Bonnie Lou Williams

Photo of Bonnie Lou Williams

Often de­scribed as tall” or leggy”, vo­cal­ist Bonnie Lou Williams made her name singing with Tommy Dorseys or­ches­tra from early 1944 to mid-1945. After leav­ing Dorsey, she recorded with Bob Crosbys 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 Barnets 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)
  • Bewtiched
    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.