Marion Mann

Photo of Marion Mann
  • Birth Name

    Marian Alice Bateson
  • Born

    September 9, 1914
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Died

    October 11, 2004 (age 90)
    South Bloomingville, Ohio
  • Orchestras

    Bob Crosby
    Emerson Gill
    Ted Lewis

Best remembered today for her work with Bob Crosby, Marion Mann initially made her name with Emerson Gill’s northeast territorial band. Mann, who was described as a “Cleveland debutante,” joined Gill by February 1933 when she became the first female singer to appear at a Penn State dance. In her early years, Gill billed her as “the great blues singer,” and in 1936 one reviewer proclaimed her “the vocalist to make the most strides in the past few years.” Mann also appeared with Gill’s orchestra on radio, remaining with the band until mid-1937, when she left for Ted Lewis.

By May 1938, Mann had become part of Crosby’s orchestra, joining the band during its long run at the Blackhawk in Chicago. Popular with critics and audiences, she made her first recordings with Crosby and earned a solo spot on radio program Rhythm at Noon over CBS station WBBM.

In February 1939, the Crosby band also hired Dorothy Claire as a singer while still retaining Mann, beginning a brief tradition of keeping two female vocalists on staff at the same time. Claire only sang during live performances and handled the group’s wilder numbers, while Mann stuck to ballads and appeared on the band’s recordings and radio show.

When the Crosby band finally left the Blackhawk to go on the road in May 1939, Mann decided to remain in Chicago and marry tennis pro Jack Macy. She briefly retired from singing but returned to show business in January 1940, rejoining Crosby at the Blackhawk. She remained until May, when she left to focus on radio work. Doris Day replaced her in the Crosby band.

Mann spent the next four years appearing as a regular on various NBC programs broadcast out of Chicago, including Weekend Cruise and Roy Shields and Company in 1941, the Garry Moore Show and Blues Club Matinee in 1942, and the Breakfast Club in 1944. In 1943, she made a screen test for an unknown studio. By 1945, Mann was on CBS, where she appeared on Sweetheart Time over WGN. That year she also recorded with Jose Bethancourt’s latin band on the Musicraft label. In 1946, she recorded with former fellow-Crosby bandmate Bob Haggart’s orchestra on Vogue. She made her last radio appearances that same year and then vanished into the fog of musical history.


  1. “1933 Social Whirl to Open Tonight with Senior Ball.” Penn State Collegian [State College, Pennsylvania] 17 Feb. 1933: 1.
  2. Advertisement. “Sunnybrook Ballroom.” Pottstown Mercury [Pottstown, Pennsylvania] 24 Feb. 1933: 7.
  3. Advertisement. “Emerson Gill.” The New Philadelphia Daily Times [New Philadelphia, Ohio] 13 Jun. 1934: 8.
  4. “Knights of Columbus Ball Brilliant Social Affair.” The North Adams Evening Transcript [North Adams, Massachusetts] 22 Jan. 1935: 3.
  5. “At Meyers Lake.” The Massillon Evening Independent [Massillon, Ohio] 4 Jan. 1936: 8.
  6. “At Crystal Beach.” The Sandusky Star Journal 22 May 1936: 2.
  7. Advertisement. “Rainbow Gardens.” The Sandusky Star-Journal 18 Mar. 1937: 2.
  8. “Radio Shorts.” Santa Ana Daily Register 28 Jul. 1937: 15.
  9. Advertisement. “Bob Crosby and his Orchestra.” Billboard 28 May 1938: 13.
  10. “The Reviewing Stand: Bob Crosby.” Billboard 20 Aug. 1938: 13.
  11. Advertisement. “Congratulations.” Billboard 24 Sep. 1938: 22.
  12. Advertisement. “Big Bass Viol.” Billboard 31 Dec. 1938: 149.
  13. “Vaudeville Reviews: Paramount, New York.” Billboard 4 Feb. 1939: 24.
  14. Fizdale, Tom. “Listen to This.” The Ogdensburg Advance News [Ogdensburg, New York] 6 May 1939: 2.
  15. Humphrey, Harold. “Radio Talent: Chicago.” Billboard 27 May 1939: 7.
  16. “The Stuff's Here.” Down Beat Jun. 1939: 29.
  17. “Marion Mann Rejoins Crosby Band.” Down Beat 1 Feb. 1940: 5.
  18. “Night Club Reviews: Blackhawk, Chicago.” Billboard 20 Apr. 1940: 18.
  19. “Send Birthday Greetings to.” Down Beat 1 Sep. 1940: 15.
  20. “KUTA.” The Salt Lake Tribune 17 Aug. 1941: 4B.
  21. “Radio Chart.” The Kingston Daily Freeman [Kingston, New York] 6 Sep. 1941: 7.
  22. Honigberg, Sam. “Radio Talent: Chicago.” Billboard 11 Oct. 1941: 8.
  23. Honigberg, Sam. “Program Reviews: Roy Shield and Company.” Billboard 8 Nov. 1941: 8.
  24. Honigberg, Sam. “Program Reviews: Garry Moore Show.” Billboard 25 Jul. 1942: 8.
  25. Green, Nat. “Radio Talent: Chicago.” Billboard 15 Aug. 1942: 7.
  26. Kardale, Chick. “Along Chicago's Melody Row.” Down Beat 1 Nov. 1943: 12.
  27. “Radio Programs.” The Abilene Reporter-News 12 Oct. 1944: 10.
  28. “Radio.” The Wisconsin State Journal [Madison, Wisconsin] 25 Mar. 1945: 15.
  29. “Record Reviews: Jose Bethancourt.” Billboard 14 Jul. 1945: 66.
  30. Advertisement. “Vogue.” Billboard 23 Feb. 1946: 177.
  31. “Advance Record Releases.” Billboard 27 Jul. 1946: 124.