Merry Christmas and Happy New Years everyone.
I have been a little lazy in posting new posts on the blog the last couple of months. As we wind up 2017, I thought I would catch up on the last couple of weeks. Last week, I started a two part show that I call 1940's Christmas Traditions. Many of the ways we celebrate Christmas were started in the 1940's so I thought it would be interesting to learn how some of these traditions started. I am going to start the show with a segment from Franklyn D. Roosevelt's 1940 lighting of the Christmas tree speech and then we'll be into some big band holiday favorites. All the songs on Part 1 were recorded in the 1940's.
Today, we continue with Part 2 of my 1940's Christmas Traditions show. On the show today, I am going to be reading some Stocking Stuffers from the Associated Press. Stocking Stuffers is a series produced by the Associated Press that consists of about 50 segments on various holiday traditions. Each segment is about 10 to 15 sentences. It is very interesting and I hope you enjoy these segments as well as the music.
I hope all the listeners and readers of this blog have a wonderful and safe holiday season. If you are in the Texarkana, Texas area remember to tune in Saturday nights at 10:00pm for Big Band Bash on KTXK Texarkana Fine Arts radio, 91.5 on the dial. Also, if you live in the Marion, Ohio area, Big Band Bash is broadcast Sunday mornings at 9:00am on WZMO radio.
One of the more popular big-band-era singers, a performer that some might not consider a jazz vocalist, but one with exceptional ability to project lyrics and also an excellent interpreter. Forrest used several names early in her career, among them the Blue Lady and Bonnie Blue.
She began singing in her brother's band in Washington, D.C., then was featured in Artie Shaw's band after Billie Holiday left in 1938. Forrest joined Benny Goodman when Shaw disbanded in 1939, staying until 1941. She recorded with Nat King Cole's trio and Lionel Hampton in 1940, then began to score hits working with the Harry James orchestra. During the early '40s, she had string of successes. Later she teamed with Dick Haymes on his radio show and on six duets that were big hits. Forrest cut back her activity in the '50s, then sang with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra led by Sam Donahue in the early '60s. She continued to work on the club circut in the '70s and '80s, making a new album for Stash in 1983. Forrest died July 11, 1999 at age 82.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Forrest for a more complete biography as well as a listing of charted singles.