Friday, June 08, 2007

Better late than never. . .or not

The album at the the top of this month's Swing Journal (Japan) vocal jazz sales chart is easy enough to guess; it's the new-ish Norah Jones. The number two CD, however, might cause more than a few jaws to drop... Millie Vernon's 1956 Storyville LP! A singer so obscure that even I hardly know her.

I first heard of Vernon as late as 1981 when I wrote an extensive article about comedian Lord Buckley for the now DEFUNCT L.A. Reader. It was around the time that I was also writing for the olddddd Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. When I interviewed her, Buckley's widow referred, in passing, to Vernon being a member of Buckley's semi-fabled Royal Court, into which I was also inducted by "Lady Buckley" (and have the papers to prove it). I am "Prince William," (aka "The Hillbilly Prince"), while Vernon is known as "Lady Renaissance." I have also have recently had a record, one that I produced, on the Swing Journal chart, so it's been a truly exciting year CD-saleswise in Japan for us members of the "Court."

Here's a track from Lady Renaissance's, I mean, Millie Vernon's somewhat belated hit album.


Anonymous said...

Please!!! Do you have any more info about Millie Vernon? Her whereabouts? How to contact her or find out if he has any singing venues? Sh has to be be one of the best jazz vocalists EVER and her discography is so slim and hard to get hold of. I would appreciate any information about this wonderful singer

Anonymous said...

Just found out on the net the sad news that Milli(e) Vernon recently passed away...
There's some information about her career, but none about her recordings.
Just ordered her latest cd 'Passion of Millie Vernon'.
The only recordings that I know about;
Introducing Milli Vernon
Sings Old & New Shoes
Over the Rainbow (recorded only for the Japanese market in very limited edition)
Passion of Millie Vernon
On sites like ebay you can find sometimes singles under her name, I believe on the Colpix label, from the sixties.
I don't know why, but I believe that there's a chance that she also recorded under the name Pat Cameron.


bkaye said...

I'm a pianist who played for Millie a number of times in the Catskills. She did fantastic impressions, the best being Billie Holiday.

Anonymous said...

She was my ex-mother in law, I was married to her youngest son Jimmy Usher. She was a very talented singer, so under appreciated.