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Helen Ward

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Biography

One of the finest vocalists of the swing era, Helen Ward possessed a very appealing sound and was always swinging. Although she originally retired quite early and at the peak of her fame, fortunately she returned to music many times in later years. Ward took piano lessons while quite young and was singing as a teenager. She performed on radio station WOR in New York in 1933, became a regular at NBC, and was hired as Benny Goodman's singer for the Let's Dance radio show in 1934. For the next two years, Ward was a regular attraction with Goodman's Orchestra, staying with BG as he became the most successful bandleader in the world. Ward recorded frequently with Goodman; "Goody Goody" was her hit and other classic recordings include "It's Been So Long," "All My Life," "Too Good to Be True," "These Foolish Things," and "You Turned the Tables on Me." Unlike with many other female band singers, her vocals did not slow down the music's momentum. After marrying Albert Marx in late 1936, Helen Ward retired from active performing at the age of just 20, although she continued recording on a fairly regular basis including with Teddy Wilson and Joe Sullivan, and the big bands of Gene Krupa, Bob Crosby (1939), and Harry James. Ward became more active in the early '40s but never gained back her previous fame. She worked with Hal McIntyre, Red Norvo, Wild Bill Davison (1952), Benny Goodman (an ill-fated 1953 tour), and Peanuts Hucko (1956-1957) plus other swing-era players. After spending a long period out of music, Helen Ward became active for a time (starting in the late '70s) and recorded a new album in 1979, The Helen Ward Songbook, Vol. 1 (Lyricon); there never was a Vol. 2. ~ Scott Yanow

Top Songs

Born:

19 September 1916 in New York, NY

Genre
Years Active:

'30s, '40s

Influenced by this Artist

Contemporaries