Ginny Simms

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Ginny Simms
Ginny Simms.jpg
Simms, c. 1943
Background information
Birth nameVirginia Ellen Simms
Also known asVirginia E. Eastvold
Born(1913-05-13)May 13, 1913
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
DiedApril 4, 1994(1994-04-04) (aged 80)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, film actress
Years active1932-1951
  • Brunswick
  • Vocalion
  • Okeh
  • Columbia
  • Sonora
Associated actsKay Kyser Orchestra

Virginia Ellen Simms[1] (May 13, 1913[note 1] – April 4, 1994) was an American popular singer and film actress.

Simms sang with big bands and labeled with Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, and others. She also worked as an MGM and Universal film actress and appeared in 11 movies from 1939 to 1951, when she retired.

Early life[edit]

Born Simms or Sims[5][6] in San Antonio, Texas, Simms attended Fresno High School[7] and Fresno State Teachers College, where she studied piano.[8] She originally considered studying to become a concert pianist but enrolled instead at Fresno State Teachers College. While there, she began performing in campus productions, singing with sorority sisters and even forming a popular campus vocal trio.[1] Shortly afterward, she struck out on her own to establish a solo singing career, and by 1932 she had her own program on a local radio station.[9]



In 1932, she became band vocalist for the Tom Gerun band in San Francisco, working together with other vocalists, including a young Tony Martin and Woody Herman.[1] In 1934, she joined the Kay Kyser Orchestra, where she received her first national exposure, appearing on radio shows with Kyser.[1][9] She also made three movies with Kyser: That's Right—You're Wrong (1939) with Lucille Ball; You'll Find Out (1940) with Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff; and Playmates (1941) with John Barrymore and Lupe Vélez. On April 6, 1941, Simms and Kyser also co-starred in Niagara to Reno (described as "an original comedy") on CBS radio's Silver Theater.[10] She nearly married Kyser but left his orchestra in September 1941 to do her own radio show.[9]


She starred in several more movies, including: Here We Go Again (1942) as Jean Gildersleeve, with Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, and Jim Jordan & Marian Jordan (from Fibber McGee & Molly); Hit the Ice (1943) as Marcia Manning, with Abbott & Costello; Broadway Rhythm (1944) as Helen Hoyt, with George Murphy; and Cole Porter’s Night and Day (1946) as Carole Hill, with Cary Grant and Alexis Smith.[11]


In 1951, Simms hosted a local television show on KTTV, channel 11, in Los Angeles which featured dance bands and talent from army, navy, marine, and air force bases around Southern California.

Humanitarian work[edit]

Like many stars, Simms was active in entertaining troops during World War II. After the war ended, she continued to help servicemen. In 1947, a radio station's newsletter noted: "[N]ow she is helping provide new homes for them. Ginny is sponsoring the construction of 450 homes for vets in Los Angeles."[12]


On June 5, 1993, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Simms was married three times, first (July 28, 1945 to March 1951) to Hyatt Hotels founder Hyatt von Dehn, with whom she had two sons: David (born in July 1946)[14] and Conrad (born December 27, 1949).[8] Her second marriage (June 27, 1951 to June, 1953) was to Bob Calhoun, and her third to former attorney general of the U.S. state of Washington Don Eastvold from June 22, 1962, until her death, by which time she had also become known as Virginia E. Eastvold.[15]


She died as the result of a heart attack in Palm Springs on April 4, 1994,[8] aged 80, and is interred in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[15] She was survived by her husband, Donald Eastvold Sr.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1939 That's Right - You're Wrong Herself
1940 You'll Find Out Herself
1941 Playmates Herself
1942 Here We Go Again Jean Gildersleeve
1942 Seven Days' Leave Herself
1943 Hit The Ice Marcia Manning
1944 G.I. Journal[16] Herself Short
1944 Broadway Rhythm Helen Hoyt
1945 Shady Lady Leonora Lee Appleby
1946 Night and Day Carole Hill
1951 Disk Jockey[17] Vickie Peters (final film role)

Selected discography[edit]

Simms recorded extensively—from June 17, 1935 until July 2, 1947, then again in mid-1953 and finally in December 7 & 9, 1960—for several labels, including: ARA (American Recording Artists),[18] Brunswick, Capitol Custom,[19] Columbia, Conqueror,[20] Okeh, Regal Zonophone, Royale,[21] Sonora,[22] Star-Tone,[23] TOPS,[24] Venise,[25] Vocalion, and V-Disc.

Some of these recordings have been re-released on the following CDs:[26]

  • Ginny Simms: Love Is Here To Stay (1997)
  • Ginny Simms: V-Disc Recordings CD (1998)
  • Gorgeous Ginny Simms (1999)
  • Night and Day (1999) (Soundtrack of the 1946 film Night and Day)
  • Ginny Simms: I'd Like To Set You To Music (2001)
  • Simple & Sweet: The Best Of Ginny Simms (2005)
  • Ginny Simms: One More Dream (2006)
  • All Right With Me! - 30 Years Of Cole Porter Magic With The Girls! (2010) - Simms sings two Porter songs: "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and "Easy To Love"
  • On The Air With Ginny Simms (2011)
  • The Sentimental Stylings of Ginny Simms (2012)


  1. ^ Other sources say May 25, 1911,[1][2] May 25, 1914,[3] or May 25, 1915.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sleeve notes from Ginny Simms – I'd Like To Set You To Music, Jasmine JASCD 118, 2001.
  2. ^ Sleeve notes from One More Dream, Flare Records ROYCD 238, 2006.
  3. ^ Ginny Simms biography Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. ^ Sleeve notes from On The Air With Ginny Simms, Submarine Records DSOY 858, 2011.
  5. ^ Adrian Room (1981). Naming Names: Stories of Pseudonyms and Name Changes, with a Who's Who. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7100-0920-3.
  6. ^ Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 150.
  7. ^ "The Cover Girl" (PDF). Radio Life. September 1, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d Oliver, Myrna (April 6, 1994). "Ginny Simms; Singer, Radio Personality" (1994). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Sleeve notes from Simple & Sweet: The Best Of Ginny Simms, Collectables COL-CD-7590, 2005.
  10. ^ "3 Programs Join The Spring Dial; Several Programs Revised". The Lincoln Star. April 6, 1941. p. 40. Retrieved March 31, 2015 – via open access
  11. ^ Sleeve notes from Night and Day, Soundtrack Factory SFCD-33529, 1999.
  12. ^ Young, Kathryn (January 1947). "C.B.S. Notes" (PDF) (22). WIBW Roundup. p. 12. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  13. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  14. ^ "Ginny Simms Returns to WHP Sept. 20; Danny Thomas Is First Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. September 14, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved April 22, 2015 – via open access
  15. ^ a b Palm Springs Cemetery District, "Interments of Interest"
  16. ^ G.I. Journal. Page at the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) website. Retrieved on 26 May 2016
  17. ^ Disc Jockey. Page at the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) website. Retrieved on 26 May 2016
  18. ^ "American Recording Artists (2) discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Capitol Custom discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "Conqueror discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Royale discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Campbell, Robert L. (May 18, 2016). "The Sonora Label". The Red Saunders Research Foundation. Retrieved May 26, 2016. The Sonora 3000 Pop Series: 1947 & The Sonora 1000 Series: Albums from 1947.
  23. ^ "Star-Tone discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "The career of Ginny Simms discography". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Venise discography". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  26. ^ Ginny Simms discography at cduniverse. Retrieved 26 May 2016.

External links[edit]