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Bea Wain, One of the Last Big Band Singers, Dies at 100 | Highlight Hollywood

Bea Wain, One of the Last Big Band Singers, Dies at 100 | Highlight Hollywood


http://highlighthollywood.com/2017/08/bea-wain-one-of-the-last-big-band-singers-dies-at-100/?utm_source=feedburner
 
Bea Wain, One of the Last Big Band Singers, Dies at 100
Beautiful Bea Wain, a hit-making pop vocalist in the late 1930s and one of the last surviving singers from the big band era, died Saturday in Beverly Hills, publicist Ken Werther announced. She was 100.
Known for her expressive, engaging but understated swing style, the Bronx native performed in nightclubs and on the radio before former Tommy Dorsey arranger Larry Clinton hired her for a band he was starting in 1937. 
 
She was out front for such jukebox favorites as “Deep Purple,” “Heart and Soul,” “My Reverie,” from the Claude Debussy piano piece “Reverie,” and “Martha,” from the Friedrich von Flotow opera of the same name.
 
At the height of her fame, Wain left Clinton — she was making just $30 per recording session — and became a headliner on the college and theater circuit. She also appeared regularly on the radio program Your Hit Parade, becoming friends with another guest, Frank Sinatra.
 
Wain’s recordings from this period included the romantic “You Go to My Head,” the flirty “Kiss the Boys Goodbye,” the bawdy Andy Razaf/Eubie Blake number “My Man Is a Handy Man” and the touching ballads “God Bless the Child” and “My Sister and I,” a heartbreaker about war refugee children.
 
Wain was the first to record the Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg classic “Over the Rainbow,” but MGM prohibited its release until The Wizard of Oz (1939) had opened and audiences heard Judy Garland perform it.
In an era that also featured such stars as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Mildred Bailey and Helen Forrest, a Billboard poll named Wain the most popular female band vocalist of 1939. She also was in demand as a singer on radio shows hosted by Kate Smith, Fred Waring and Kay Thompson.
 
Baruch, her husband of 53 years, died in 1991. Survivors include her children Bonnie and Wayne, son-in-law Mark, daughter-in-law Shelley and grandchildren Brandon and Remy.
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