Helen Ward (singer)

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Helen Ward
Born (1913-09-19)September 19, 1913
New York City
Died April 21, 1998(1998-04-21) (aged 84)
Arlington, Virginia
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Singer
Associated acts Benny Goodman

Helen Ward (September 19, 1913 – April 21, 1998) was an American jazz singer. She appeared on radio broadcasts with WOR and WNYC. She also worked as a staff musician at WNYC.

Career[edit]

Starting in 1934, she sang in Benny Goodman's first band, and became one of the first popular swing "girl singers", as they were then called, and among Goodman's most popular. According to the documentary "Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing" and Ross Firestone's book "Swing Swing Swing: The Life and Times of Benny Goodman," she and Benny had a brief romance and he proposed to her in Los Angeles in the summer of 1936. She accepted, but Goodman backed out a few months later, saying he wasn't ready for marriage and wanted to concentrate on his career. By December 1936, Ward had left the band. She married financier Albert Marx the following year.[citation needed]

In 1938, Marx arranged for Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert to be recorded for her as an anniversary present. That recording was later released as a dual LP set by Columbia Records in 1950.

During the 1940s, Ward worked with the bands of Hal McIntyre and Harry James. She became a radio show producer for WMGM in 1946-1947.[1]

After her marriage to Marx ended, Ward later married the audio engineer William Savory. Savory was part of the team that invented the LP.[2] Ward continued to do sporadic studio work and also worked briefly with Peanuts Hucko. Ward did occasional tours with Goodman in the 1950s, but effectively retired by 1960. She made a brief return in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She returned to singing at New York City clubs in 1979. In 1981, she released her final album, The Helen Ward Song Book Vol. I.

Discography[edit]

  • Helen Ward (Columbia, 1954)
  • It's Been So Long (Columbia, 1954)
  • With a Little Bit of Swing (BMG, 2007)
  • Helen Ward Songbook, Vol. 1 (Lyricon)
  • The Queen of Big Band Swing (Living Era, 1998)
  • The Complete Helen Ward on Columbia (2000)

With Benny Goodman

  • 1960 Swing, Swing, Swing
  • 1987 Sing, Sing, Sing (Bluebird)
  • 1992 Stompin' at the Savoy (Bluebird)
  • 1994 Don't Be That Way
  • 1995 Benny Goodman and His Great Vocalists
  • 1997 The Complete RCA Victor Small Group Recordings (RCA Victor, 1935–39)

With Teddy Wilson

  • 1994 His Piano and His Orchestra (ASV/Living Era)
  • 1996 1939–1941
  • 1997 1942–1945

With others

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jon Pareles (30 April 1998). "Helen Ward...Who Sang Hits With Goodman's Band in the 30's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats" New YorkTimes.com - accessed August 17, 2010
  3. ^ "Helen Ward | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 

External links[edit]