TONI ARDEN: Vic Damone called her "The greatest girl singer in the world." Frank Sinatra called her "A singer's singer." Often described as "a little girl with a big voice," Toni Arden, born Antoinette Ardizonne, has enjoyed a long and productive career of recording and performing which began when she was 15 years old and has continued into the 21st century. These recordings are solo and duet performances from the early 1950s Bing Crosby radio show and recordings made with Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra.
EILEEN BARTON: Eileen Barton's parents (Elsie and Ben) were a vaudeville dance team and at the age of four she joined the family act. In the 1930s, she was a featured child performer with stars Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallee, and Milton Berle. By the early 1940s, she appeared on radio with Frank Sinatra and made occasional appearances with Milton Berle on the "Let Yourself Go" radio program in 1945. She also put in singing appearances at nightclubs in New York and other locations in the Northeast. In late 1949, she found herself signed to the independent National label, a New York City based company specializing in Rhythm & Blues. The songs here are National recordings.
FONTANE SISTERS: The Fontane Sisters (Marge, Geri and Bea Rosse) grew up in New Milford, New Jersey. Their mother was choir leader and organist for their church, and brother Frank accompanied them on guitar when they formed a family act for vaudeville and radio appearances. After Frank died in WWII, the sisters performed on radio and made live appearances, first as "The Three Sisters" and then "The Fontane Sisters". Late in 1945, the sisters met Perry Como and began work on his radio show. They were also part of Como's cast when he began broadcasting on television on December 24, 1948, and remained until 1954. The Fontane Sisters recorded four sides for the independent Musicraft label in 1946 (the recordings here), but did record on a regular basis until signed to RCA in 1948. Between 1949 and 1952, they were featured on several Como RCA recordings, including the #1 hits "You're Adorable" and "Hoop-Dee-Doo". They also had chart success with their own RCA recordings, including "Tennessee Waltz", "Castle Rock", and "Cold, Cold Heart". Their greatest success as recording artists came when they left Como's TV show and were signed by Randy Wood's Dot Records in 1954.
JILL COREY with HARRY SOSNICK and HIS ORCHESTRA: Jill Corey (born Norma Jean Speranza) began imitating Carmen Miranda at family gatherings and on amateur shows in grade school (usually finishing last). At age 13 she got invited to have her own local radio program and by 14 she was working seven nights a week, earning $5 a night, with a local orchestra led by Johnny Murphy. She made a tape demo at the home of the only owner of a tape recorder in town, with trains going by in the background and no accompaniment. That tape came to the attention of Mitch Miller, who headed A&R at Columbia Records, who received 100 demos a week. And this one, by a 17-year-old girl with trains in the background, so impressed him that he telephoned her and the next morning she flew to New York to be heard in a more normal studio setting. Her stage name, "Jill Corey," was chosen out of a telephone book.