Frances Wayne

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Frances Wayne (August 26, 1924 – February 6, 1978), born Clara Bertocci, was an American jazz vocalist.

Wayne was born in Boston and moved to New York City in her teens, where she sang in an ensemble led by her brother, saxophonist Nick Jerret.[1] A 1942 review in Billboard magazine described her as "a striking brunette with a true contralto, perfect rhythm, and, most interesting, a brand-new style...of deep understanding and feeling for the spirit of what she sings."[2]

Early in the 1940s, she recorded with Charlie Barnet's big band, and in 1943 sang with Woody Herman's band. In 1944 she married Neal Hefti,[3] who played trumpet and arranged material for Herman. Hefti formed his own big band in 1947, and Wayne soloed in this ensemble as well. She sang with Hefti into the 1950s, and later sang with smaller ensembles, which featured Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Jerome Richardson, Richie Kamuca, John LaPorta, Billy Bauer, and Al Cohn.


  • That Old Black Magic, with the Charlie Barnet Orchestra (Decca, 1943)[4]
  • The Music Stopped, with the Woody Herman Orchestra (Decca, 1944)[5]
  • Frances Wayne, (Coral, 1954)
  • Songs for My Man, with the Neal Hefti Orchestra, (Epic, 1956)
  • The Warm Sound of Frances Wayne, (Atlantic, 1957)


  1. ^ Frances Wayne at Allmusic
  2. ^ Carter (April 4, 1942). "On the Stand: Nick Jerret" (PDF). Billboard. p. 21. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Simon, George T. (1981). Simon Says, 4th Edition. Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-872430-5 P. 36.
  4. ^ Orodenker, M.H. (January 30, 1943). "On the Records: Charlie Barnet" (PDF). Billboard. p. 22. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Music Popularity Chart" (PDF). Billboard. April 22, 1944. p. 17. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 

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