Marlene Pampinella, 11 November 1933, Newark, New Jersey, USA. She began singing at the age of 19, having previously considered a career in journalism. Her first important engagement was with the big band of Tex Beneke. She later joined Charlie Spivak where she met trombonist-arranger J. Billy VerPlanck (b. 30 April 1930, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA). Later, the couple met again, this time in the Tommy Dorsey band, and shortly afterwards were married. In the early 60s the VerPlancks worked in radio in New York. During this period VerPlanck sang backing vocals with many major artists, including Frank Sinatra, but throughout the decade and into the 70s the bulk of her work comprised singing jingles for countless commercials. However, she also began to sing in some of the citys best-known jazz clubs and attracted the attention not only of discerning audiences but also of composers such as Loonis McGlohon and Alec Wilder. An outstanding singer of...