[JPL] Connie Haines dies at 87; big band singer co-starred with Sinatra

JASSavannah jassav at comcast.net
Wed Oct 1 07:48:10 EDT 2008


Thanks for lertting us know.  Very sorry to hear this.  She was a member of 
the Coastal Jazz Association Hall of Fame in Savannah / www.coastal-jazz.org

Larry

Larry Dane-Kellogg
WHCJ  90.3 FM
19 E. 64th Street
Savannah, GA,  31405



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jazz Promo Services" <jazzpromo at earthlink.net>
To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 7:36 AM
Subject: [JPL] Connie Haines dies at 87;big band singer co-starred with 
Sinatra


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> Connie Haines dies at 87; big band singer co-starred with Sinatra
> By Don Heckman
> Special to The Times
>
> September 26, 2008
>
> Connie Haines, a petite and dynamic big band singer who performed 
> alongside
> Frank Sinatra in the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey orchestras, died Monday 
> in
> Clearwater, Fla. The cause of death was myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune
> neuromuscular disease. She was 87.
>
> Haines was best known as a singer with a knack for rhythm, and many of her
> most successful recordings -- 25 of which each sold more than 50,000 
> copies
> -- featured her crisp, swinging vocal style.
>
> When Dorsey first heard her in action with James at Frank Dailey's
> Meadowbrook, New Jersey's temple of big band music, he reportedly asked,
> "Hey, little girl, where'd you learn to swing like that? And when can you
> join my band?"
>
> It didn't take long. Haines recorded "Comes Love" and "I Can't Afford to
> Dream" with James, revealing a capacity to handle lyrical ballads as well 
> as
> jitterbug specials, before moving to the Dorsey organization with Sinatra.
>
> James, however, was not fond of Haines' birth name -- Yvonne Marie
> Antoinette JaMais -- suggesting that it would take up too much space on a
> theater marquee. "You don't look like an Yvonne," he said, "you look like 
> a
> Connie." And "Haines" was chosen, apparently because it was a close rhyme 
> to
> "James."
>
> Haines quickly made the name her own, however, establishing herself as one
> of the prime female singers of the big band era. Many of her hit songs 
> were
> the product of a warm musical partnership with Sinatra via tunes such as
> "Oh, Look At Me Now," "Let's Get Away From It All," "Friendship," "I'll
> Never Smile Again" and the jaunty rhythm tune "Snooty Little Cutie."
>
> Like many big band vocalists of the '40s, Haines moved on to a solo career
> as the public's preferences turned away from large ensemble swing to
> singers. Over the course of the next few decades, she released more than 
> 200
> recordings, ranging from her big band stylings to more contemporary 
> rhythms.
>
> The first white singer to record for Motown Records, she released 14 songs
> written by Smokey Robinson, including "What's Easy For Two Is Hard For 
> One."
>
> Haines also was drawn to gospel music as a reflection of her Christian
> beliefs, recording and touring in an ensemble that included close friends
> Beryl Davis, Rhonda Fleming and Jane Russell.
>
> Although her career as an actress tended to be framed in films that 
> allowed
> her to perform as a singer, Haines' appearances in motion pictures such as
> "The Duchess of Idaho" suggested a talent that never had the opportunity 
> to
> fully blossom within her lifelong dedication to music.
>
> She was a regular on the Abbott & Costello Radio Show and a frequent guest
> artist during the golden years of television variety shows, appearing with
> Milton Berle, Eddie Cantor, Perry Como, Frankie Laine and Ed Sullivan, 
> among
> others.
>
> Haines sang on Sinatra's 89th birthday television tribute in 1995, and
> continued to work in cabaret rooms, nightclubs and big band revival events
> until two years ago.
>
> Born Jan. 20, 1921, in Savannah, Ga., she was reared in Florida and began
> performing at an early age, trained by her mother, a music and dance
> teacher.
>
> Haines was winning dance contests by the age of 5. At 9, she had her own
> radio show -- "Baby Yvonne Marie, the Little Princess of the Air," singing
> with a 30-piece orchestra.
>
> She appeared with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra when she was 10, won a Major
> Bowes amateur contest and was heard on the Fred Allen radio show while she
> was still in her early teens. By 1939, Haines -- at age 18 and slightly 
> less
> than 5 feet tall -- was singing alongside Sinatra in the Harry James Band.
>
> She survived several health crises and near-fatal accidents. While
> performing with the Dorsey Orchestra, an errant match set her evening gown
> on fire. Sinatra, standing nearby, pulled her to the floor and smothered 
> the
> flames with his coat. In her characteristic fashion, Haines brushed 
> herself
> off, got up and finished her song, wearing only the charred dregs of her
> gown.
>
> Haines was treated for cancer and had a double mastectomy in 1984. But 
> once
> again, the experience did not deter her from continuing her musical
> activities and moving on with her life.
>
> In 2002, after a celebratory holiday performance in Florida, Haines broke
> two vertebrae in her neck in an auto accident. She was back singing again 
> in
> six months, although the after-effects of the injury never fully
> disappeared.
>
> "Connie often talked about her fascination with near-death experiences --
> even told me she had one when she was 9 years old," said close friend
> Roseanne DeMarco, "but she found joy in every day. The funny thing was 
> that,
> even when she was feeling ill, her vital signs always seemed fine, as 
> though
> she loved life so much that she wanted to experience every minute of it 
> that
> she could."
>
> Haines' marriage to Robert DeHaven, an ace pilot during World War II, 
> ended
> in divorce.
>
> She is survived by her mother, Mildred JaMais, who is 109; a son, Robert
> DeHaven Jr. of San Francisco; a daughter, Kimberly Harlan of Prineville,
> Ore.; and three grandchildren.
>
>
>
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> Shaping the sound of Jazz, R+B and Rock for decades, RANDY BRECKER's 
> trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a 
> wide range of artists...It was time for another RB-Solo recording that 
> came from the soul....here it is.....BRECKER IS BACK in a strong way with 
> a Spectacular Melodic Latin Jazz recording: ''RANDY IN BRASIL''
>
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