Helen Humes

Infobox musical artist
Name = Helen Humes

Img_capt =Jazz singer Helen Humes at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Helen Humes
Alias =
Born = June 23, 1913
Died = September 9, 1981
Origin = Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Instrument = Vocals
Voice_type =
Genre = Jazz, Blues
Occupation = Singer
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts = Ellis Larkins
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Helen Humes (June 23 1913 - September 9 1981 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wifuxqt5ldde~T1 All Music Guide biography - accessed January 2008] ] ) was an American jazz and blues singer. The versatile Humes was successively a teenaged blues singer, band vocalist with Count Basie, saucy R&B diva and a mature interpreter of the classy popular song.cite book
first= Tony
last= Russell
year= 1997
title= The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray
publisher= Carlton Books Limited
location= Dubai
pages= p. 120
id= ISBN 1-85868-255-X


Humes was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and was spotted by the guitarist Sylvester Weaver and made her first gramophone records in 1927; her true young voice consorting oddly with bizarre material like "Garlic Blues".

She moved to New York in 1937 and became a recording vocalist with Harry James' big band. Her swing recordings with James included "Jubilee," "I Can Dream Can't I," "That's the Dreamer in Me," and "Song of the Wanderer."

Humes became one of the vocalists with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1938, replacing Billie Holliday as lead female vocalist. [ [http://www.womeninkentucky.com/site/music/humes.html Womeninkentucky.com - January 2008] ] . Her vocals with Basie's band included "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea."

During the 1940s and 1950s, Humes became a solo performer and worked with different bands and other vocalists including Nat King Cole. She sounded very sprightly on the jump blues "Be-Baba-Leba" (Aladdin, 1945) and "Million Dollar Secret" (Modern, 1950).

In 1950 Humes recorded Benny Carter's "Rock Me to Sleep." She managed to bridge the gap between big band jazz swing and rhythm and blues. She appeared on the bill at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1960.

She moved to Hawaii, and to Australia in 1964, returning to the U.S. in 1967 to take care of her ailing mother. Humes was out of the music industry for several years, but made a full comeback in 1973 at the Newport Jazz Festival [ [http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608000638/Helen-Humes.html Musicianguide.com biography - accessed January 2008] ] , and stayed busy up until her death.

Helen Humes died of cancer, at the age of 68, in Santa Monica, California. She is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California. [ [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6842416 Find a Grave website] ]

elected recordings

*"Midnight at Minton's" - Don Byas - 1941
*"You're Driving Me Crazy"
*"Sing for Your Supper"
*"Too Marvelous for Words"


*Hot Club of France Award for Best Album of 1973
*Key to the City of Louisville, 1975, 1977

ee also

*List of Classic female blues singers
*First rock and roll record


External links

* [http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608000638/Helen-Humes.html Musicianguide.com biography]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wifuxqt5ldde~T1 Biography] at Allmusic website
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0401793/bio Humes' details at IMDb]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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