Connee Boswell

Genres: Vocals
Decades Active: 1950s 1990s 2000s

Biography

3 December 1907, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 11 October 1976, New York City, New York, USA. An outstanding singer with enormous but often uncredited influence, Boswell claimed to have been inspired by singers as diverse as Bessie Smith and Enrico Caruso. According to outside sources, Connee and her sisters, Martha and Helvetia, were both influenced and encouraged by the New Orleans cornetist Emmett Hardy. In her work it is possible also to discern the effect of the stylistic advances being made by Ethel Waters and Louis Armstrong. Certainly, she was interested in the blues and when she made her first record as a pre-teenager she sang a blues written by Martha. The sisters formed a close-harmony singing group, the Boswell Sisters, but Connee’s career extended far beyond this.

Despite being in a wheelchair since contracting polio at the age of four, she grew up to be a determined, talented performer, carving a highly successful solo...

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