Born Yvonne Jasme, big band vocalist Connie Haines began singing and dancing at an early age. Her big break came in 1935, at age 13, when she won an amateur contest on Fred Allen's NBC radio program. During the late 1930s she worked for Howard Lally's orchestra.
In 1939 bandleader Harry James heard Haines rehearsing at a New York music publishing company and hired her for his band, changing her name. She left the following year and kept busy with solo engagements around the New York area before being hired by Tommy Dorsey, where she joined former James bandmate Frank Sinatra.