Helen Ward (singer)
|Born||September 19, 1913
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 21, 1998 (aged 84)
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Helen Ward (born September 19, 1913, New York City – died April 21, 1998, Arlington, Virginia) was an American singer. Her father had taught her piano, and she appeared on radio broadcasts with WOR and WNYC. She also worked as a staff musician at WNYC.
Starting in 1934, she sang in Benny Goodman's first band, and became one of the first popular swing "girl singers", as they were then called, and among Goodman's most popular. She and Benny had a brief romance and he came very close to proposing marriage to her in either 1935 or 1936. However, according to Ward in the documentary, Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing, he called it off at the last minute, citing his career. She married financier Albert Marx the following year and left the band.
One example of Ward's singing is this linked 1938 recording of her singing the Hoagy Carmichael song "Heart and Soul".
In 1938, Marx arranged for Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert to be recorded for her as an anniversary present. That recording was later released as a dual LP set by Columbia Records in 1950. During the 1940s, Ward worked with the bands of Hal McIntyre and Harry James. She became a radio show producer for WMGM in 1946-1947.
After her marriage to Marx ended, Ward later married the audio engineer William Savory. Savory was part of the team that invented the 33⅓ rpm long-playing record. Ward continued to do sporadic studio work and also worked briefly with Peanuts Hucko. Ward did occasional tours with Goodman in the 1950s, but effectively retired by 1960. She made a brief return in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She returned to singing at New York City clubs in 1979. In 1981, she released her final album, The Helen Ward Song Book Vol. I.
- US Social Security Death Index. Retrieved 8 November 2013
- Jon Pareles (30 April 1998). "Helen Ward...Who Sang Hits With Goodman's Band in the 30's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- "Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats" New YorkTimes.com - accessed August 17, 2010
- Social Security Death Index showing Helen Savory was born in 1913, not 1916
- All Music
- Jazz House obituary