Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Singer Bea Wain

The great Bea Wain, a wonderful singer, died on August 19th.  She was 100 years old

Ms. Wain reached the height of her fame during the big band years. She was, in the 1930s and 1940s, one of the country's most popular singers.  

In the late 1930s she recorded a number of very big hits with Larry Clinton's orchestra, including "Deep Purple," and "My Reverie."  

Bea Wain, with Larry Clinton's Orchestra, 1939 short film

She starred on the radio show Your Hit Parade, during two periods--from 1939 until 1941, and then again from 1943 until 1944 (as noted in John R. Williams's 1973 book This Was Your Hit Parade).

She was married to the legendary radio and television announcer Andre Baruch, who for years was the announcer on the Hit Parade (for both the television and radio versions).  

I had the great pleasure, and honor, of meeting Ms. Wain and Mr. Baruch in 1981, during a trip I made to California. Mr. Baruch died in 1991. 

Here is Ms. Wain, singing "Heart and Soul" with Larry Clinton's band, from a 1939 short film featuring the orchestra.  The record Wain and Clinton's orchestra made of the song was released in 1938.

Here, too, is an obituary from The New York Times; videos of Ms. Wain (including the one above) are featured as part of the story.