A vocalista de big bands Yvonne Marie Antoinette JaMais, famosa como Connie Haines, "O Rouxinol de Savannah", nasceu no 20 de janeiro de 1921, em Savannah, Georgia, mas cresceu na Flórida. A mãe, sua instrutora de voz e dança, investiu no talento da filha de olho na excelencia. Aos 4 anos Yvonne se apresentou no Bijou Theater em Savannah na peça musical "Saucy Baby". Aos 5, ganhou vários concursos dançando Charleston na Georgia e na Flórida.
Yvonne, era uma cantora baixinha, atrevida, divertida com uma voz e ritmo marcantes, que ficou famosa fazendo dupla com Frank Sinatra como "crooner" da Orquestra de Tommy Dorsey, antes de partir para uma carreira solo.
Gravou 200 canções e 24 de seus discos venderam mais de 50.000 mil cópias. O nome Connie Haines lhe foi dado por Dorsey, que alegou que com um nome tão grande quanto o dela, não restaria espaço nos painéis de anúncio dos shows, para o nome dele. No inicio ela entendeu que seu nome seria Ames e não Haines, e acabou assinando vários autógrafos como Connie Ames.
Connie Haines faleceu aos 87 anos, em Setembro de 2008 na Flórida. Uma semana depois de seu enterro, sua potente voz ainda era ouvida na gravação da secretária eletrônica cantando "I 've Got The World on a String"
Connie Haines canta "Will You Still Be Mine" com a Tommy Dorsy Orchestra
Big band vocalist Yvonne Marie Antoinette JaMais, best known as Connie Haines, "The Nightingale from Savannah", was born on January 20, 1921, in Savannah, Ga., but grew up in Florida. Her mother, who taught voice and dance, pushed her talented daughter to excel. At 4, Yvonne appeared at the Bijou Theater in Savannah in a “Saucy Baby” show. At 5, Baby Yvonne Marie won state contests in the Charleston dance in Georgia and Florida.
At 9 she won a talent contest sponsored by Uncle Ralph Feathers, who in the South ran the sort of amateur contests for which Major Bowes was famous. Before she turned 10, she parlayed that into a regular radio show on the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., billed as Baby Yvonne Marie, the Little Princess of the Air. At 10 she appeared with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and things accelerated even faster.
She won the actual Major Bowes contest in New York, and appeared on Fred Allen's radio show. At 16 she was auditioning for a job in the Brill Building, headquarters of Tin Pan Alley. Harry James, the orchestra leader, happened to hear her and immediately hired her. But he asked her to change her name, saying she looked like a Connie. More pointedly, he said that if she used her full name, there would be no room for him on the marquee. At first she thought he had named her Ames, not Haines, and for a few days signed autographs that way.
She was a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own.
Miss Haines, made 200 recordings, including 24 records that sold more than 50,000 copies; regularly filled up prestigious nightclubs like the Latin Quarter in New York; and performed five times at the White House. Polls in music magazines in the 1940s rated her as one of the top female band singers.
While Sinatra specialized at the time in ballads and slow foxtrots, Miss Haines threw herself into rhythmic up-tempo tunes. Where did you learn to swing like that?” Dorsey asked when he first heard her at a club in New Jersey. “And when can you join my band?”
Her recordings including gospel, pop and soul, as well as big-band barnburners. The best-selling ones included “You Might Have Belonged to Another”; “Oh! Look at Me Now”; “What Is This Thing Called Love?”; and “Will You Still Be Mine?” A crowd favorite was “Snootie Little Cutie,” which often elicited ad libs from Sinatra.
She made the most of her sultry Southern accent, sometimes to Sinatra’s amusement. In her personalized rendition of “Let’s Get Away From It All,” she improvised, “We’ll spend a weekend in Dixie. I’ll get a real Southern drawl.” Sinatra piped in, “Another one?”
Miss Haines appeared on the radio with Abbott & Costello,Bing Crosby,Bob Hope and Jack Benny, among others. On television she appeared with Milton Berle,Ed Sullivan,Eddie Cantor and Perry Como. Her work on Frankie Laine’s variety show drew particular note.Her movies included her favorite, “Duchess of Idaho” (1950), with Esther Williams and Van Johnson.
After James ran into financial trouble, both singers ended up with Dorsey when he was adding a robustness and kick to his style, taking on an innovative new arranger, Sy Oliver, and six new vocalists. The others were Jo Stafford, and the three-man vocal group the Pied Pipers. Miss Haines said that Dorsey taught her phrasing, how to take one big breath and let the words flow, she told The Tampa Tribune in 1998. He told her to always think of telling a story, of “acting to music.”
At one point when she was performing with Dorsey, she remembered, Sinatra saved her life. She was about to go on stage in Madison Square Garden when a smoker in a balcony tossed a match and set her ruffled tulle dress on fire. Sinatra threw his coat over her and fell on her, smothering the flames, she said.
Miss Haines’s marriage to Robert DeHaven, a World War II fighter ace, ended in divorce. She is survived by her son, Robert DeHaven Jr. of San Francisco.
Two weeks after her funeral services were held, Miss Haines’s voice — still strong and swinging — could be heard on her answering machine. “I’ve got the world on a string,” she sang.
Ms. Haines died at the age of 87, in Clearwater Beach, Fla on September, 2008.
Reference - Douglas Martin
Tradução de Humberto Amorim