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(1913-05-25)May 25, 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
Labels
  • Brunswick
  • Vocalion
  • Okeh
  • Columbia
  • Sonora
Websiteginnysimms.com

Virginia Ellen Simms[1] (May 25, 1913 [note 1] – April 4, 1994) was an American popular singer and film actress.

Simms sang with big bands and with Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, among 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]

Simms was born in San Antonio, Texas.[3][4] Her family moved to California, where she attended Fresno High School[5] and Fresno State Teachers College, where she studied piano.[6] While there, she began performing in campus productions, singing with sorority sisters and forming a popular campus vocal trio.[1] Shortly afterward, she sought a singing career, and by 1932 she had her own program on a local radio station.[7]

Career[edit]

Radio[edit]

In 1932, Simms became the 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, with which she received her first national exposure appearing on radio shows with Kyser.[1][7]

Films[edit]

Simms appeared in three films with Kyser: That's Right—You're Wrong (1939), You'll Find Out (1940), and Playmates (1941).

On April 6, 1941, Simms and Kyser costarred in Niagara to Reno (described as "an original comedy") on CBS radio's Silver Theater.[8] She nearly married Kyser but left his orchestra in September 1941 for her own radio show.[7]

She starred in several more films, including Here We Go Again (1942), Hit the Ice (1943), Broadway Rhythm (1944) and the sanitized Cole Porter biopic Night and Day (1946).[9]

Television[edit]

In 1951, Simms hosted a local television show on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles that featured dance bands and talent from military bases around Southern California.

Humanitarian work[edit]

Simms entertained troops during World War II, and after the war, 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."[10]

Awards[edit]

On June 5, 1993, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California Walk of Stars was dedicated to Simms.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Simms was married three times. Her first marriage (1945-1951) was to Hyatt Hotels founder Hyatt von Dehn, with whom she had two sons: David (born in July 1946)[12] and Conrad (born December 27, 1949).[6] Her second marriage (1951-1953) was to Bob Calhoun, and her third was to Republican former attorney general of Washington State Don Eastvold from June 22, 1962 until her death in 1994.[13]

Death[edit]

Simms died after suffering a heart attack in Palm Springs on April 4, 1994[6] at the age of 80. Her remains are interred at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[13] She was survived by her husband, Donald Eastvold Sr.[6]

Filmography[edit]

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 Herself Short
1944 Broadway Rhythm Helen Hoyt
1945 Shady Lady Leonora Lee Appleby
1946 Night and Day Carole Hill
1951 Disk Jockey 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), Brunswick, Capitol Custom, Columbia, Conqueror, Okeh, Regal Zonophone, Royale, Sonora,[14] Star-Tone, TOPS,[15] Venise, Vocalion and V-Disc.

Some of these recordings have been rereleased on CD:[16]

  • 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)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Social Security Death Index gives her date of birth as May 25, 1914.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sleeve notes from Ginny Simms – I'd Like To Set You To Music, Jasmine JASCD 118, 2001.
  2. ^ Ginny Simms biography; retrieved 26 May 2016.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 150.
  5. ^ "The Cover Girl" (PDF). Radio Life. September 1, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Oliver, Myrna (April 6, 1994). "Ginny Simms; Singer, Radio Personality". No. 1994. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Sleeve notes from Simple & Sweet: The Best Of Ginny Simms, Collectables COL-CD-7590, 2005.
  8. ^ "3 Programs Join The Spring Dial; Several Programs Revised". The Lincoln Star. April 6, 1941. p. 40. Retrieved March 31, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  9. ^ Sleeve notes from Night and Day, Soundtrack Factory SFCD-33529, 1999.
  10. ^ Young, Kathryn (January 1947). "C.B.S. Notes" (PDF). No. 22. WIBW Roundup. p. 12. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  12. ^ "Ginny Simms Returns to WHP Sept. 20; Danny Thomas Is First Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. September 14, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved April 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  13. ^ a b Palm Springs Cemetery District, "Interments of Interest"
  14. ^ Campbell, Robert L. (May 18, 2016). "The Sonora Label". myweb.clemson.edu. The Red Saunders Research Foundation. Retrieved May 26, 2016. The Sonora 3000 Pop Series: 1947 & The Sonora 1000 Series: Albums from 1947.
  15. ^ "The career of Ginny Simms discography". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  16. ^ Ginny Simms discography at cduniverse. Retrieved 26 May 2016.

External links[edit]