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Martha Tilton


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, 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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Dakota Staton Dakota Staton
Anita O'Day Anita O'Day
Peggy Lee Peggy Lee
Doris Day Doris Day
Tommy Dorsey Tommy Dorsey
Lee Wiley Lee Wiley
Keely Smith Keely Smith
Helen Ward Helen Ward
Jimmy Dorsey Jimmy Dorsey
Ella Mae Morse Ella Mae Morse

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