Helen Ward
Born(1913-09-19)September 19, 1913
New York City, U.S.
DiedApril 21, 1998(1998-04-21) (aged 84)
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Singer
Associated actsBenny Goodman

Helen Ward (September 19, 1913 – April 21, 1998) was an American jazz singer. She appeared on radio broadcasts with WOR and WNYC and worked as a staff musician at WNYC.

Early years

Ward came from a musical family and was a native of New York City. As a high school student, she sang with bands, including the one led by Eddy Duchin.[1]

Career

Ward began singing with Benny Goodman in 1934, when she already had two years' professional singing experience. Billy Rose heard her audition for Goodman and booked the combination for the Let's Dance radio program.[2]

Ward was married to Alfred Marx, who in 1938 arranged for Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert to be recorded for her as a souvenir. That recording was released as a dual LP set[2] by Columbia Records in 1950 under the title The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert.

During the 1940s, Ward worked with the bands of Hal McIntyre and Harry James. She became a radio show producer for WMGM in 1946-1947.[3]

After her marriage to Marx ended, Ward later married the audio engineer William Savory. Savory was part of the team that invented the LP.[4] Ward continued to do sporadic studio work and also worked briefly with Peanuts Hucko. Ward did occasional tours with Goodman in the 1950s, but effectively retired by 1960. She made a brief return in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She returned to singing at New York City clubs in 1979. In 1981, she released her final album, The Helen Ward Song Book Vol. I.

In addition to Marx and Savory, Ward was married to Daniel Murphy and Walter Newton.[1]

Discography

  • It's Been So Long (Columbia, 1953)
  • With a Little Bit of Swing with Peanuts Hucko (RCA Victor, 1958)
  • The Queen of Big Band Swing (ASV/Living Era, 1998)
  • The Complete Helen Ward on Columbia (Collector's Choice, 2000)

With Benny Goodman

  • 1960 Swing, Swing, Swing
  • 1987 Sing, Sing, Sing (Bluebird)
  • 1992 Stompin' at the Savoy (Bluebird)
  • 1994 Don't Be That Way
  • 1995 Benny Goodman and His Great Vocalists
  • 1997 The Complete RCA Victor Small Group Recordings (RCA Victor, 1935–39)

With Teddy Wilson

  • 1994 His Piano and His Orchestra (ASV/Living Era)
  • 1996 1939–1941
  • 1997 1942–1945

With others

References

  1. ^ a b Barnes, Bart (May 5, 1998). "Big-band vocalist Helen Ward dies at 81". The Washington Post. D.C., Washington. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Voce, Steve (May 7, 1998). "Obituary: Helen Ward". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  3. ^ Jon Pareles (30 April 1998). "Helen Ward...Who Sang Hits With Goodman's Band in the 30's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  4. ^ "Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats" New YorkTimes.com - accessed August 17, 2010

External links