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Helen Humes
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (June 23, 1913-September 9, 1981)
    Born in Louisville, Kentucky
    Jazz and blues singer
    Performed with the big bands of Harry James (1937-38) and Count Basie (1938-41)
    Recorded the singles 'Be-Baba-Leba' (1945), 'Rock Me To Sleep' (1950) and 'Million Dollar Secret' (1950)
    She was fired from Basie's band at the insistence of his wife, who had found out about her and Basie's affair.
    She had a squeally, little girl voice, so on 'Million Dollar Secret,' recorded when she was 37, she could convincingly chirp, 'I've got a man whose 78 and I'm just 13.'
    She returned home to Louisville in 1967 and retired from music, claiming that for the next several years she did not sing a note, 'never even hummed.'
    She began recording at age 13.
    She was successful with both jazz ballads and R&B shouters.
    She made a comeback at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival and kept performing until shortly before her death.

Credit: C. Fishel

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