Lita Roza

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Lita Roza
Birth name Lilian Patricia Lita Roza
Born (1926-03-14)14 March 1926
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 14 August 2008(2008-08-14) (aged 82)
London, England, UK
Genres Traditional pop
Website Official website

Lita Roza (14 March 1926[1] – 14 August 2008)[2] was an English singer whose 1953 hit record "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?" made her the first British solo singer to top the UK Singles Chart.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Born Lilian Patricia Lita Roza in Liverpool, England,[1] she was the eldest of seven children.[4] and began work at an early age to support the family. She owed her sultry looks and Latin passion to her Spanish father, an amateur accordionist who also played piano in Liverpool nightclubs.

At the age of 12, she saw an advert in the local newspaper for juvenile dancers and passed the audition. She took to the stage at that age in a pantomime and by the time she was 15 was working with the comedian, and fellow Merseysider, Ted Ray.[3] When she was 16, she answered got a job as a singer in the "New Yorker" club in Southport for £5 a week before then shortly afterwards signing up with the Harry Roy Orchestra in London. She moved on from this to work with other bands of the era including that of Edmundo Ros.

By the time she was 18, Roza had retired from show business, married an American and moved to Miami, Florida. However, the marriage did not last and shortly after World War II she returned to the United Kingdom. In 1950, she became the lead female singer with the Ted Heath Band and by 1954 had achieved enough public acclaim to leave the band and pursue a solo recording career.

Roza's "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?", a cover version of Patti Page's original produced by Dick Rowe, was the peak of her career. Further covers of "Hey There" and "Jimmy Unknown" gave her small hits in the mid-1950s.[5] Roza disliked her chart-topping single so much she never performed it live.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1956, she married the trumpet player Ronnie Hughes. She remained a top UK recording artist during the remainder of the 1950s and was voted the 'Top British Female Singer' in the New Musical Express poll winners' charts from 1951 to 1955. Melody Maker readers also voted her their 'Top Girl Singer' in the dance band section of the poll in 1951 and 1952.

Roza made three appearances in UK heats for the Eurovision Song Contest selection in 1957, 1959 and 1960. On 14 March 2001, the Liverpool Wall of Fame was inaugurated opposite the Cavern Club on Mathew Street in Liverpool with Roza presiding at the ceremony. On 28 November 2002, she gave her last public performance on Radio Merseyside. A 22 track The Best of Lita Roza was released in 2007.[4]

Lita Roza died peacefully at home on 14 August 2008, aged 82.

Quotation[edit]

"We just don't make singers like Lita Roza anymore" – Elton John.[7]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • 1956 Lita Roza
  • 1957 Lita Roza No.2
  • 1958 Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea[9]

Albums[edit]

  • 1955 Listening in the After-hours
  • 1956 Love is the Answer
  • 1960 Drinka Lita Roza Day recorded on 4 May 1960[10]

Recorded output[edit]

In addition to those tracks listed above, Roza's recorded output included covers of songs such as "Why Don't You Believe Me?", "Smile", "That Old Black Magic", "Have You Heard?", "Come What May", "That Old Feeling", "Too Marvelous for Words" and "The Mama Doll Song".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sharon Mawer. "Lita Roza biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Liverpool's first number one". BBC. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Liverpool's original Number One". BBC. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "dfltweb1.onamae.com – このドメインはお名前.comで取得されています。". Rockandpopshop.com. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex, UK: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 9. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 28. ISBN 0-85112-156-X. 
  7. ^ "The Stage / Reviews / Landing on stage – Lita Roza". Thestage.co.uk. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 473. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ "Lita Roza". 45-rpm.org.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Lita Roza | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 

External links[edit]