Muriel Lane

Photo of Muriel Lane

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, singer Muriel Lane was born into a vaudevillian family, first working on the stage at age four. She made her start as a band singer with Eric Peterson while only fourteen years old. By 1934, Lane had settled in the Boston area, where she sang with McEnelly’s Orchestra, a territory band popular on radio. Lane received billing as “The Personality ‘It Girl’ of the Air” in a “Real Peppy Band with a Real Peppy Program.” In early 1935, she joined Jack Fisher, also well-known on Boston radio.

Lane remained with Fisher into early 1937, after which she left Boston for New York. In late 1937, she sang with Irving Conn. She also worked the night club circuit and with the bands of Red Norvo and Jack Marshard. In December 1940, five days before Christmas, she joined Woody Herman, where she reached the height of her stardom singing with Bing Crosby, backed by Herman, on Crosby’s radio show and on two recordings, most notably “The Whistler’s Mother-in-Law.” Lane remained with Herman until October 1941 when she left for Ray Noble. She stayed with Noble only briefly, going out as a single in November.

Lane had a moderately successful career in the mid-1940s. Though never a major star, she seemed to always have work and received good reviews in the press. In March 1942, she joined Bob Crosby, though it’s uncertain how long she stayed. She may have been filling in for regular vocalist Liz Tilton, though she did record with the band. In late 1943, reports had her signing a Hollywood contract for a “series of pictures.” Nothing seems to have come from it. In November 1943, she was in New York, singing with Dean Hudson’s orchestra on CBS. Lane continued working as a single through at least 1946, after which she disappears into history.

Sources

  1. Advertisement. “McEnelly's Orchestra.” The Berkshire Eagle [Pittsfield, Massachusetts] 30 Jun. 1934: 4.
  2. “Dawn Dance, Mardi Gras, To Close Meadowbrook.” The North Adams Evening Transcript [North Adams, Massachusetts] 4 Oct. 1934: 3.
  3. “Radio Programs.” The Lowell Sun [Lowell, Massachusetts] 27 May 1935: 14.
  4. “Radio Programs.” The Lowell Sun [Lowell, Massachusetts] 8 Nov. 1935: 10.
  5. “Radio Programs.” The Lowell Sun [Lowell, Massachusetts] 9 Dec. 1936: 19.
  6. “Radio Programs.” The Portsmouth, N.H. Herald 6 May 1937: 7.
  7. “The Final Curtain.” Billboard 2 Jan. 1937: 32.
  8. “Lion About Town.” Columbia Spectator [New York, New York] 11 Nov. 1937: 2.
  9. “Herman Herd Gets New Girl Singer.” Down Beat 1 Jan. 1941: 2.
  10. “Makes Big Jump.” Down Beat 15 Jan. 1941: 2.
  11. “Who's Who in Music: Woody Herman's Band.” Down Beat 15 Jan. 1941: 18.
  12. “Woody Has Girl Trumpeter; Muriel Lane, Nelson Leave.” Down Beat 15 Oct. 1941: 2.
  13. “Muriel Lane Joins Ray Noble Ork.” Down Beat 1 Nov. 1941: 21.
  14. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 29 Nov. 1941: 11.
  15. “Orchestra Notes.” Billboard 4 Apr. 1942: 23.
  16. “Off the Cuff: From All Over.” Billboard 21 Nov. 1942: 54.
  17. “Off the Cuff: East.” Billboard 6 Feb. 1943: 19.
  18. “Reserved Seats Go on Sale For Elks Charity Program.” The Charleston Gazette [Charleston, West Virginia] 28 Nov. 1943: 7.
  19. “Famous Recording Star Appearing Here.” The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News 18 Oct. 1948: 2.
  20. “Balto Hipp $16,300.” Billboard 18 Mar. 1944: 28.
  21. “Russell Set for L.A. Orph.” Billboard 9 Mar. 1946: 4.
  22. “Vaudeville Reviews: Orpheum, Los Angeles.” Billboard 23 Mar. 1946: 50.
  23. “Night Club Reviews: Kitty Davis, Miami Beach.” Billboard 3 Aug. 1946: 43.
  24. Egan, Jack. “Egan Speakin'.” Down Beat 20 Oct. 1948: 19.