BigBands & BigNameshome
Tips On Tables
big band expert
Porkpies and Fedoras
Estate Planning Smarts
Purchase big band music Frank Sinatra Desi Arnaz Dean Martin Benny Goodman hildegarde

big band books
Click to purchase The Big Band Almanac, an indispensable quick guide for the big band enthusiast.


Hildegarde was born in Adell, Wisconsin and raised in New Holstein, Wisconsin. Her father, a merchant, played the drums and fiddle and her mother was an organist who directed the church choir. When hildegardeshe was twelve, the family moved to Milwaukee, where she and her two sisters participated in the school choir and orchestra. Her first desire was to be a concert pianist and she enrolled for awhile at the School of Music at Marquette University. However, circumstances prevented her from continuing, so she went on to find work in vaudeville.

After several years of this, Gus Edwards "discovered" Hildegarde and sent her across the country in a travelling show. Later she went to Paris where she gave her first command performance for King Gustov of Sweden in the Casanova, a Parisian Boite. She continued to appear in many famous rooms in London, Cannes, Brussels and at private concerts.

In the late 40's and through the 50's Hildegarde was considered by many to be the top dinner and supper club entertainer in America but it was in New York where she headquartered her performances.

Hildegarde's favorite prop was her handkerchiefs, of which she had a large collection of (even her table cards featured tiny hankies embedded in them). She sported stunning gowns by Fontana of Rome. Roses, long gloves and upswept hair were also personal signatures.

Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - November 27, 1953

Hildegarde Alters Act At Pierre

From Sept. 22 to Dec. 15 is a long run for any single entertainer engaged by a smart hotel. That's just what Hildegarde is doing in a return to the Cotillion Room of the Pierre.

Some high points of her opening night she has hildyretained. Others she has dropped. New touches she has inserted. It's fun to go back and see this editing being made on the basis of her audiences' judgment."

I must be more careful in the future when I say that Hildy plays a piano solo pleasantly. The word "pleasant" isn't sufficient praise for such a number as "Portrait of a Flirt," she intimates to her audiences and, on second hearing, I agree with her. It's most pleasant.

Catchy Addition.

Off and on since seeing and hearing Hildegarde again I keep humming a number called "Merrily, Merrily" with which she's wooing the customers in three quarter time. It's a right catchy addition to her all-time repertoire and should have long life.

She's doing a wonderful thing by featuring a beautiful Cole Porter that had the misfortune to be part of a musical that sputtered out after a short run. songstressThe name of the show was "Seven Lively Arts." The name of the song is "Every Time We Say Good-bye." I hope she records it. It then might win the popularity of a song like "Gypsy In My Soul," which came out of an excellent Pennsylvania Mask and Wig Show.

Giving roses away to customers has long been a Hildegarde standard. She plays the act with humor and lightness. Her ad libs sparkle. She gives the recipients a feeling of composure that makes each episode entertaining in it's own way.

Momentum Grows.

There is a definite building of momentum towards the finale when Hildegarde calls in the Cotillian Strings, new addition this season to Stanley Melba's orchestra. They join with Hildy's own quartet of musicians to provide background for lovely Viennese melodies and American favorites of long ago.

Hildegarde plays the piano and sings favorites like "I Don't Know Why" and "Lady Be Good" and ends by putting intense feeling into "Do I."

Yes, it's a long run and you can still catch her.

Hildegarde has the wildest penmanship I've ever seen. It doesn't just go left to right - but drops vertically at some points. That "E" at the end of her name really takes off. Her signature was her logo.



Andrews Sisters - Latin Quarter 1957
Desi Arnaz - w/Diosa Costello 1948
Count Basie - Lincoln 1943
Tony Bennett - Copacabana 1958
Milton Berle - Latin Quarter 1948
Joey Bishop - w/Andy Williams 1959
Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz Scarecrow, Empire Room 1956
Cab Calloway - Greenwich Inn 1949
Diahann Carroll - Persian Room 1961
Betty Clooney - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Nat King Cole - Copacabana 1958
Perry Como - Versailles 1944
Copacabana - famous night club restaurant is reviewed 1953
Crosby Brothers - Latin Quarter 1961
Xavier Cugat - Waldorf Astoria 1951
Vic Damone - Riviera 1953
Billy Daniels - Copacabana 1952
Sammy Davis Jr. - Copacabana 1959
Phyllis Diller - w/Bobby Short 1958
Nancy Donovan - Copacabana 1952
Jimmy Durante - Copacabana 1951
Billy Eckstine - Copacabana 1951
Duke Ellington - Basin St. East 1961
Eddie Fisher - Empire Room 1959
Judy Garland -Town & Country 1958
Jackie Gleason - La Vie en Rose 1953
Benny Goodman - Empire Room 1956
Dolores Gray - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Buddy Hackett - Copacabana 1956
Connie Haines - Terrace Room 1951
Dick Haymes - Versailles 1956
Horace Heidt - 30th Anniversary 1954
Florence Henderson w/Bill Hayes 1958
Hildegarde - Pierre 1953
Celeste Holm - Plaza 1958
Eddy Howard - Roosevelt 1955
Burl Ives w/Wally Cox - Persian Room
Lisa Kirk - Persion Room 1958
Frankie Laine - Latin Quarter 1955
Julius La Rosa - Romanian 1958
Peggy Lee - Copacabana 1958
Jerry Lewis - Town & Country 1957
Joe E. Lewis - Copacabana 1945
Ted Lewis - Latin Quarter 1953
Liberace - Persian Room 1947
Guy Lombardo - Roosevelt 1957
Vincent Lopez - Grill Room 1954
Tony Martin - Riviera 1953
Martin and Lewis - Copacabana 1950
Ray McKinley - Glenn Miller Band 1957
Mills Brothers - Latin Quarter 1956
Vaughn Monroe - Astor 1955
Constance Moore - St. Regis 1958
Johnnie Ray - Copacabana 1953
Rowan & Martin - Latin Quarter 1961
Della Reese - Copacabana 1961
Sugar Ray Robinson - French Casino
Dorothy Shay - St. Regis 1961
Frank Sinatra - Wedgewood 1943
Danny Thomas - Copacabana 1949
Sophie Tucker - Latin Quarter 1950
Mae West - Latin Quarter 1956
Julie Wilson - Persian Room 1954
Dean Martin - thoughts on Mr. Sauve
Peter Lawford - retrospective
Rise & Fall of the big bands
K Baggelaar- Copacabana author
Don Dellair - cabaret performer
Denny Farrell - big band disc jockey
Hal Turner - Performer/Conductor
B Zickafoose - played in WWII Europe
Bernie Bierman bio
Sammy Kaye - Roosevelt 1957
Dinah Shore - press release and autograph from the 50's
A Letter about a WWII song
Harbers & Dale - Dance Team
Message Board
Search Site
My Pets




Tips on Tables

© 2003 - Craig's Big Band, Nightclub and Restaurant Collection VAu605-593