Eugenie Baird

Photo of Eugenie Baird

Vocalist Eugenie Baird grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and got her first pro­fes­sional break singing on lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion KDKA while still in high school. Tony Pastor picked her as his fe­male vo­cal­ist in 1941 af­ter she sent him a pic­ture and a record­ing of her voice. She left Pastor in late 1942 for Jan Savitt and then in early 1943 joined Glen Grays Casa Loma Orchestra. Baird’s sis­ter, Kay Marie, was also a vo­cal­ist, singing with Mal Hallett in 1941. Both Eugenie and Kay Marie au­di­tioned for the Casa Loma Orchestra at the same time, with Eugenie win­ning the po­si­tion.

Baird left Gray in November 1944 to be­come a reg­u­lar on Bing Crosby’s ra­dio pro­gram, spend­ing a year there be­fore get­ting her own pro­gram on the Mutual Network in 1946. She then went to work on Paul Whitemans show that same year. Baird was Whiteman’s go-to vo­cal­ist through­out the rest of that decade when he needed some­one for a per­for­mance. Baird also worked the the­ater cir­cuit as a solo act.

Baird recorded with both Pastor and Casa Loma but not with Savitt, as her time with his group co­in­cided with the American Federation of Musician’s record­ing ban. She also recorded two sides solo backed by Mel Torme and the Mel-Tones on Decca in 1945. She recorded on the Hi-Tone la­bel in 1949.

In 1947 and 1948, Baird ap­peared on Broadway in Angel in the Wings and then toured the coun­try as the lead in South Pacific. She also made sev­eral ap­pear­ances on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in the late 1940s and early 1950s and had her own ra­dio pro­gram on the Mutual net­work again in 1952-1953. In that same pe­riod, she recorded with such artists as Art Mooney, Meredith Willson, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington and re­leased her own solo work. She was also pop­u­lar for singing com­mer­cial jin­gles on tele­vi­sion.

Baird re­mained ac­tive singing through the 1950s, spend­ing a year in England dur­ing the mid­dle part of that decade. She re­tired in 1962 when she mar­ried Emerson Bud” Mead, pres­i­dent of Smith-Corona, fa­mous for their type­writ­ers. Mead died in 1976. Eugenie Baird passed away from heart fail­ure in 1988.

Music

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  • Full Moon
    Tony Pastor (Eugenie Baird), Bluebird (1941)
  • Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip!
    Tony Pastor (Tony Pastor, Eugenie Baird, Johnny McAfee), Bluebird (1942)
  • My Heart Tells
    Glen Gray (Eugenie Baird), Decca (1944)
  • Suddenly It's Spring
    Glen Gray (Eugenie Baird), Decca (1944)

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Films

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  • Screenshot
    "You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You"
    Eugenie Baird, Guy Lombardo
    (1955)
  • Screenshot
    "Get Happy"
    Eugenie Baird, Guy Lombardo
    (1955)

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Radio

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  • One Night Stand: Glen Gray
    April 5, 1944 (AFRS) 28:57

Sources

  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. Walker, Leo. The Wonderful Era of the Great Dance Bands. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1972.
  3. The Online Discographical Project. Accessed 29 Jul. 2015.
  4. “Eugenie Baird.” IMDb. Accessed 29 Jul. 2015.
  5. “Eugenie Baird.” Internet Broadway Database. Accessed 29 Jul. 2015.
  6. Program 24B. Broadway in Review. 1953. Radio.
  7. “Eugenie Baird.” Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Accessed 29 Jul. 2015.
  8. “Eugenie Baird.” OTRRpedia. Accessed 8 Aug. 2015
  9. “Vaudeville Reviews: Paramount, New York.” Billboard 26 Sep. 1942: 16.
  10. Grennard, Elliot. “On the Air: Jan Savitt.” Billboard 26 Dec. 1942: 22.
  11. Grennard, Elliot. “On the Air: Glen Gray.” Billboard 13 May 1943: 22.
  12. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 13 Oct. 1945: 31.
  13. Advertisement. Billboard 14 Dec. 1946: 7.
  14. “From Choral Groups to Whiteman.” The Montreal Gazette 17 Aug. 1948: 6.
  15. “Eugenie Baird Comes to Copa.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 20 Sep. 1948: 16.
  16. “Music as Written.” Billboard 6 Nov. 1948: 40.
  17. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 19 Mar. 1949: 42.
  18. Advertisement. Billboard 21 May 1949: 24.
  19. “Stem Dips to 324G, Tho Palace Adds 29G.” Billboard 4 Jun. 1949: 45.
  20. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 22 Apr. 1950: 128.
  21. “Eugenie Baird Carousel Star.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 31 Jul. 1950: 16.
  22. “Music as Written.” Billboard 8 Dec. 1951: 25.
  23. “Record Reviews.” Billboard 21 Jun. 1952: 38.
  24. Plotnik, Gene. “Vox Jox.” Billboard 13 Dec. 1952: 44.