Regular listeners to Cladrite Radio know we’re big fans of Mildred Bailey. She’s perhaps not as well remembered today as some of her contemporaries, but fans of the music of the 1920s and ’30s know her well, and her versatile vocal stylings clearly proved an inspiration to songbirds who followed her, including Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
Bailey was married three times—her third husband, who proved to be a charm only professionally, was vibraphonist Red Norvo. Though their marriage didn’t last, the two recorded together from the mid-’30s through 1945. Bailey, who had health issues throughout her adult life, struggling with weight gain and diabetes, died far too young—at age 44—in 1951.
Read to the end of this profile, first published in 1935, and you’ll find a couple of our favorites Mildred Bailey recordings for your consideration. We’re confident that, if you’re not already a fan, you will be after hearing these recordings..
What a career Bing Crosby had. Is there anyone in popular culture who got his start in the 1920s who is as well remembered today as Der Bingle?
Perhaps Louis Armstrong.
Many folks 55 years old and younger will recall only the more sedate, older Bing, he of the briarwood pipes, stingy-brimmed fedoras, and cardigan sweaters.
But in his early years, Bing was like Elvis Presley—a white man singing music inspired and influenced by the music of the African-American community.
He also was something of a wild man off-stage, as he is said to have had, in those days, a penchant for going on alcohol-fueled tears.
By the time this profile was published in December 1935, Bing was long since a huge star, having conquered vaudeville, recordings, radio and movies. He had much great success still to come, but it’s interesting to consider this early look back at his rise to stardom.