from: The Washington Post Jul 17 2009
Louise Smith [aka Donna Brooks] Singer
Louise Smith, 83, who as a young woman was a singing comedienne and jazz vocalist, died June 16 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of respiratory failure. She was a Springfield [Virginia] resident.
Starting in the mid-1940s, Mrs. Smith worked for many years under the stage name Donna Brooks. She performed with a U.S.O. troupe that entertained military personnel in Panama and on the Borscht Belt circuit of Jewish clubs and resorts. One specialty of her act was rendering pop standards with Yiddish lyrics.
She began a career as a jazz singer by the early 1950s and joined her future husband, pianist Alex Smith, on a tour of nightclubs in the Northeast. They married in 1956 and settled in the Washington area in 1959 after he joined the U.S. Army Band. Through the early 1970s, she continued to perform with him in small jazz groups at military clubs in the area.
She was born Louise Angert in Philadelphia, where she attended the Curtis Institute of Music and trained as an operatic soprano.
Survivors include her husband, a retired Army sergeant major, of Springfield; a daughter, Jennifer Smith of Leesburg; and two grandchildren.
A daughter, Susan Smith, died in 1978.
Hear here: The title track from Brooks' 1956 LP, I'll Take Romance
Thanks to Jeronimo!