Big band era singer from the 1930's and 1940's, Dolly Dawn, leader
of "Dolly Dawn and Her Dawn Patrol" has died in Engelwood
New Jersey on December 18. She was 86.
Composer and bandleader Ray Conniff died on October 12 after falling
down and hitting his head. Conniff was famous for many easy listening
recordings from the 50's and 60's including "Somewhere My Love."
Ray began his career with the Bunny Berigan Orchestra. He was 85.
Actor/Comedian Buddy Lester who appeared in the Rat Pack movies "Ocean's
11" and "Seargents 3" and several Jerry Lewis movies
died on October 4 of cancer. He was 86.
Big band jazz leader Lionel Hampton died on August 31 at the age of
94. In 1936, Lionel played the vibraphone with the Benny Goodman Quartet
which also included pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Gene Krupa.
Jazz harpist Daphne Hellman, unique in her field, who's career began
in the 1940's died on Sunday, August 4th at a nursing home in Manhattan at
the age of 86. She was recuperating from injuries suffered in a fall
the month before. Daphne studied the harp with such experts as Mildred
Dilling, Henrietta Renie and Carlos Salzedo. She also studied with
Lovilla Tullos, of the Cab Callaway band, learning the technique of
swing on the harp. Among her many engagements in the New York area
was the Ritz Room of the Carlton House (Madison Avenue at 61st Street)
during the early 50's.
Farewell to singer Rosemary Clooney who died from lung cancer on June
29th at the age of 74. Rosemary began her career singing for Tony
Pastor's Orchestra along with her sister Betty. She later appeared
in films and television variety-shows but will mostly be remembered
as a wonderful singer who continued singing popular standards until
the end of her life.
Gray passed away in her Manhattan apartment on June
26 at the age of 78 from a heart attack. Ms. Gray was a popular nightclub
performer, recording star, stage actress, and appeared in the films
'Kismet" and "The Opposite Sex" among others. She first
achieved acclaim as the star in "Annie Get Your Gun", a
role she played for three years in England. She was hailed by the
critic of the London Daily Herald as "the greatest leading lady
of the musical plays ever seen in London."