Betty Brewer

Photo of Betty Brewer

Best known for her work with Tommy Dorsey, vo­cal­ist Betty Brewer sang with Ray Heatherton’s sweet or­ches­tra be­fore join­ing Dorsey’s band in June 1943. Dorsey made a big pro­duc­tion out of discovering” Brewer and planned to give her a ma­jor build-up, some­thing he’d never be­fore done with a fe­male vo­cal­ist.

While Brewer’s tran­si­tion from the up­per crust ho­tel cir­cuit to the ball­room cir­cuit proved suc­cess­ful, the singer never achieved the same level of suc­cess as had Dorsey’s pre­vi­ous two build-ups—Jack Leonard and Frank Sinatra. Still, she proved pop­u­lar enough with the band­leader that she sur­vived his August 1943 purge, when he fired his en­tire or­ches­tra and built a new band.

Brewer re­mained with Dorsey into early 1944, though un­for­tu­nately her tenure with the fa­mous band­leader was en­tirely dur­ing the American Federation of Musician’s record­ing ban, and she did­n’t en­ter the stu­dio with him. Brewer con­tin­ued singing into the 1950s, of­ten ap­pear­ing on ra­dio or tele­vi­sion. She had a reg­u­lar spot as part of the vo­cal group Betty Brewer and Her Boyfriends on the CBS ra­dio pro­gram, Here’s to You, also known as Hires to You af­ter its spon­sor, Hires Root Beer, which ran from February 1947 to July 1948.

In November 1949, based on the strength of her vo­cals for the Gordon Jenkins record­ing of Don’t Cry, Joe” ear­lier that year, Decca Records inked Brewer to a con­tract of her own. She recorded sev­eral songs for the la­bel in early 1950, two of which were re-re­leased in 1952. In 1950, she ap­peared on the NBC ra­dio mu­si­cal drama Downbeat, and in the mid-1950s be­came a reg­u­lar on the Dorsey Brothers’ tele­vi­sion pro­gram Stage Show.


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  • Don't Run, Joe
    Gordon Jenkins (Betty Brewer), Decca (1949)
  • I May Hate Myself in the Morning (For Falling in Love Tonight)
    Betty Brewer, Decca (1950)
  • Me and My Imagination
    Betty Brewer, Decca (1950)
  • My Heart Isn't In It
    Betty Brewer, Decca (1950)
  • Plaything (to You)
    Betty Brewer, Decca (1950)

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    Nescafe Commercial
    Betty Brewer, Jimmy Blaine
    from Stage Show, CBS (1956)

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  1. “Betty Brewer.” OTRRpedia. Accessed 18 Jan. 2018.
  2. The Online Discographical Project. Accessed 18 Jan. 2018.
  3. “Night Club Reviews: Biltmore Hotel, Fountain Room, New York.” Billboard 27 Jun. 1942: 12.
  4. “On the Stand: Ray Heatherton.” Billboard 19 Dec. 1942: 23.
  5. “Night Club Reviews: Shubert, St. Louis.” Billboard 5 Jun. 1943: 16.
  6. “Betty Brewer Newest T. Dorsey Thrush.” Billboard 26 Jun. 1943: 24.
  7. “Dead Weight Cut Seen in Dorsey Ork Notice Move.” Billboard 14 Aug. 1943: 13.
  8. “T. Dorsey Tops Philly Earle Mark.” Billboard 19 Feb. 1944: 25.
  9. “Record Possibilities.” Billboard 10 Sep. 1949: 36.
  10. “Decca Inks Morris Ork, Betty Brewer.” Billboard 19 Nov. 1949: 20.
  11. “Music As Written.” Billboard 13 May. 1950: 20.
  12. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 31 May. 1952: 40.