Thursday, July 14, 2011
FORGOTTEN ONES: ANNETTE HANSHAW
For many years it was believed that Annette had been born in 1910 and began her recording career shortly before her 16th birthday. However, it has recently come to light that she was in fact born nine years earlier, making her 24 at the time of her first commercial recording in September 1926. Her nephew, Frank W. Hanshaw III, has confirmed 1901 as the date on her birth certificate.
Her singing style was relaxed and suited to the new jazz-influenced pop music of the late 1920s. Although she had a low opinion of her own singing, she continued to have fans because she combined the voice of an ingenue with the spirit of a flapper. Hanshaw was known as "The Personality Girl," and her trademark was saying "That's all," in a cheery voice at the end of many of her records.
Hanshaw made her one and only appearance on film in the 1933 Paramount short Captain Henry's Radio Show, "a picturization" of the popular Thursday evening radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, in which she starred from 1932 to 1934.
Having grown tired of show business, in the late 1930s Hanshaw retired and settled into married life with her husband, Pathé Records executive Herman "Wally" Rose. Later in life, in a would-be comeback, she recorded two demo records, but they were never released. In the mid 1970s, she gave a few radio interviews where she admitted that she hated the recordings she made for the most part. She died of cancer in 1985 at New York Hospital after a long illness; she was living in Manhattan at that time.