Rose Murphy

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Rose Murphy
Born (1913-04-28)April 28, 1913
Xenia, Ohio, U.S.
Died November 16, 1989(1989-11-16) (aged 76)
New York City
Genres Vocal jazz
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1930s–1980s

Rose Murphy (April 28, 1913 - November 16, 1989) was an American singer famous for the song "Busy Line". [1]

Music career[edit]

Described by Allmusic 's Scott Yanow as having "a unique place in music history",[2] Murphy was known as "the chee chee girl" because of her habit of singing "chee chee" in many of her numbers.[2] She was also known as "the Girl with the Pale Pink Voice."

She began her musical career in the late 1930s, playing intermission piano for such performers as Count Basie, and became popular in the US and UK in the late 1940s.[1] She is best known for her high-pitched singing style, which incorporated scat singing, giggling, and percussive sound effects.[2] "Busy Line", one of her most well known songs, made use of perhaps her most famous vocal sound effect: the 'brrp, brrrp' of a telephone ring. A version of the song was later used in 1990 by British Telecom in a television commercial, which was such a success that RCA reissued the original recording.[1] Princess Margaret became a fan after "Busy Line" became a hit in England. She attended Murphy's concerts in London and imitated her while playing the piano and singing "Busy Line" at parties.

From the 1950s–1980s, Murphy continued to play at "many of the top clubs of New York, like the Cookery, Michael's Pub, Upstairs At the Downstairs", and was "usually accompanied by bassist Slam Stewart or Morris Edwards." These were interspersed with engagements in London and tours of the Continent. During a two-week engagement at Hollywood Roosevelt's Cinegrill in June 1989, she became ill and returned to New York City. She died in New York aged 76 on November 16, 1989, and, though married four times, left no direct descendants.[1] Her final marriage, from 1950 to 1977, was to Eddie Matthews,[3] a businessman who, from 1928 to 1933, had been married to Ethel Waters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Brethour, Ross, sleevenotes to Busy Line, a Rose Murphy best of compilation, Body and Soul, BS2418, 2003
  2. ^ a b c Rose Murphy at AllMusic
  3. ^ Rose Murphy is Back With That Old Chee‐Chee," by John S. Wilson, New York Times, August 3, 1979