11 April 2009

Favourite female singers of the 1930s/1940s

My dance band playlists are intended to provide an overall picture/sound of the Golden Age of British Dance Band, not just my personal favourites, but there are indications of my favourites when you consider I've featured (so far) four songs each by two female singers, Anne Lenner and Elsie Carlisle!


Anne Lenner I just find her voice so romantic and so refined, and I've not found a record yet that I don't adore. Her records with Carroll Gibbons' Savoy Hotel Orpheans are quite easy to find at record fairs so she was clearly popular in her day.

In this medley of tunes from 1935 Anne Lenner sings Rhythm Of The Rain - the record (Columbia DB1534) I featured on Dance Band Show #9.

Not surprisingly a good proportion of Anne Lenner's recordings are available on CD.

Look out for Vocalion's Carroll Gibbons, Vol. 2
and the Sunflower CD Sweet As A Song


Elsie Carlisle A very different voice has Elsie, you either love it or you don't. I certainly enjoy most of her records. As she recorded with several bands, Ambrose, Ray Starita, Jack Harris and others, and made many solo recordings in the 1930s, there should be a lot to choose from, but it has been harder to find Elsie Carlisle on 78s and on CD.

Thankfully Vocalion have come to the rescue with two CDs devoted to Elsie Carlisle. Look for Vocalion's Elsie Carlisle, Vol. 2

Here, from 1939, Elsie Carlisle sings Till The Lights Of London Shine Again - the record (Rex 9693) I featured on Dance Band Show #9.

John Wright



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