Betty Van

Photo of Betty Van

Vocalist Betty Van be­gan her ca­reer singing on Los Angeles ra­dio sta­tion KHJ at age 17. When she grad­u­ated from high school, she toured with Kenny Bakers or­ches­tra be­fore be­ing in­vited to join Benny Goodman in mid-1937. She re­mained with the band only a few months be­fore be­ing re­placed by Martha Tilton. After leav­ing Goodman, she sang on the night­club cir­cuit.

In 1939, Van was with Vito Musso’s or­ches­tra. Musso, a for­mer Goodman sax­o­phon­ist, turned his band over to Johnny Scat” Davis in mid-1939. Van re­mained, but in October Davis de­cided to change gears from swing to sweet mu­sic, and both she and Musso left, Musso form­ing a new band with Van as vo­cal­ist.

In sum­mer 1940, Van sang with Sonny Dunham. Later that year she was with Charles Dant’s NBC or­ches­tra, leav­ing for a year and then re­turn­ing in November 1941. In April 1942, Van joined Jack Teagardens band, tour­ing with them be­fore re­tir­ing to get mar­ried.

Music

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  • Afraid to Dream
    Benny Goodman (Betty Van), Victor (1937)

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

Sources

  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. Guzzardi, Joe. “My Mom: A Life of Grace, Dignity.” Lodi News-Sentinel [Lodi, CA] 8 May 2004.: 4.
  3. Zolotow, Maurice. “Night Club Reviews: Club Tivoli, Juarez, Mexico.” Billboard 11 Dec 1937: 22.
  4. Cohen, Joe. “Night Clubs-Vaudeville: Fox, Philadelphia.” Billboard 17 Jun 1939: 23.
  5. Honigberg, Sam. “Night Club Reviews: Blackhawk Cafe, Chicago.” Billboard 29 Jul 1939: 17.
  6. “Vido Musso--Johnny Davis Split Their Band Partnership.” Down Beat 1 Oct 1940: 1.
  7. Honigberg, Sam. “Night Club Reviews: Blackhawk Cafe, Chicago.” Billboard 28 Oct 1939: 18.
  8. Rickey, Gene. “Kenny Baker Can't Miss.” Down Beat 1 Jun 1940: 18.
  9. Hyltone, David. “Sonny Dunham Band Shaping Up.” Down Beat 1 Jul 1940: 6.
  10. “Sonny Dunham Saves a Life.” Down Beat 1 Aug 1940: 13.
  11. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 29 Nov 1941: 11.
  12. Untitled article. Down Beat 15 Apr 1942: 37.
  13. “Stars to Shine at Nat Park Opening.” The Spokesman-Review [Spokane, WA] 13 May 1942: 5.