Annette HanshawView in iTunes
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One of the first great female jazz singers, in the late '20s Annette Hanshaw ranked near the top with Ethel Waters, the Boswell Sisters, and the upcoming Mildred Bailey. Unlike her contemporary Ruth Etting, Hanshaw could improvise and swing while also being a strong interpreter of lyrics. She was not quite 16 when she started her recording career, and her recordings (1926-1934) included such major jazz players as Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Jimmy Lytell, Adrian Rollini, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Vic Berton, Benny Goodman, Manny Klein, Phil Napoleon, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, and Jack Teagarden. Billed as "the Personality Girl," Annette Hanshaw (whose trademark was saying, "That's all" at the end of her record) soon got tired of show business and retired in 1934, at the age of 24. She lived outside of music for the rest of her life, but fortunately most of her records were reissued on British LPs in the 1970s and '80s. ~ Scott Yanow