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Nothing Was Sweeter Than the Boswell Sisters

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Album Review

No doubt there are (and will in the future be) more comprehensively annotated and attractively packaged compilations of 1930s Boswell Sisters sides than this one, which has just a few skimpy paragraphs of liner notes. But if you want a lot of the Boswell Sisters in their prime in one place, it's a good deal, containing 25 tracks and 77 minutes of music from 1930-1934. To many modern listeners, they'll sound as much like a vocal pop group as a jazz one, often singing in the vaudeville/early Tin Pan Alley style associated with early film musicals, though with some definite jazzy influence. Still, the impeccable harmonies are impressive (and an obvious heavy inspiration to the Andrews Sisters), and there is jazz swing to the arrangements, with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra backing them on ten of the tracks. Not all of their hit records are here, but some of their biggest smashes are present, including "Dinah," "I Found a Million Dollar Baby," "It's the Girl," and "The Object of My Affection."


Formed: 1925 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '20s, '30s

Definitely the most talented and arguably the all-around best jazz vocal group of all time, the Boswell Sisters parlayed their New Orleans upbringing into a swinging delivery that featured not only impossibly close harmonies, but countless maneuvers of vocal gymnastics rarely equalled on record. Connee (sometimes Connie), Helvetia (Vet), and Martha Boswell grew up singing together, soaking up Southern gospel and blues through close contact with the black community. They first performed at vaudeville...
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