Bea Wain in 1943
|Born||Beatrice Ruth Wain
April 30, 1917
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 19, 2017
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Other names||Beatrice Wayne|
|Occupation||Singer, radio personality|
|Spouse(s)||André Baruch (m. 1938; his death 1991)|
Beatrice Ruth Wain (April 30, 1917 – August 19, 2017) was an American Big Band-era singer and radio personality born in the Bronx, New York City. She had a number of hits with Larry Clinton and his Orchestra. After her marriage she and her husband became involved in radio, helming a show titled "Mr. and Mrs. Music".
On a 1937 recording with Artie Shaw, she was credited as Beatrice Wayne, which led some to assume that was her real name. On record labels, her name was shortened (without her permission) to "Bea" by the record company, ostensibly for space considerations. As she explained, "They cut it to 'Bea' Wain. They cut the 'Beatrice' out to 'Bea.' I was just a little old girl singer, but that's the truth. So that's how my name became 'Bea Wain'".
She led the vocal group Bea and the Bachelors (with Al Rinker, Ken Lane, and John Smedberg) and the V8 (seven boys and a girl) on the Fred Waring show. In 1937, Wain joined former Tommy Dorsey arranger Larry Clinton and His Orchestra, which she joined after doing chorus work with Fred Waring and Ted Sttraeter.
Her debut with Clinton was made in the summer of 1938 at the Glen Island Casino, New Rochelle, New York. She was featured with Clinton on a number of hit tunes, including "Martha" and "Heart and Soul". In 1939, she was voted the most popular female band vocalist in Billboard annual college poll, and that same year she began her solo career. Her first theater tour as a solo led to her being signed for the Your Hit Parade and RCA Victor records.
Wain made her debut on radio at age six as a "featured performer" on the NBC Children's Hour. As an adult, she sang regularly on The Larry Clinton Show (NBC 1938), Monday Merry-Go-Round (NBC Blue 1941-1942),:238 Starlight Serenade (Mutual 1944),:314 and Your Hit Parade.:362
Wain had four No. 1 hits: "Cry, Baby, Cry", "Deep Purple", "Heart and Soul", and her signature song, "My Reverie". My Reverie (Victor 26006) stayed at the top of the chart for eight weeks in 1938.
Wain was also the first artist to record the Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg classic "Over the Rainbow" (on December 7, 1938, with Clinton's orchestra), but MGM prohibited the release until The Wizard of Oz (1939) had opened and audiences heard Judy Garland perform it.
Wain rarely made recordings after she left the Clinton orchestra in 1939, focusing primarily on her work on radio instead.
Mr. and Mrs. Music
Following her musical career, Wain worked with Baruch as a husband-and-wife disc jockey team in New York on WMCA, where they were billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Music". An article in the May 1945 issue of Radio Best magazine noted, "In the trade she is looked upon as an accurate picker of hits and is a favorite song plugger of tunesmiths like Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and Harry Warren."
In 1973, the couple moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where for nine years they had a top-rated daily four-hour talk show from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. on WPBR before relocating to Beverly Hills.[self-published source] During the early 1980s, the pair hosted a syndicated version of Your Hit Parade, reconstructing the list of hits of selected weeks in the 1940s and playing the original recordings.
In a 2004 interview with Christopher Popa, Wain reflected: "Actually, I've had a wonderful life, a wonderful career. And I'm still singing, and I'm still singing pretty good. This past December, I did a series of shows in Palm Springs, California, and the review said, "Bea Wain is still a giant." It's something called Musical Chairs. I did six shows in six different venues, and I was a smash. And I really got a kick out of it."
On May 1, 1938, Wain married radio announcer André Baruch. Their honeymoon in Bermuda was cut short when Fred Allen called Baruch asking him to return to New York to substitute for his ailing announcer, Harry von Zell. They were married for 53 years. Baruch died in 1991. The couple had two children, Bonnie and Wayne.
- Amanda Wilde's 2007 interview with Bea Wain, aged 90
- Sara Fishko's 2007 interview with Bea Wain on WNYC Radio
- Some sources cite "Weinsier" as her surname at birth.
- "Larry Clinton - True Confessions". Big Band Library. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
- Irvin, Sam (2011). Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise. Simon and Schuster. p. 50. ISBN 9781439176542. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Billboard, January 24, 1942
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
- Hoffmann, Frank (2016). Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 9781135868864. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Frisch, Walter (2017). Arlen and Harburg's Over the Rainbow. Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780190467333. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Barnes, Mike (August 22, 2017). "Bea Wain, One of the Last Big Band Singers, Dies at 100". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Friedwald, Will (1996). Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices From Bessie Smith To Bebop And Beyond. Da Capo Press. p. 98. ISBN 0306807122. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "Andre Baruch" (PDF). Radio Best. May 1949. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Sher, Aubrey J. (2013). Those Great Old-Time Radio Years. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 54–55. ISBN 9781483679099. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Riggs, Larry (August 21, 1982). "Airplay" (PDF). Cash Box. p. 17. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Popa, Christopher."Larry Clinton, True Confession", bigbandlibrary.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
- "Bea Wain, 'girl singer' from big-band era who jammed with Pavarotti, dies at 100". The Washington Post. August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Bea Wain, big band singer whose career launched at age 6, dies at 100". Los Angeles Times. 22 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
- ArtistDirect.com: Bea Wain; accessed 17 October 17, 2005.
- Bea Wain & Bea and the Bachelors, parabrisas.com; accessed August 29, 2015.
- Bea Wain, ‘girl singer’ from big-band era who jammed with Pavarotti, dies at 100; accessed August 21, 2017.