Personalities | Helen Humes | Forties | Jazz & Blues

(Vocals, 1909–81)

Helen Elizabeth Humes was born in Louisville, Kentucky and made her recording debut for OKeh in 1927. She spent 1938–41 in the Count Basie Orchestra, singing mostly ballads. She moved to California in 1945 and recorded for many different labels while working as a solo artist. She had solid hits with ‘Be Baba Leba’ in 1945 and ‘Million Dollar Secret’ in 1950. A versatile singer, Humes had a sweet voice and could adapt to almost any material. She returned to her music in the 1970s after a 10-year absence, and remained active until her death.

Styles & Forms | Forties | Jazz & Blues
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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