Bonnie LouWilliams

Bonnie Lou Williams

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Often described as “tall” or “leggy”, vocalist Bonnie Lou Williams made her name singing with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra from early 1944 to mid-1945. After leaving Dorsey, she recorded with Bob Crosby’s new post-war band in early 1946 and signed a solo recording contract with Black and White Records. She released two sides on the indie label that year, “You Haven’t Changed At All” and “Love on a Greyhound Bus,” before joining the financially disastrous tour of Jerry Colonna’s entertainment unit in June 1946. The tour drew such a small crowd at each performance that its promoters quit the business after only two shows to avoid further losses.

Williams sang for Charlie Barnet’s orchestra in late 1948, remaining with the band when Barnet quit and handed over leadership to Bob Dawes. In 1949, she recorded a duet with Brad Gordon on the new indie Kem label and also recorded for Axel Stordahl’s orchestra on Columbia. In 1950, she provided vocals for Gordon Jenkins’ orchestra on Decca and went on to sing for Jenkins on several more recordings through 1955. She also dubbed vocals for a dozen Warner Brothers films from 1949 to 1957. Williams also sang on the Your Hit Parade radio program at some point prior to December 1948.

In her later years, Williams worked as an administrative assistant at airline music programming service Music in the Air. She passed away on March 4, 1986, age 58, from cancer.

Music

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  • Like Someone in Love
    Tommy Dorsey (Bonnie Lou Williams), Victor (1944)
  • Sleigh Ride in July
    Tommy Dorsey (Bonnie Lou Williams), Victor (1944)
  • Bewitched
    Gordon Jenkins (Bonnie Lou Williams), Decca (1950)
  • I Love You Much Too Much
    Gordon Jenkins (Bonnie Lou Williams), Decca (1951)

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

Sources

  1. “Bonnie Lou Williams.” IMDb. Accessed 17 Feb. 2018.
  2. “T. Dorsey Plans 12-Concert Tour.” Billboard 27 May 1944: 13.
  3. “T. D. 6G in St. Louis.” Billboard 17 Jun. 1944: 19.
  4. “Vaudeville Reviews: Capitol, New York.” Billboard 30 Dec. 1944: 17.
  5. “T.D. Male Voice Still Unsettled.” Billboard 10 Feb. 1945: 15.
  6. “Vaudeville Reviews: Palace, Cleveland.” Billboard 28 Apr. 1945: 31.
  7. “Music As Written.” Billboard 9 Feb. 1946: 20.
  8. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 16 Feb. 1946: 37.
  9. Thomas, Bob. “In Hollywood with Bob Thomas.” The Orange Leader [Orange, Texas] 8 May 1946: 1.
  10. “New Records.” Billboard 11 May 1946: 33.
  11. “In Short.” Billboard 22 Jun. 1946: 43.
  12. “Colonna-Butterfield Unit Drops Omelets in K.C., St. Louis, Etc.” Billboard 27 Jul. 1946: 38.
  13. “Dawes to Play at Xmas Dance.” The Santa Monica City College Corsair 8 Dec. 1948: 1.
  14. “'Winter magic' Features Bob Dawes' Band.” The Santa Monica City College Corsair 15 Dec. 1948: 1.
  15. “Richards Builds New Kem Label.” Billboard 23 Jul. 1949: 20.
  16. “Coinmen You Know.” Billboard 17 Sep. 1949: 104.
  17. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 3 Dec. 1949: 106.
  18. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 22 Apr. 1950: 124.
  19. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 17 Feb. 1951: 73.
  20. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 28 May 1955: 45.
  21. “Lifelines.” Billboard 29 Mar. 1986: 74.

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