Dee Parker

Photo of Dee Parker

The ca­reer of vo­cal­ist Dee Parker is con­fus­ing. There may have been two Dee Parkers—one who sang with Vaughn Monroes or­ches­tra and an­other who sang with Jimmy Dorsey. It’s not com­pletely clear from sources whether they were the same per­son or two dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

The first Parker sang with Monroe from April to August 1944. After leav­ing the band, she worked on Broadway, briefly ap­pear­ing in the mu­si­cal Mexican Hayride be­fore join­ing Star and Garter on the road in Chicago.

In November 1945, the sec­ond Parker joined Dorsey’s band. Reports at the time state that this Parker had been ap­pear­ing as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and that she was mar­ried to Michigan Theater Orchestra con­duc­tor and WXYZ mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Phil Brestoff. The same source also states that she had been singing un­der her own name of Del Parker” and would change it to Dee in or­der to avoid con­fu­sion with an­other Del Parker. This would seem to sug­gest a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son than the for­mer Monroe vo­cal­ist, yet a week later one re­viewer re­ferred to her as an ex-Vaughn Monroe ca­nary.”

Whatever the con­nec­tion, the sec­ond Parker im­pressed crit­ics. She re­mained with Dorsey through sum­mer 1947, of­ten duet­ing with Bob Carroll. In 1948, she recorded solo on the Mercury la­bel. By 1951, though, Parker had set­tled back in Detroit, where she sang with her hus­band’s or­ches­tra. By 1952, she was ap­pear­ing on Detroit area tele­vi­sion sta­tion WXYZ. Known as Auntie Dee,” she hosted six dif­fer­ent half-hour shows, which each had dif­fer­ent spon­sors, as well as her own 25-minute ra­dio pro­gram. Over the years she pro­moted and show­cased many up-and-com­ing lo­cal singers.


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  • Doin' What Comes Natur'lly
    Jimmy Dorsey (Dee Parker), Decca (1946)
  • Quien Sabe? (Who Knows?)
    Jimmy Dorsey (Bob Carroll and Dee Parker), MGM (1947)

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  1. Smith, Bill. “On the Stand: Vaughn Monroe.” Billboard 8 Apr. 1944: 20.
  2. “Broadway Showlog.” Billboard 14 Oct. 1944: 21.
  3. “Del Parker Joins J.D. And Becomes Dee Parker.” Billboard 24 Nov. 1945: 17.
  4. “Vaudeville Reviews: Capitol, New York.” Billboard 1 Dec. 1945: 33.
  5. “J.D.'s Booking Agency Hush-Hush.” Billboard 23 Aug. 1947: 40.
  6. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 19 Jun. 1948: 57.
  7. “Music as Written.” Billboard 21 Jul. 1951: 17.
  8. “Detroit Spots Hold to 1951 Gross Level.” Billboard 16 Aug. 1952: 68.
  9. “Music as Written.” Billboard 1 Aug. 1953: 43.