Dee Parker

Photo of Dee Parker

Vocalist Dee Parker eschewed her birth name of Del to avoid confusion with already established singer Dell Parker. She sang with Vaughn Monroe from April to August 1944. After leaving the band she worked on Broadway, briefly appearing in the musical Mexican Hayride. She then joined Star and Garter on the road in Chicago.

Parker married Michigan theater orchestra conductor and WXYZ musical director Phil Brestoff and had settled in Detroit by late 1945, where she was appearing as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under her birth name when hired by Jimmy Dorsey in November 1945. Changing back to the moniker Dee Parker, she remained with Dorsey through summer 1947, impressing critics and often dueting with Bob Carroll.

In 1948, Parker recorded solo on the Mercury label. By 1951, though, she 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.

Music

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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)

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

Sources

  1. Smith, Bill. “On the Stand: Vaughn Monroe.” Billboard 8 Apr. 1944: 20.
  2. “Broadway Showlog.” Billboard 14 Oct. 1944: 21.
  3. “Del Parker Is JD Vocalist.” Down Beat 15 Nov. 1945: 2.
  4. “Del Parker Joins J.D. And Becomes Dee Parker.” Billboard 24 Nov. 1945: 17.
  5. “Vaudeville Reviews: Capitol, New York.” Billboard 1 Dec. 1945: 33.
  6. “J.D.'s Booking Agency Hush-Hush.” Billboard 23 Aug. 1947: 40.
  7. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 19 Jun. 1948: 57.
  8. “Music as Written.” Billboard 21 Jul. 1951: 17.
  9. “Detroit Spots Hold to 1951 Gross Level.” Billboard 16 Aug. 1952: 68.
  10. “Music as Written.” Billboard 1 Aug. 1953: 43.