Friday, April 30, 2010


American big band-era vocalist Bea Wain, who was voted 'Most Popular Female Vocalist of 1938,' was born on April 30, 1917 in New York City. She enjoyed great success with the Larry Clinton Orchestra, and collected hit records which include 'My Reverie,' 'Deep Purple' and 'You Go To My Head,' to name a few.

On a 1937 recording with Artie Shaw she was credited as Beatrice Wayne, which led some to assume that was her real name. On record labels her name was shortened (without her permission) to "Bea" by the record company, ostensibly for space considerations. As she explained, "They cut it to 'Bea' Wain. They cut the 'Beatrice' out to 'Bea.' I was just a little old girl singer, but that's the truth. So that's how my name became 'Bea Wain'."

She led the vocal group Bea and the Bachelors (with Al Rinker, Ken Lane, and John Smedberg), and the V8 (seven boys and a girl) on the Fred Waring show. In 1937, Wain joined former Tommy Dorsey arranger Larry Clinton and His Orchestra. She was featured with Clinton on a number of hit tunes, including "Martha" and "Heart and Soul". In 1939, she was voted the most popular female band vocalist in a Billboard, and that same year she began her solo career.

Wain had four #1 hits:"Cry, Baby. Cry," "Deep Purple", "Heart and Soul" and her signature song, "My Reverie." She is considered by many to be one of the best female vocalists of her era, possessing a natural feel for swing-music rhythms not often found among white singers of the day.

With regard to technique, she excelled in pitch and subtle utilization of dynamics. She also communicated a feminine sensuality and sang with conviction in an unforced manner.

On May 1, 1938, Bea Wain married radio announcer André Baruch. Their honeymoon in Bermuda was cut short when Fred Allen called Baruch asking him to return to New York to substitute for his ailing announcer, Harry von Zell. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991.

Bea sings "Heart and Soul" with Larry Clinton and His Orchestra.

Reference - Solid

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