Formed in the early 40s by students at Vassar College, this all-female a cappella vocal group has remained a popular adjunct to formal studies. Reputedly, the group was formed during a spell when students were confined to either classrooms or dormitories during an outbreak of polio in 1942. Originally, 16 of the students illicitly left their rooms at night and, dressed in black, they gathered in the basement to sing as an alternative to their usual somewhat livelier after-class activities. Whether or not this is true or had been gilded with historical embellishment over the years, the Night Owls have remained in force ever since. They still wear black today although they have emerged from the nether regions of Vassar to perform in the spotlight at colleges and universities across the USA singing a repertoire that while incorporating some less familiar airs is centred in popular standards from the years the group has been in existence. These songs include ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Dream A Little Dream’, ‘Embraceable You’, ‘Lonesome Road’, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘Night And Day’, ‘Our Love Is Here To Stay’ and ‘Stormy Weather’.
Over the years, some former Night Owls have gone on to sing in professional and semi-professional vocal groups. Others have gone into other areas of show business, among which perhaps best known is film actress Meryl Streep, who sang with the Night Owls for three years. The group made many records but these are usually available only for a fairly short period and then only from Vassar College. Accordingly, the following is a drastically abbreviated listing of albums.