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Friday, May 20, 2011

Beryl Davis...........a little list (I don't have a lot of her)

A very young Beryl with the Quintette du Hot Club de France
With Reinhardt and Grappelli
Johnny Desmond, Martin Block, Cab Calloway, Georgie Auld, Mel Tormé, Mary Lou Williams, Tommy Dorsey, Josh White, Beryl Davis, and Ray McKinley, WMCA, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947 (William P. Gottlieb)
Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Connie Hayes & Beryl Davis
 With Tommy Dorsey at WMCA in 1947

 Still goin' strong..........and looking great, IMHO......

Beryl Davis (born March 16, 1924) is a British big band singer; born into a show business family, her father was Harry Davis, and her sister is former teen and 1950's and 1960s actress Lisa Davis Waltz.

Born in Plymouth, England, she began to sing for her father's band, and became popular singing for British and Allied troops during World War II. Glenn Miller discovered her in London, and she sang for the Army Air Force Orchestra.

She moved to Los Angeles post-war with her father's big band, and with Frank Sinatra for one year on "Your Hit Parade."

She was part of "The Four Girls" singing group, with Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming, and Connie Haines. They recorded sixteen singles, and albums that became best sellers.

She appeared both in variety shows and on film.

If anyone was ever destined to be a Big Band singer, it must have been Beryl Davis. She was the daughter of English band leader Harry Davis and was born during one of his tours. Many of her formative years were spent traveling with the Oscar Rabin-Harry Davis Band. Beryl became the featured singer in her father's band. She loved Big Band jazz and began to emulate the styles of American singers like Ella Fitzgerald. She developed into the premier British Big Band singer touring Europe with Stephane Grapelli, Django Reinhardt, George Shearing, Ted Heath and many others.

Glenn Miller discovered Beryl in London and enlisted her to sing for the highly acclaimed Army Air Force Orchestra. Beryl became the only British civilian ever officially attached to the Eighth Air Force, taking her orders directly from General James Doolittle. Beryl's many shows with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Johnny Desmond and the Crew Chiefs, made her the number one favorite singer of American Forces.
Bob Hope heard her records and brought her to Hollywood, to make her American debut on The Bob Hope Show. She was chosen by Frank Sinatra to be his singing co-star for one year on Your Hit Parade, leading to featured spots with Benny Goodman, Vaughn Monroe, David Rose, and many others.
One of the most exciting chapters of her career was when she joined her talent with three good friends, Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming, and Connie Haines. As The Four Girls singing group, they recorded gospel singles (a total of sixteen) and albums that became best sellers. They also made numerous TV, stage, and nightclub appearances.

Now an American citizen, Beryl is still a valid and dynamic performer in the Big Band world today. She has made concert performances with Mel Torme, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, the Kay Kyser Band, Stephane Grappelli, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, the Tex Beneke Band---"A Salute to Glenn Miller" series. She has had guest spots with the highly acclaimed military bands, Airmen of Note and U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C.

Beryl was honored to have sung I'll Be Seeing You at the ground breaking ceremonies at the National World War Two Memorial in Washington, D.C., November 11, 2000. Her rendition of that song has become her vocal trademark and is always dedicated to the memory of Major Glenn Miller.

Here's a few songs:
Bluebirds in the moonlight - From Paramount's "Gulliver's Travels" 1939
Don't worry 'bout me - with the Quintette du Hot Club de France
Don't you know that I care - (from The movie "London Town")
Give me that old time religion - Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Connie Hayes & Beryl Davis
Heavenly music - w/ Stephane Grappelly and his Quartet
I'm waiting for ships that never come in
Jacob's ladder - Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Connie Hayes & Beryl Davis
Milkman, keep those bottles quiet - Beryl Davis and the Squadronaires
My heart goes crazy - (from The movie "London Town")
No one else will do -  (from The movie "London Town")
October mood - Beryl Davis & The Skyrockets
Skylark - w/ The Geraldo Strings
So would I (reprise) -w/ Scotty McHarg (from The movie "London Town")
Somewhere list'nin - Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Connie Hayes & Beryl Davis
Star eyes - w/ Stephane Grappelly and his Quartet
The 'Amstead way (reprise) (from The movie "London Town")
The 'Ampstead way - w/ Sid Field (from The movie "London Town")
This world is not my home - Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Connie Hayes & Beryl Davis
Undecided - with the Quintette du Hot Club de France
Where flamingos fly


  1. Hi, Barbarella, how's life these days? I Hardly can wait for the Django Reinhardt list. Over here in the Netherlands we are blessed with The Rosenberg Trio an they are very, very good. But to compare with Reinhardt is quite something else. Also thanks for all the rest. Although, that's a much too small word for all that heavenly music you send us. Greetings Adrian

  2. Ahh, Adrian, I do love The Rosenberg Trio. I believe that I even posted some of them recently in a video with Sanseverino. The Django list his going to be a lot of music, incorporating all the work as a sideman in the 20s, up to the last stuff in the '50s, using the "Integrale" series, the volumes of "Djangologie", an a lot of other sources that I have. I haven't posted much of him thus far, because taking on a challenge like that is Bix, Louis Armstrong, etc....they are iconic figures, much has been posted, and it can be like eating a sacred opens one up to a lot of commentary, both good and bad, from all the self-styled "experts". I've always loved him, so I will try it, though :)


  4. Oh, my....I was just posting an RIP as I read your comment....absolutely hardly anything about it online.....a shame :(