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

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

  1. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member


    Mary Ann McCall

    "Singers such as Mary Ann McCall are the bread and salt among
    all obscure and neglected female singers of Jazz & Standards."
    TDAss (Toilet Doctors Association)

    I really love Mary Ann McCall. For me she was a singer who went through a big-band school, honed her skills, created her own style, confidence and ease of performance, had distinct timbre and ability to go from smoky to husky, adding an irresistible charm to her singing.

    "Mary Ann McCall former big-band singer who became one of the most critically acclaimed jazz singers of the 1940s. A native of Philadelphia, she began as a singer and dancer with Buddy Morrow's band. She worked with Tommy Dorsey in 1938, with Woody Herman in 1939 and again from 1946 to 1950, and with Charlie Barnet in 1940. By the 1960s she was performing at Chubby Jackson's Estate Club in Hollywood.
    The late jazz expert Leonard Feather wrote of Miss McCall in his "Encyclopedia of Jazz": "Once a conventional pop singer, she evolved during the 1940s into a very convincing stylist much admired by jazzmen."
    The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz described her as "one of the finest jazz singers" with a style like that of Billie Holiday

    I am happy to be alive to see the new releases of Mary Ann McCall in Spain and Japan.

    Mary Ann McCall Complete Recordings 1950-1959 2CD Fresh Sound, Spain 2016 .



    This 2CD set represent a great value having all 3 her LPs from the different labels (Regent 'Easy Living' 1956, Jubilee 'Detour to the Moon' 1958 and Coral 'Melancholy Baby' 1959), 11 tracks (6 Decca and Roost sides, 5 from 12" Norgan album 'An Evening with Charlie Ventura' 1954) of three different bands and a remarkable booklet.
    In addition to the full credit notes and the essay "Jazz Singer Mary Ann McCall" with photos, the brochure contains original liner notes with Artwork of each of the 4 albums that I mentioned.
    Despite such different sound sources, the sound is on a smooth and clean side at the level "Good / Very Good".



    Warner Japan 2016 low-price SHM release of Mary Ann Jubilee album 'Detour to the Moon' from "Jazz Masters Collection 1200", however, beat Spain release on a wide margin with unparalleled airiness, a deepness of soundstage and a wonderful bass performance. Only some abrasiveness, a tad of harshness in the very top spectrum of the trebles prevents me to place this CD in the "Best" category, leaving it at the border "Very Good" and the "Best".

    Thrilling, cute and young Mary Ann McCall:

    You've Got Me Voodoo'd by Mary Ann McCall (1940) – Vintage Halloween

    1940 HITS ARCHIVE: It’s A Wonderful World - Charlie Barnet (Mary Ann McCall, vocal)

    Mary Ann McCall - Money is honey - Female Voices 1212

    Unfortunately, my favorite Mary Ann songs: 'Sky Is Crying', 'Until the Real Thing Comes Along',
    'Moonglow' and 'No Moon at All' (w/touch of avant-jazz) of the 50's are not available on yuotube,
    but some I found mostly from 'Easy Leaving' album:

    In My Solitude

    Mary Ann McCall - The Moon Was Yellow

    It's You or No One

    Mary Ann McCall. Easy Living

    Sony's Columbia, Japan released 'Easy Leaving' in Mini LP in 2006 with 24-bit remaster - hard to find.
    Here is review on this release:

    5* "A Classy Act
    What a delight! Mary Ann doesn't have a "pretty" voice, but a voice with great character, style, and swing. A jazz voice that's never forced, but has a sense of style, playful timing and a unique offhand twist on the original lyrics that makes each cut her own. I've never heard anyone else do "Shake Down The Stars", but what a great cut! It's really a shame that there isn't more product out there from the wonderful Mary Ann McCall, but then we all have this terrific album. It could be even better if they remastered some more of her catalog
    ." (2007)

    I'm still waiting for the Sony's reissue in the Blu-specCD2 format.

    Japanese SHM-CD 'Detour to the Moon' for $14.07 w/free shipping:
    Mary Ann McCall - Detour To The Moon [New CD] Shm CD, Japan - Import 4943674233717 | eBay

    Please "Click to expend" button of the rararabits' quoted post in the previous Post #1174
    to watch Mary Ann Live in 60's.
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  2. Nathan Aaron

    Nathan Aaron Forum Resident

    Is there any place online to purchase all of these Japanese, etc. vinyl reissues easily? There’s ebay of course, but I wish they were more widely available here.
    toilet_doctor likes this.
  3. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    DU (Disk Union) outlet - cdjapan.co.jp
    Here is the sampler:

    CDJapan : Search result by ( Mary Ann McCall ) OR "Mary Ann McCall"

    Put in a search here any artist name.
    They take Credit Cards and PayPal.
    Shipping is close to $8 for one CD, but for 2 - twice cheaper.
    I usually buy several CDs to offset shipping cost to $2-3 per CD.
    I'm talking about Registered Airmail w/Tracking No.
    There is economy SAL shipping - surface (trains+ships) shipping.
    It's cheaper, but about 4-6 weeks to wait.
    bluemooze and Nathan Aaron like this.
  4. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Second the recommendation of CDJapan.
    I almost always select SAL shipping, and I've seldom had to wait that long. Usually takes less than two weeks, and never has an order been lost. Packaging is always superb, best in the world.
    toilet_doctor likes this.
  5. Nathan Aaron

    Nathan Aaron Forum Resident

    - Is CDJapan only CDs? (Nevermind! I answered my own question by going to the site! Vinyl, too!) Has anyone ever ordered vinyl from them? I’m just afraid of damage due to the long shipping distance.
  6. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    No: Vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray, Books, etc.
  7. Nathan Aaron

    Nathan Aaron Forum Resident

    - I ran and bought both of these albums online after reading about them on this thread. I went for Cora Lee Day, and by total coincidence the seller had Mary Ann McCall, so I grabbed them both! Cora Lee Day really is “Billie Holiday #3”! Wow!

  8. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    It is not a coincidence...

    What's good about the new CD releases: It's always a double opportunity.
    You can always find the record collector, who would give up on his rare vinyl copy in favor of a new CD.
    And then, when the guys from our thread have to shoot, when more LPs are pop up and the price goes down.

    Unfortunately, I cannot do this, since I don't have an LP playback in my system...(?).
    I simply cannot afford my dream-machine with counter-rotating dual platter, where two patters are spinning in opposite directions, eliminating unwanted vibrations and movements, maximally stabilizing the tonearm: About Kronos Audio
    After audition Kronos at Chicago Hi-End Show, I cannot listen to anything else (speaking of analog), getting deeper in my disorder.
    bluemooze likes this.
  9. Nathan Aaron

    Nathan Aaron Forum Resident

    - We’ll, I’m more than ok purchasing all the vinyl you’re unable to play! It’ll sound great on my record player! :D
  10. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for the review, and for the rest of the post as well.
    I just wanted to add one point, primarily for the sake of
    any completists who might visit this thread.

    The CD set's title is not just Complete Recordings but
    Complete Recordings 1950-1959. As a result, we get
    almost all the solo LPs that Mary Ann ever recorded.
    Almost. Missing is this 10" LP:


    It was released in 1950. However, its tracks were
    recorded in 1949. Mary Ann sings six numbers.


    So, Mary Ann's solo LP on Discovery Records is not
    part of this Fresh Sound CD set. But take heart,
    completists: those Discovery tracks should be fairly
    easy to track down. All of them are available on the
    following issue, from Savoy Jazz:


    Better yet, you can take your pick of format: it came out on
    cassette, vinyl, and compact disc. (If my memory is not
    failing me, the LP is what I have.)

  11. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    This was probably one of the first, and certainly more famous, sexy record album covers - first on a 78RPM album, and later on a 10 inch LP. Sexy record covers became very common after Hugh Heffner changed American culture in 1954. Before that time, pin-ups were common, but mostly hidden away in "men only" locations or discreet magazine shops, not in record stores.

    I got a mint set for $1 at a garage sale yesterday. They said that without the 4 records, it was $10.


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  12. Stu02

    Stu02 Forum Resident

    This hope Ridin will give me some dispensation as I cheat a little here because I think it is of note. This soundtrack is pure delight and it includes moments of Chet baker but most importantly Helen Merrill sings on two rare songs the title Track Smog and also on Dawn with both tracks featuring astounding smoky sultry Helen at the top of her game.

    The Chet stuff is great of course but the orchestrated parts by Umiliani were the surprise for me. Quirky and surprisingly modern.

    For he purposes of this thread this is worth it for the two Merrill tracks which while Helen is not rare the 2 songs are so hoping I get in through the back door here Ridin:whistle:

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  13. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Helen is definitely obscure now. I bet if you asked 10,000 people on the street, of all ages, you would get blank stares from all of them. Is this material on CD, even under a different cover? I might even have it.
    Nathan Aaron likes this.
  14. Stu02

    Stu02 Forum Resident

    Yes I am pretty sure this particular release is on CD too.
  15. Nathan Aaron

    Nathan Aaron Forum Resident

    - It’s also been reissued recently on vinyl by one of those “shady gray labels” from the U.K. But my copy is great! Very difficult to find an original on vinyl.
  16. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member






    Dorothy Lamour

    "These Eyes" -- the name of the song

    I cannot stop myself to post these images coming to us from late 30's, but look like they're from 20's - there, where heart of Dorothy Lamour was belong to...

    Dorothy LAMOUR (née Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton) (b. 1914 New Orleans -- d. 1996, LA California). From the age of 4 she sung in the charity shows, at 14 she won a Miss Orleans beauty contest. When her mother re-married she moved to Chicago where she worked an elevator attendant in a department store and continued singing as Dorothy Lambour. In 1934 she was noticed by the bandleader Harry Kaye in a singing talents contest -- whom she married the following year. As his band's vocalist she moved to NYC, where they both were engaged in a radio work and she made her first film appearance in a „B" movie short „The Stars Can't Be Wrong". Following this -- and with surname altered into „Lamour" she transferred to Los Angeles where she had her regular singing spot in NBC and passed a Paramount test for „The Jungle Princess" (1936). In this movie for the first time she wore her fateful sarong, which made her a nickname and a trademark „The Sarong Girl" forever. That film was followed by a string of the movie successes: „Swing High, Swing Low" (1937) with Fred Mac Murray and Carole Lombard, „In High, Wide And Handsome" (1937) with Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott, „The Hurricane" (1937) with Jon Hall and Mary Astor -- a real breakthrough in her career, which elevated her to star status. The song „The Moon Of Manakoora" composed for that movie by a distinguished Connecticut-born pianist and conductor Alfred Newman provided Dorothy Lamour with her evergreen theme and a classic tune still performed today.

    1943 (time passes by, hair style may changed, but not her heart)
    Dorothy Lamour-I'm In The Mood For Love-

    1945 (the best version ever recorded)
    Dorothy lamour: Perfidia 1945
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  17. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    She may have suffered a fate similar to Alice Faye. The Hollywood movie studios severely restricted Alice Faye, a great singer, from making very many records. Their logic was if you wanted to hear Alice Faye, you had to go to the movies. They owned her, so she had to follow orders.
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  18. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I have the scrapbooks of someone who was once a leader in the Alice Faye fan club. It has just about every photo, every clipping about Alice Faye, and a few letters from Alice too!



  19. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    Alice Faye - ruined singing career

    "I'd rather have Alice Faye introduce my songs than anyone else". -- Irving Berlin

    I was wondering if Alice Faye have enough standards to go on the List... - more than enough!
    I was able to extract from the "tube" a lot of songs, many of which are very rare radio shows that are not displayed by the search, but accidentally pop up along the path of interest. You cannot find these rare standards on CDs, especially 50's.

    (19 years old)

    You Made Me Love You (1937) - Alice Faye
    (very rare)
    Night And Day (1937) - Alice Faye

    https://www.youtube com/watch?v=6Ho1rlUPEvM

    The Lady Is A Tramp / If It's The Last Thing I Do - ALICE FAYE (1937)

    Roses In December (1937) - Alice Faye
    1939 (rare version)
    My Man (From "Rose of Washington Square"- 1939)

    Alice Faye sings Blue Skies
    Alice Faye: "Tropical Magic" (1941) with John Payne
    1943 version
    Alice Faye - You'll Never Know 1943 Version 1

    I like Alice Faye nice and deep voice of 50's - nowhere available:
    1953 version
    This Year's Kisses (1953) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet - YouTube
    1953 version
    You'll Never Know (1953) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet

    You're The Cream In My Coffee (1953) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet

    Side By Side (1953) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet
    Walking My Baby Back Home (1952) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet
    Undecided (1951) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet

    Getting To Know You (1951) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet

    From This Moment On (1951) - Alice Faye and The Sportsmen Quartet
    I've Got A Crush On You (1950) - Alice Faye

    You Were Meant For Me (1950) - Alice Faye
    (rare version)
    Goodnight My Love

    ALICE FAYE - Moonlight Bay with lyrics
    1954 (very rare)
    "Alice Faye (1915-1998) was one of the best vocalists who never made a lot of recordings.
    She didn't make a lot of records but she sang a lot.
    Here is a radio remote from her radio show with husband Phil Harris
    ." (comment)
    Alice Faye - Young At Heart
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  20. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I just ordered the fourth volume of Beverly Kenney rarities on the Japanese SSJ label.

    If only she had been saved!

  21. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Ordered the two reissued Kiz Harp discs as well. She died at 29 from a brain hemmorage

  22. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    They are still standing in a big pile of "to unwrap and evaluate" (2016 remaster):




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  23. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I worship Beverly Kenney. But I got frustrated buying each supposed upgrade to find that they often sounded the same or so close. Do these sound significantly better? Are they still available at a regular price? Do you have the book about her by Bill Reed? I do not.
    toilet_doctor likes this.
  24. Fender Relic

    Fender Relic Forum Resident

    Central PA
    I have a Beverly Kenney story that turns out well in the end but one I almost blew big time. I went to my local Goodwill one Sat. morn and noticed a few new LP's had been put out and one was Beverly Kenney,Like Yesterday. I thought about it a moment and put it back thinking...note to myself....look up Beverly on All Music or Discogs when you get home and see what she's all about. There was something about the cover pic that haunted me. I ran a few errands and was back home for a half hour when I remembered to look up BK discography. What??? I ran out the door and did a Hollywood car chase number with sliding wheels and flying gravel. Ran in the GW and...sigh of relief...still there. Knew I was going to throw down the 69 cents as the cover was real nice but thought I'd check vinyl condition anyway. I slide it out of the cover and.....pink label Decca promo in nice shape. I love that record but have never seen another one by her. Always wishin' and a hopin' when I search the thrifts and fleas.
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  25. toilet_doctor

    toilet_doctor Well-Known Member

    You can still buy them at retail + eBay fee = ($14.50) + shipping from this DU dealer:




    I used to buy from him - first CD shipping -$5 (Mini LP -$3), each additional -$2, but I was waiting for 4 weeks(!), as he uses SAL w/Tracking No. mail.

    I will tell about SQ soon, but give me a bit more time - you may need at least one more CD w/$2 shipping from him...
    bluemooze and Tribute like this.

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