Anne Graham

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There were several vocalists named Anne Graham active between the '30s and '50s. Overlapping the period when one such Graham was weighing in with vocals in the Benny Goodman big band, an identically named…
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There were several vocalists named Anne Graham active between the '30s and '50s. Overlapping the period when one such Graham was weighing in with vocals in the Benny Goodman big band, an identically named singer was stepping back and forth between gospel, blues and R&B, attracting the attention of folklorist Alan Lomax as well as the commercial record producer Mayo Williams. Ironically, one of her most famous recordings -- and at times one of the only ones remaining in print -- is her shortest, short enough in fact to pass for a punk track. Entitled "Sylvie," the song was a duo chirped with country blues maestro Leadbelly, documented for the Library of Congress by Lomax. Wee "Sylvie" clocks in at less than a minute, or just slightly more, the editing on various compilations varying over the years.

Sometimes credited as Anne C. Graham, this singer began her recording career in the mid-'40s as a choral singer with gospel acts such as Reverend J.C. Burnett. She wound up getting signed for Williams' combine of labels, the Chicago and/or Harlem company, sometimes known as "the Harlem series on Chicago." In the early '50s she also recorded a few sides for Gotham in Philadelphia, but apparently most of these efforts are regarded by record collectors as an extinct species. Her name sometimes comes up in connection with the abysmally boring details involving contract disputes between competing producers and record labels of the time, simply because her recordings were part of the catalogs being bickered over.