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Mildred Bailey Mildred Bailey

Mildred Bailey was a popular American jazz singer during the 1930s.

Born as Mildred Rinker in Tekoa, Washington, Bailey retained the last name of her first husband, Ted Bailey, when she moved to Seattle to bolster her singing career. With the help of her second husband, Benny Stafford, she became an established blues and jazz singer on the west coast. In 1925 she secured work for her brother, Al Rinker and his partner Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby. Crosby helped Bailey in turn by introducing her to Paul Whiteman. She sang with Paul Whiteman's band 1929 to 1933. In 1929, Whiteman had a popular radio program and when Bailey debuted with her version of “Moaning Low” in 1929, public reaction was immediate (although she didn't start making records with Whiteman until late 1931).

Her first two records were as uncredited vocalist for an Eddie Lang Orchestra session in 1929 (”What Kind O' Man Is You?”, an obscure Hoagy Carmichael song) that was issued only the UK and a 1930 recording of “I Like To Do Things For You” for Frankie Trumbauer. She was Whiteman's popular female vocalist through 1932 (recording in a smooth crooning style), when she left the band due to salary disagreements. She then recorded a series of records for Brunswick in 1933 (accompanied by the Dorsey Brothers), as well an all-star session with Benny Goodman's studio band in 1934 that featured Coleman Hawkins.

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