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.