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Martha Tilton

(DISCOGRAPHY BELOW)

Martha Tilton (born November 14, 1915, in Corpus Christi, Texas) is an American popular singer best-known for her 1939 recording of “And the Angels Sing” with Benny Goodman. She also had major success from 1942-49 as one of the first artists to record for Capitol Records. Among her biggest hits as a solo artist were “I'll Walk Alone,” a wartime ballad which peaked at #4 on the charts in 1944; “I Should Care” and “A Stranger in Town,” both of which peaked at ..10 in 1945; and three in 1947: “How Are Things in Glocca Morra,” from Finian's Rainbow, which reached ..8; “That's My Desire,” which hit ..10; and “I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder,” which peaked at ..9. After she left Capitol, Tilton recorded for various other labels, including Coral and Tops. Among her later albums was We Sing the Old Songs (1957, Tops), a mix of older songs and recent standards with Curt Massey, who later became well-known for singing the theme song to the CBS-TV series Petticoat Junction. Tilton also appeared in films. Her singing voice was also used in many films dubbed over other actresses including Barbara Stanwyck, Martha O'Driscoll, and Anne Gwynne.

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John Fordham
The Guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 January 2007

In the period from the 1930s to the 1950s when jazz was pop music, singers were to play a bigger part in the genre than at any other time. A few were effectively jazz improvisers whose instrument happened to be the voice - like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan, with Louis Armstrong the father figure of the movement.

Many more performed as deliverers of catchy songs, from which a band might end up with a hit or a signature tune. Martha Tilton, whose most high-profile exposure came with Benny Goodman's orchestra, was one of the latter, but if she was (she) also ran in jazz vocal history, she was a skilful one who often did far more with a song than was apparent to purists.

“Liltin' Miss Tilton”, who has died aged 91, was no mere canary, hired to trill perfunctorily and look fetching during the solos

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