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Eve Boswell

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Eve Boswell
Eve Boswell (1964)
Eve Boswell (1964)
Background information
Birth nameÉva Keleti
Born(1922-05-11)11 May 1922
Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary
Died14 August 1998(1998-08-14) (aged 76)
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
GenresTraditional pop
Years active1950s

Eve Boswell (born Éva Keleti; 11 May 1922 – 14 August 1998), was a Hungarian born South African pop singer.[1] With the outbreak of the Second World War, Eva's family moved to South Africa, where they worked with the Boswell Circus. After a few years in South Africa during which she got married, Eve was offered a temporary contract to work with a band in the United Kingdom. Eve's success with that contract eventually led to her becoming a popular solo singer in Britain in the 1950s.


Éva Keleti was born in Hungary to professional musician parents who toured worldwide.[1] Educated in Switzerland, she studied piano before joining her parents on tour as the juggling act, Three Hugos.[1] When the Second World War was declared, the family left Britain with the Boswell Circus. She married, and as Eve Boswell became a popular singing star in South Africa.[1]

In 1949, she was heard by bandleader Geraldo (Gerald Bright), who persuaded her to return to Britain as a singer in his band, which was widely heard on BBC Radio.[1] Boswell was the singing voice of Vera-Ellen in the 1951 British film Happy Go Lovely. She parted with Geraldo in 1951, and launched a solo career.[1] Her first hit record came the following year with "Sugar Bush", partly sung in Afrikaans.[1] Starting in March 1952, she toured for several months with comedian Derek Roy in a musical revue "Happy-Go-Lucky", before flying to Korea to entertain the armed forces.[2] In 1953, she was with Harry Secombe in "Show of Shows" at Blackpool Opera House.[3] She was given her own radio show on the BBC's Light programme called "Time to Dream" in October, 1953,[4] and she appeared in the 1953 Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum.[1] Boswell played alongside Tommy Cooper in "Happy and Glorious" and later with him in pantomime in 1954 in "Humpty Dumpty" at the Dudley Hippodrome.[5]

Her major chart hit came with "Pickin' a Chicken", a South African tune with new words,[1] which rose to No. 9 on the UK Singles Chart[6] at the start of 1956. Her first LP, Sugar and Spice, on which she sang 10 songs in nine different languages, followed later in the year.[1] A continuous programme of radio and TV work[7] and tours followed, leading to more than one mental breakdown. She faded from public view as public tastes for pop music changed through the late 1950s and 1960s.[1] Her husband died in 1970, and she opened her own singing studio in London called “Studio 9” in 1974.[8] Some years she later she returned to South Africa, where she married the radio producer Henry Holloway, who produced her last LP, It's a Breeze, made in 1979.[9]



  • 1956 Sugar and Spice (Parlophone)
  • 1957 Sentimental Eve (Parlophone, with the Reg Owen Orchestra)
  • 1958 The War Years (Capitol Records, with the Reg Owen Orchestra)
  • 1959 Following the Sun Around (Parlophone)
  • 1961 At the Mediterranean (South Africa) (Continental Records)
  • 1962 Goeie Nuus! Good News (South Africa) (Brigadiers)
  • 1976 Sugar Bush '76 (EMI Records)
  • 1979 It's a Breeze (Sugarbush Records)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 46. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ "Daily Herald". Daily Herald: 7. 25 November 1952.
  3. ^ "The Stage". The Stage: 35. 20 August 1998.
  4. ^ "Daily Herald". Daily Herald: 6. 2 October 1953.
  5. ^ "Birmingham Daily Post". Birmingham Daily Post: 10. 24 December 1954.
  6. ^ "EVE BOSWELL | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Internet Movie Database". imdb.com. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  8. ^ "The Stage". The Stage: 17. 22 August 1974.
  9. ^ "Discogs.com". Discogs.com. Retrieved 5 March 2022.