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Beryl Davis

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Big-band singer Beryl Davis was born in England; the daughter of bandleader Harry Davis, she spent her formative years on tour with her father's orchestra, eventually becoming the act's featured vocalist. Subsequently touring Europe with Stéphane Grappelli, George Shearing, and Ted Heath, in 1944 Davis was recruited to join Glenn Miller's Army Air Force Orchestra, and after Miller's death also performed for the troops with Johnny Desmond and the Crew Chiefs. Spotted by Bob Hope, she made her Hollywood debut on his show, next spending a year singing alongside Frank Sinatra on Your Hit Parade; tenures with Benny Goodman, Vaughn Monroe, and David Rose followed, and in 1954 Davis joined with Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming, and Connie Haines to form a popular gospel quartet that scored a series of hits, including "Do Lord." She continued carrying the big-band torch in the decades to follow, performing with Mel Tormé, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, and the Kay Kyser Band in addition to touring in A Salute to Glenn Miller. Davis died in October of 2011 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 87. ~ Jason Ankeny

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16 March 1924 in Plymouth, England

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s