Annette Hanshaw

Catherine Annette Hanshaw, October 18, 1901 – March 13 1985 was one of the most popular female jazz singers. She was a popular and influential singer in the late 1920s alongside Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and the Boswell Sisters. Her relaxed singing style was well-suited for the jazz-influenced pop music of late 1920s. She was not a fan of her singing but she still had fans. Her voice combined the genius of an ingenue and the spirit of a flapper. Hanshaw was also known as “The Personality Girl” and her signature was her cheerful voice when she ended many of her records. She recorded prolifically between September 1926, and February 1934. She recorded for Pathe between 1926 and 1928 (her sides were issued on both the Pathe label as well as the Perfect label). She began recording for Columbia in June 1928. Most of her recordings were issued on the dime store labels Harmony and Diva, Clarion, Velvet Tone, and Velvet Tone. A few were also available on OKeh and Columbia’s regular price. While most of her recordings were released under her name, some were renamed Gay Ellis (for sentimental songs) or Dot Dare (for her Helen Kane impressions). Ethel Bingham and Marion Lee recorded her under various pseudonyms, including Janet Shaw, Lelia Sandford, and Janet Shaw. She began recording for ARC in August 1932. Her recordings were issued on the Melotone, Perfect, Conqueror, Oriole, and Romeo labels. The Vocalion label was the final place for her session of February 3, 1934. Hanshaw’s only film[2] appearance was in Captain Henry’s Radio Show 1933 Paramount, which “a picturization of the popular Thursday night radio program Maxwell House Show Boat,” in which she starred between 1932 and 1934. Hanshaw, who had grown tired of the show business, retired in the 1930s and married Herman “Wally”, a Pathe Records executive. In a bid to make a comeback later in her life, she recorded two demo records but they were never released. After a long battle with cancer, she died at New York Hospital in 1985. She was still living in Manhattan. Sensation Records released audio CDs of Hanshaw’s recordings in 1999. Sita Sings the Blues was another animated feature that retold the Ramayana’s Indian epic poem from Sita’s point of view. Hanshaw performed scenes from the film to bring back interest. [4] More recently, her 1929 song “Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home” was featured in the video game Bioshock 2 in 2010. from

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