Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Since I just updated my favorite male singer list recently, I figured I better give the favorite female singers an update. There are so many great songbirds out there that have left their mark, but these are currently my five favorite...

5. ELLA FITZGERALD (1917-1996)
Ella Fitzgerald had a way with a song that no other vocalist, man or woman, had. She started out with Chick Webb and his band in the 1930s, but went out on her own after Webb died. She was with Decca Records in the 1940s, but I think my personal favorite era of her records in when she was with Verve and recorded those Great Songbook series in the 1950s and 1960s. 2013 ranking: 7

4. PEGGY LEE (1920-2002)
The smoky quality of Peggy Lee's voice always appealed to me. Peggy started out with Benny Goodman and his band in the early 1940s, and she became one of the truly great vocalists. She not only was a singer but an actress and songwriter as well. My person favorite recording of hers is "Where Can I Go Without You" on the Decca label. 2013 ranking: 11

3. CONNEE BOSWELL (1907-1976)
Even though she suffered from polio and was handicapped, Connee was one of the great voices of our times. She started out with her sisters, the Boswell Sisters, but went on her own in 1936 when her sisters got married and retired. She could sing jazz like no other woman. Her duets with Bing Crosby were legendary, and she continued to make great records through the 1950s. She did an album with Sy Oliver in 1956 that is one of the best things put on vinyl. 2013 ranking: 2

2. DINAH SHORE (1917-1994)
For the few people that remember Dinah Shore, they might think of her just from her television show of the 1970s. She was so much more, and a wonderful singer. She was discovered by Eddie Cantor, and she had countless hit records like: "Lavender Blue", "Jim", and one of my favorites
Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy". She started out with RCA Victor, but would also record with Columbia and Capitol. Her voice is audio gold. 2013 ranking: 3

1. JO STAFFORD (1917-2008)
Jo Stafford has been my favorite female singer nearly as long as Bing Crosby has been my favorite male singer. I am also honored to have gotten an autographed picture of Jo Stafford in the late 1990s. Jo started out as a member of the Pied Pipers in the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, but she became a solo artist in 1943, and she was one of the first acts signed to Capitol Records. There is not enough room to list all her hits but a few include: "You Belong To Me", "Shrimp Boats", and "Make Love To Me". Jo retired from performing in 1970 while she was on top, but she had nearly perfect pitch. I have a lot of favorites by Jo, but check out her recordings of "Always True To You In My Fashion", "A Ghost Of A Chance", and "Best Things In Life Are Free" to just name a few. 2013 ranking: 1

Again, this is just my opinion as of 2019 and not a complete list. I have dozens of singers that I love and listen to. Here are five more runners up that I love as well: Billie Holiday (1915-1959), Kate Smith (1907-1986), Lee Wiley (1908-1975), Mildred Bailey (1903-1951) and Judy Garland (1922-1969)...

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