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Clooney, Rosemary

singing albums jazz american

Clooney, Rosemary, American singer; b. Mays-ville, Ky, May 23, 1928. Among the finest jazz-influenced popular singers of the post-World War II era, she is a masterful interpreter of the American songbook. Though she rose to popularity singing novelty tunes, she has always possessed a warm, husky voice and the gift, like all great singers, to emotionally inhabit her material. She broke into show business singing on the radio in Cincinnati with her sister Betty. Local gigs brought them to the attention of band leader Tony Pastor, and in 1947 the Clooney Sisters made their debut in Atlantic City. After two years on the road, Betty returned to Cincinnati and Rosemary went to N.Y., where she was quickly signed by Columbia Records. Beginning in the early 1950s, she scored a series of hits produced by Mitch Miller, starting with “Come on-a My House.” Her fame increased when she moved to Hollywood, married actor Jose Ferrer, and began appearing in movies, including Here Come the Girls, The Stars and Singing, and White Christmas, which began her long association with Bing Crosby. She maintained her jazz credentials through her recordings with the Benny Goodman Sextet, Woody Herman and the Hi-Lo’s, and her classic album with Duke Ellington and Billy Stray-horn, Blue Rose . Prescription drug abuse and emotional problems sidelined her in the late 1960s, but she began performing again in the mid-1970s and by the end of the decade had begun her remarkable series of albums for the Concord label. Working with tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, cornetist Warren Vache Jr., and other musicians from the Concord roster, she has recorded nearly two dozen albums, often focusing on the work of one composer, or lyricist, or song-writing team.

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