Barbara LeaView in iTunes
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An excellent singer who was associated with swing and Dixieland, Barbara Lea never broke through with the general public, but she recorded quite a few worthy albums. She sang with Detroit dance orchestras while in school, performed with the college jazz band (the Crimson Stompers) at Harvard, and worked on the East Coast in the 1950s. She recorded for Riverside (1955) and Prestige (1956-1957), using such sidemen as trumpeter Johnny Windhurst and pianists Billy Taylor and Dick Hyman. In the 1960s, Lea worked as a stage actress and taught. In the 1970s, she sang with Dick Sudhalter and Ed Polcer and recorded in the 1980s for Audiophile, including a tribute to her idol and influence, Lee Wiley. She continued to perform and record into the 21st century, and died of Alzheimer's disease in December 2011 at age 82. ~ Scott Yanow