Thursday, April 13, 2006
Lucy Ann Polk
A reader writes in:
Recently became a Lucy Ann Polk fan. When searching the web to find some info about her biography & discography I found the entry in your blog from September 18, 2005. You reported that you've met her and heard her sing. There is nothing about her life on the web, no biography anywhere (as far as Google results are concerned). So, can you provide me with a bio or some info? Many thanks in advance!
I don't know a lot about Lucy Ann. However, here's what I DO know. She began in show business in the mid-1940s as part of a singing family group, brothers and sisters I think. Her maiden name is Polk. They were called the Town Criers and joined the Bobby Sherwood orchestra in the mid-1940s. Floating around, there are radio transcriptions on commercial CDs of their performances with Sherwood. Also, she sang and recorded for quite a few years with the Les Brown Orchestra, off and on again beginning in 1950. I believe there are a number of Columbia Les Brown recordings featuring Lucy Ann. To the best of my knowledge, the only total solo album by her is Lucky Lucy Ann (1957), easily obtainable on the net. It is an excellent recording, with arr. by Marty Paich (you probably have that one). There is also an album with a number of performances by Lucy Ann on a CD entitled The Dave Pell Octet Plays Burke and Van Heusen. I have attempted to buy it---it is alleged to be in print---but have not been successful at obtaining it. Amazon.com claims that they "ship in one to two business days," but don't you believe it.
She has been married. Divorced? No children. I would guess that she is in her mid-seventies. A very, very sweet and delightful person. I cannot emphasize that too much. I see her once a year at a friend's Labor Day Party. I look forward to encountering her once again there this fall. She is now happily retired. I don't know too much more to tell you, except that amongst cognoscenti of jazz-based singing, and by her peers, she is considered---her semi-obscurity notwithstanding---to have few equals.
BTW there is a singer in Japan, I forget her last name, let's say it's "LucyAnn Kato," who bills herself as "Lucky Lucy Ann" and who does a Lucy Ann Polk tribute show!!! (And some of my friends wonder why I love that country so much.) I think she has even recorded a CD salute to Lucy Ann, but my memory is a bit hazy about that. I will tell Lucy about this, next Labor Day. I can't wait to experience her delighted reaction. Hope that helps.
(hear Lucy Ann ---mp3 links for a limited time only)
Posted by Bill Reed at 8:00 AM