Wendy Bishop

Photo of Wendy Bishop

A na­tive of Peoria, Illinois, blonde vo­cal­ist Wendy Bishop sang with Cincinnati band­leader Deke Moffitt in early 1939. Moffitt, long pop­u­lar as an or­ches­tra leader in lo­cal the­aters, had just formed his first dance band. By very early 1940 Bishop had joined Dick Stabile. She had also mar­ried pi­anist Arturo Arturos and sang with his seven-piece Latin combo in Atlantic City. She be­came a part of Les Browns band in February 1940, re­plac­ing Miriam Shaw. Bishop stayed with Brown for only a short time, leav­ing in July to re­turn to Atlantic City and her hus­band’s group. She re­mained as vo­cal­ist with Arturos through at least the end of 1942. Doris Day re­placed her in Brown’s band.

Bishop be­came a sta­ple on the New York night­club cir­cuit dur­ing the 1940s. She made a soundie, Blue Moon, for RCM in early 1946, and an­other, I Fall in Love With You Every Day, that same year with fel­low night club singer Johnny Thompson for Soundies. She was singing in Miami night clubs in 1948. Critics al­ways com­pli­mented Bishop’s voice. Sadly, though, she never en­tered the record­ing stu­dio, and her soundies ap­pear to have been lost to his­tory. Modern au­di­ences can only guess how she sounded.

A very pretty girl, Bishop was of­ten the sub­ject of pin-up pho­tos in which she bared her legs. Those pho­tos be­came a fa­vorite of Down Beat mag­a­zine dur­ing 1940 and 1941. Down Beat twice gave Bishop’s age as 24 in 1940, though she wrote them, and they pub­lished, a let­ter of cor­rec­tion in August of that year. Bishop stated that her true age was 19.

Sources

  1. “The Reviewing Stand: ‘Deke’ Moffitt.” Billboard 18 Mar. 1939: 14.
  2. “Tyro Songwriters Get Big Break on Cincy Sabbath Show.” Down Beat Apr. 1939: 27.
  3. “Bishop Joins Brown.” Down Beat 1 Mar. 1940: 21.
  4. “Stuff's Here.” Down Beat 15 Mar. 1940: 4.
  5. “Orchestra Personnels: Les Brown.” Down Beat 15 Jun. 1940: 14.
  6. “Who's Who in Music: Les Brown's Orchestra.” Down Beat 1 Jul. 1940: 11.
  7. “Doris Day Goes With Les Brown.” Down Beat 15 Aug. 1940: 2.
  8. “Windy Shot.” Down Beat 1 Aug. 1941: 24.
  9. Bishop, Wendy. “More Chords, Discords: Error About Age.” Down Beat 15 Aug. 1941: 11.
  10. “Night Clubs-Vaudeville: Park Central Hotel, Cocoanut Grove, New York.” Billboard 14 Nov. 1942: 13.
  11. “In Short.” Billboard 10 Jun. 1944: 21.
  12. “Night Club Reviews: Leon & Eddie's, New York.” Billboard 17 Jun. 1944: 22.
  13. “Glass Hat, N.Y.” Billboard 12 Aug. 1944: 27.
  14. “Movie Machine Reviews.” Billboard 30 Mar. 1946: 140.
  15. “Movie Machine Reviews.” Billboard 29 Jun. 1946: 117.
  16. “Follow-Up Reviews: Glass Hat, Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York.” Billboard 6 Jul. 1946: 47.
  17. “Night Club Reviews: Glass Hat, Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York.” Billboard 22 Feb. 1947: 36.
  18. “It Begins To Dawn on Miami The Cocoanut's Over-Sized.” Billboard 14 Feb. 1948: 4.