Band Singer/Recording Artist Before Films

by horn-5 | created - 19 Apr 2014 | updated - 19 Apr 2014 | Public

Soundtrack performers who were band singers or recording artits or vaudeville performers prior to appearing in films.

1. Dinah Shore

Soundtrack | The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

Her real name was Frances "Fanny" Rose Shore, and she was born in Winchester, Tennessee. Stricken with polio at 18 months of age, she recovered after receiving the Sister Kenny treatment. She became a cheerleader at Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville and went on to graduate from Vanderbilt ...

2. Peggy Lee

Actress | Lady and the Tramp

Peggy Lee was Born Norma Dolores Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, on May 26, 1920. At age four her mother died. Peggy's father, a railroad station agent, remarried but later left home, leaving Peggy's care entrusted to a stepmother who physically abused her. Peggy later memorialized this in the ...

3. Doris Day

Soundtrack | Pillow Talk

One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz), a housewife, and William Joseph Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choir master. Her grandparents were all German immigrants. She had two brothers, Richard, who ...

4. Rosemary Clooney

Actress | White Christmas

Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, to Marie Frances (Guilfoyle) and Andrew Joseph Clooney. She was one of five children. Her father was of Irish and German descent, and her mother was of Irish and English ancestry. She grew up in Maysville, where she and her sister Betty Clooney used...

5. Patti Page

Soundtrack | Die Hard 2

Patti Page was born Clara Ann Fowler in Oklahoma in 1927. She began her professional singing career at KTUL, a Tulsa radio station. Since the program was sponsored by Page Milk, she adopted the moniker Patti Page, and it stuck. Patti toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang ...

6. Dale Evans

Soundtrack | The Roy Rogers Show

American leading lady of musical westerns of the 1940s. Born Frances Octavia Smith in Uvalde, Texas. She was raised in Texas and Arkansas. Married at 14 and a mother at 15, she was divorced at 17 (some sources say widowed). Intent on a singing career, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and worked in ...

7. The Andrews Sisters

Soundtrack | Hollywood Canteen

The defining sister act of all time with well over 75 million records sold by which the swinging big-band era could not be better represented were the fabulous Andrews Sisters: Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne. With their precise harmonies and perfectly syncopated dance moves, the girls reached heights ...

8. Mary Ford

Soundtrack | Speed Racer

Mary Ford was born on July 7, 1924 in El Monte, California, USA as Iris Colleen Summers. She was married to Les Paul and Donald Hatfield. She died on September 30, 1977 in Arcadia, California.

9. Keely Smith

Soundtrack | Blast from the Past

Keely Smith was born March 9, 1928 in Norfolk, VA. After her parents divorced and her mother remarried Jesse Smith when she was nine years old, she changed her name to Keely Smith after she joined Louis Prima and his band. Her family had a tough time and her three brothers and her took in laundry ...

10. Ella Fitzgerald

Soundtrack | When Harry Met Sally...

On Saturday, June 15th, 1996, an era in jazz singing came to an end, with the death of Ella Fitzgerald at her home in California. She was the last of four great female jazz singers (including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae) who defined one of the most prolific eras in jazz vocal ...

11. Billie Holiday

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, ...

12. Abbe Lane

Actress | Twilight Zone: The Movie

Abbe Lane was born on December 14, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Abigail Francine Lassman. She is an actress, known for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Caesar Against the Pirates (1962) and Amazing Stories (1985). She has been married to Perry Leff since December 16, 1964. She ...

13. Lita Baron

Actress | Don Ricardo Returns

Fiery brunette Andalusian-born singer, dancer and actress, in the U.S. from 1928. Using the stage name "Isabelita", she performed with Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra and was spotlighted at the Mocambo and Ciro's night clubs on the Sunset Strip. There, she came to the attention of up-and-coming ...

14. Ethel Waters

Actress | Cabin in the Sky

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and ...

15. Lena Horne

Soundtrack | Cabin in the Sky

Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that, on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order ...

16. Frances Langford

Soundtrack | The Hit Parade

Frances Langford won fame on radio (primarily as Bob Hope's vocalist, later sparring comically with Don Ameche as "The Bickersons"), via recordings and in the movies. In spite of the fact that she played mostly in minor musicals (plus appearing occasionally in "A" productions, including Yankee ...

17. Ruth Etting

Actress | Hips, Hips, Hooray!

Ruth Etting was born on November 23, 1896 in David City, Nebraska, USA. She was married to Myrl Alderman and Martin Snyder. She died on September 24, 1978 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

18. Jane Froman

Soundtrack | Radio City Revels

Jane Froman was born on November 10, 1907 in University City, Missouri, USA as Ellen Jane Froman. She was married to Rowland H. Smith, John Curtis Burn and Donald McKaig Ross. She died on April 22, 1980 in Columbia, Missouri.

19. Kay Starr

Soundtrack | The Nice Guys

Kay Starr was born on July 21, 1922 in Dougherty, Oklahoma, USA as Katherine Laverne Starks. She was married to Earl Spencer Callicutt, George Alfred Mellen, Vic Schoen, Harold Solomon (Stanley), Roy E. Davis and Woody Gunther. She died on November 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

20. Pearl Bailey

Soundtrack | The Fox and the Hound

Her father Joseph was a minister and her mother was named Ella Mae. Her birth name was Pearly Mae but her parents anticipated she would be a boy and when a girl was born she was nicknamed "Dickie". Her brother was entertainer Bill Bailey (1912-1978). She spent her early life in Washington DC where ...

21. Helen Forrest

Soundtrack | The Rocketeer

Brunette Helen Forrest was born Helen Fogel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She loved singing from early childhood and keenly listened to recordings by all the major female jazz and blues vocalists of the day. At the age of ten, Helen competed in a dance marathon and sang with her brother's band in ...

22. Jo Stafford

Soundtrack | A Single Man

Jo Stafford's early fame came as a vocalist with the big band of Tommy Dorsey, for which she sang both on her own and with her group, The Pied Pipers. After leaving Dorsey in 1944, Stafford went solo, eventually racking up no less than 93 hits over the next 13 years. Among them: chart-toppers like ...

23. Betty Hutton

Actress | Annie Get Your Gun

Betty Hutton was born Elizabeth June Thornburg on February 26, 1921, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Two years later, Betty's father decided that the family way of life wasn't for him, so he left (he committed suicide 16 years later). Having to fend for themselves, Mrs. Thornburg moved the family to ...

24. Sarah Vaughan

Soundtrack | The Adjustment Bureau

Sarah Vaughan was born March 27, 1924 in Newark, NJ, and died April 3, 1990, in Los Angeles of lung cancer. Her parents were Asbury, a carpenter, and Ada, a laundress. She began studying music when she was seven, taking eight years of piano lessons and two years of organ. As a child she sang in the...



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