button under the posts, you like...
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  24. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Andover, MA
    That and what I perceive as a tip-off. The couple in the Waits song "never talk to strangers" while Christy "generally doesn't drink with strangers".

    I often hear what seem to me to be inspirational parallels (not amounting to copyright infringement) that others do not. Just the way my brain works (for better or worse).


    Tom Waits' "Walk Away" and Louis Armstrong's version of "As Long as You Live You'll Be Dead if You Die"
    Bob Dylan's "Clean Cut Kid" and Fats Waller's "Abercrombie Had a Zombie"
    Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain" and the old folk classic "Big Rock Candy Mountain"
    my dryer this past weekend and the opening riff on Artie Shaw's "'S Wonderful"
  25. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you, Mister Jones. I agree that the situation can be confusing. I'll try to explain the matter better.

    In a nutshell: Listen to the Legacy is the primary book to get. As I said in my earlier post, this book was born out of the labor of a lifetime. Few other published discographies can match its vast scope.

    As for the other two books, they are supplements and/or expansions of that one. They contain not only corrections but also additional information, most of it belatedly uncovered. Hence they are important texts, too, and worth getting.

    Personally, I prefer the "one-thing-at-the-time" approach. In other words, it seems to me that it would be best for anyone to first check the main book (Listen to his Legacy), and then to decide whether they must also have the other books.

    On the other hand, if you feel confident about getting all three of them at once, why not? (If bought brand new, the bill would run up to several hundred dollars. Used copies are another matter. You could grab all three for about $75.)

    Samples and more detailed comments about each book follow.

    Listen to his Legacy

    March 10, 1942, New York

    Benny Goodman, clt; Lou McGarity, tbn; Mel Powell, p & cel.; Tom Morgan, g.; Sid Weiss, b; Ralph Collier, d.

    CO 32593
    LP: BID 1002, PHON 7644

    CO 32593-1
    [78]: CO 36594, CoArg 291445, CoAu D03134
    [and so on; eight more are listed; CO stands for Columbia, Arg for Argentina, Au for Australia]
    45: CO 4- 39478
    EP: FontCont 462012TE
    LP: CO alb P5-15536, SONY 20AP-1810, JAZ 68
    ET: AFRS Downbeat 206/207

    The Wang Wang Blues

    The above is the listing for "The Wang Wang Blues," as found in Listen to his Legacy. It tells you that this number is extant in two takes, one of them the master, the other the alternate. The alternate can be found in two LPs, the master on many different issues.

    After the listing above, the book moves on to the next song recorded at the same session ("The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise").

    For many entries, there is not only discographical details (such as what I just showed) but also paragraphs of commentary, some of them about the session itself, and sometimes explaining Benny's itinerary at that point in time.

    The book does include separate lists of abbreviations, where we can find out, for instance, that PHON stands for the label Phontastic, and BID for the label Blu-Disc. Another list gives you the titles of most Benny Goodman albums, along with their catalogue numbers.

    So: it is is in this book that you will encounter full discographical information on Goodman's work, from his early to his later years.

    Wrappin' It Up

    27 July 1942, New York (ref. page 137 of Listen to His Legacy)
    Two Blu-Disc LPs, T-1015 and T-1016, were released after Legacy's text had been typeset; for that reason, their contents are necessarily omitted. References to them are elsewhere in this work. Blu-Disc T-1015 affects two matrices this date, which now become:
    [Benny's July 27 1942 session is listed next, just as it had appeared in the Legacy book, but with the additions and modifications involving the Blu-Disc stuff.]

    17 November 1947, New York (ref. page 189 of Listen to His Legacy)
    The four sides cut this session are also released on LP and CD, Mosaic MQ6-148 and MD4-148, respectively. Take numbers are:

    Above you have two typical entries from this book.

    As you can see, one reason to get this 1996 supplement is that it incorporates the main Benny Goodman CDs that had appeared since the publication of the main, 1988 book. Also, the author corrects previous, mostly minor mistakes, some of them pertaining to alternate takes. He adds newly found alternate takes and radio performances as well.

    Benny Goodman: A Supplemental Discography

    I think that what you read in the back cover of this book (see my previous message) tells you very clearly what to expect. As the title of his book suggests, Jessup's aim is to update and complete the work carried out by the now deceased Russell Connor. Jessup adds the main Benny CDs that were issued between 1996 and 2010, corrects a few mistakes that got past Russell Connor, and clarifies other pertinent matters. He adds some radio performances and alternate takes that have come to light after 1996, too. The main entries are similar to the ones in Wrappin' It Up, but there are also separate, large chapters. He newly offers a detailed, extensive account of all of the episodes of Benny's Camel Caravan radio show. The famous Carnegie Hall concert is discussed in great detail as well. It is a great work, and I would heartily recommend it. But, again, bear in mind that it is a continuation of what we find in the earlier books.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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