Helen Ward (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Helen Ward
Born September 19, 1913[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 21, 1998 (aged 84)
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Genres jazz, swing

Helen Ward (September 19, 1913 in New York City – April 21, 1998 in Arlington, Virginia)[1] was an American singer. Her father had taught her piano, and she appeared on radio broadcasts with WOR and WNYC. She also worked as a staff musician at WNYC.

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 and left the band.[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.[2]

Later years[edit]

After her marriage to Marx ended, Ward later married the audio engineer William Savory. Savory was part of the team that invented the 33⅓ rpm long-playing record.[3] 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.


With Benny Goodman


  1. ^ a b US Social Security Death Index. Retrieved 8 November 2013
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats" New YorkTimes.com - accessed August 17, 2010

External links[edit]