The Boswell Sisters
|Tags:||jazz female vocalists 1930s big band 1920s 30s|
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The Boswell Sisters were Connee Boswell (3 December 1907, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 11 October 1976), Martha (b. 9 July 1905, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 1958) and Helvetia, known as Vet (b. 20 May 1911, d. 12 November 1988). Born into a white middle-class family and raised in New Orleans, the sisters broke with convention by developing a close interest in black music and forming themselves into a vocal group. Among the first white female groups to sing in this manner, their extensive musical skills, which derived from childhood lessons, ensured that what they did was free of gimmickry. Martha played piano, Helvetia played banjo, guitar and violin, while Connee was remarkably multi-instrumental.
While in their early teenage years, the sisters began working on radio and, concurrently with Bing Crosby, quickly discovered the confidential style of singing made possible by intelligent use of microphones. The sisters early exposure...