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Helen Forrest (Born 12th April, 1917)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:03 am
by john poole
Today’s centenary, born Helen Fogel in Atlantic City, one hundred years ago today, 12th April, 1917 [died 11th July, 1999] Called the “Voice of the Name Bands”, she sang in turn with Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, & Harry James.

When with Artie Shaw she informed him that if Billie Holiday, the other featured singer with Shaw at the time she joined him, was required to remain offstage when not performing, she would also only take to the stage when she was singing. Benny Goodman she said was the “most unpleasant person” she ever met in music - she hated him “noodling” on clarinet whilst she was singing and her twenty months with him "seemed like twenty years". But Harry James she said was the love of her life.

In 1940, a rare (unique?) case for the time of a white female singer appearing on a record featuring a group of black musicians - Lionel Hampton and Orchestra (Hampton and the Nat KIng Cole Trio; with the drummer Al Spieldock, the first of her three husbands) - ‘I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbtnkwFJeE

With Harry James in the 1944 Esther Williams’ film “Bathing Beauty” - ‘I Cried for You’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOxq3p5e-7M

An internet posting in 2012 noted that more than a decade after her passing a headstone had yet to be placed on her grave.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/j ... ohnfordham
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 06621.html