Helen Ward

The Queen of Big Band Swing [Living Era]

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This British compilation traces Helen Ward's work as female vocalist with the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, Bob Crosby, Joe Sullivan, and Harry James between 1936 and 1943. Of course, Ward's most prominent association was with Goodman from 1934 to 1936, a pairing that resulted in the chart-toppers "It's Been So Long," "Goody Goody," "The Glory of Love," "These Foolish Things," and "You Turned the Tables on Me." They show Ward as a strong rhythm singer with a bluesy tone who can also handle ballads, and she is more reminiscent of jazz-oriented contemporaries like Mildred Bailey than such smooth successors as Helen Forrest. A few of her Top Ten hits are missing, and the tracks have been transferred from 78s, so the sound is only adequate, but the breadth of the collection, which features such rarities as her only recordings with Crosby and Sullivan and an airchcheck with James, makes up for its lapses, so that this is the best collection of Ward's recordings as a big band singer yet released.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:13
2 3:05
3 3:16
4 3:01
5 3:25
6 2:50
7 2:01
8 3:32
9 2:36
10 3:05
11 2:39
12 2:41
13 2:48
14 2:35
15 2:55
16 3:07
17 3:05
18 3:21
19 3:24
20 2:44
21 3:00
22 2:58
23 2:44
24 3:20
25
3:24
blue highlight denotes track pick