Bea Wain

aka Beatrice WainBeatrice Wayne

Photo of Bea Wain
  • Birth Name

    Beatrice Weinsier
  • Born

    April 30, 1917
    New York, New York
  • Died

    August 19, 2017 (age 100)
    Beverly Hills, California
  • Orchestras

    Larry Clinton

Considered by many to be the best vo­cal­ist of her era, Bea Wain stud­ied pi­ano, danc­ing and elo­cu­tion as a youth but had no in­cli­na­tion to take up singing un­til high school. She soon be­gan ap­pear­ing on lo­cal in­de­pen­dent ra­dio sta­tions in her na­tive New York and in the mid-1930s se­cured a job with band­leader Gene Kardos. She also ap­peared on NBCs Children’s Hour.

Wain spent time as a mem­ber of Ted Straeter’s Choir be­fore form­ing her own vo­cal group, Bea and the Bachelors. The Bachelors con­sisted of Al Rinker, Ken Lane, and John Smedberg. The quar­tet per­formed on Fred Waring’s ra­dio pro­gram as part of the vo­cal group V-8, a com­bined ef­fort with the Modernaires, be­fore join­ing Kay Thompson in 1937, where they formed part of Thompson’s Rhythm Singers.[1]

Later that same year, while she and the Bachelors were work­ing on Kate Smith’s ra­dio show, band­leader Larry Clinton of­fered Wain a job in his newly-formed or­ches­tra based solely on the strength of an eight-bar solo he had heard her sing on Thompson’s ra­dio pro­gram. She ac­cepted and quickly emerged as the band’s star at­trac­tion, singing on their biggest hits.

Wain stayed with Clinton only a year-and-a-half be­fore de­cid­ing to go solo in May 1939. She landed a spot on the Your Hit Parade ra­dio pro­gram that August, re­main­ing there for two years be­fore ap­pear­ing on Manhattan Merry-Go-Round. She then re­turned to Your Hit Parade in July 1943 and also be­gan singing on Your All-Time Hit Parade that August, re­main­ing on both un­til the fol­low­ing year. She made the cover of Billboard mag­a­zine’s October 16, 1943 is­sue.

Wain recorded sev­eral ti­tles on Victor and Bluebird un­der her own name and re­ceived much crit­i­cal ac­claim, though she only man­aged to chart one song. The record­ing ban of 1942 marked the end of her com­mer­cial record­ing ca­reer. She con­tin­ued to sing, per­form, and ap­pear on ra­dio, how­ever, through­out the 1940s, of­ten with her hus­band, ra­dio an­nouncer André Baruch.

In December 1946, Wain joined Baruch as disk jockey on New York sta­tion WMCA with a daily pro­gram ti­tled Mr. and Mrs. Music, where they in­ter­viewed ma­jor record­ing stars of the day. The pop­u­lar show ended in April 1949 when WMCA switch its em­pha­sis to sports. The cou­ple later moved to Florida and even­tu­ally set­tled in Beverly Hills dur­ing the late 1970s.


  1. Wain also recorded If It’s the Last Thing I Do” with Artie Shaw in 1937, on which she was cred­ited as Beatrice Wayne. This has led many sources to in­cor­rectly cite Wayne as her last name. She has in­di­cated in an in­ter­view that Wain is the cor­rect spelling.


Previous <<
Play > Pause ||
Next >>
0:00 / 0:00
Select a song to play
Play All
  • Jubilee
    Larry Clinton (Bea Wain), Victor (1937)
  • Over the Rainbow
    Larry Clinton (Bea Wain), Victor (1938)
  • Martha
    Larry Clinton (Bea Wain), Victor (1938)
  • Kiss the Boys Goodbye
    Bea Wain, Victor (1941)

All recordings are from the Internet Archive's 78rpm collection. Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


Select a video to play
  • Screenshot
    "Heart and Soul"
    Larry Clinton (Bea Wain)
    Warner Brothers (1939)

We embed media from YouTube and the Internet Archive. Items may disappear on those services without notice. If you run across something that's no longer available, please let us know so we can remove the embed.

Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. “Bea Wain.” IMDb. Accessed 11 Oct. 2015.
  3. “Radio Jottings.” The Milwaukee Sentinel 11 Feb. 1938: 4-R.
  4. “Clubs Set Shows Atlantic City Despite Dim-Out.” Billboard 4 Jul. 1942: 11.
  5. “Bea Wain.” Billboard 16 Oct. 1943: 4.
  6. “Too Short for a Head.” Billboard 23 Nov. 1946: 11.
  7. Gaver, Jack. “Broadway.” Beaver Valley Times [Beaver, PA] 11 May, 1948: n. pag.
  8. “WMCA to Switch Accent to Sports, Revamp Music.” Billboard 19 Mar. 1949: 6.