Connee After the Boswell Sisters

feb121936 February 12, 1936 – The Boswell Sisters make their final recording together. The Irving Berlin lyrics seem prophetic. The first number features Connee, who hereafter will be on her own, carrying the lead in “Let Yourself Go.” On the second number the Sisters harmonize throughout the song, a fitting way to declare their new lives with “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket.” Vet is pregnant at the time of the recording.

We follow Connee’s career and life events from here on out below…

Connee Boswell Timeline Navigator           1930's - 1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1970's
1940
Connee is in the recording studios again this year and records many sides including "On the Isle of May," "When It's Sleepytime Down South," "Blueberry Hill," "Nobody's Sweetheart," "Dinah," and "Yes Indeed." Her records (and radio programs of the year) feature top ballads, swing and novelty numbers that were popular at the time.
 
January 20, 1940
Connee appears on a radio program on the Mutual Radio Network's "March of Dimes Appeal," which is hosted by Eddie Cantor. Much of Connee's humanitarian work remains largely undocumented, and her work with March of Dimes was one important part of it.
 
December 13, 1940
Connee Boswell Yes Indeed
Connee is paired again with Bing Crosby to record "Tea for Two" and "Yes Indeed." This would be their last commercial recording session together until the early 1950's.
 
1940-1941
Connee is heavily featured on Bing Crosby's Kraft Music Hall programs. "Sister Constance," as he calls her, will usually sing one or two solos and then duet with "Brother Bingstance," as she refers to Crosby.
 
January 25, 1941
Connee March of Dimes
Connee again appears on a radio program on the Mutual Radio Network's "March of Dimes Appeal," which is hosted by Eddie Cantor. Other guests include Rudy Vallee and the comedy team, Fibber McGee & Molly. (She would perform again on 1-15-1942)
 
1941
Sister Constance hits Decca's studios again this year and cuts a number of recordings, including January's "Amapola," (which is a bigger hit for Decca's Jimmy Dorsey and his vocalists, Helen O'Connell/Bob Eberly), "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," and her now famous rendition of "Stormy Weather."
 
June 5, 1941
Kiss the boys goodbye
Connee appears in the Paramount Picture," Kiss The Boys Goodbye," and sings "Sand In My Shoes," along with Rochester. She would cut a solo recording of the song on June 28, which ended up being one of her most successful sides of the 1940's.
 
July 8, 1941
Connee cuts two takes of the song, "Poor Butterfly" with Victor Young and His Orchestra. The mournful ballad was set to be released later in the year but Connee said that it was rejected by Decca. The reason? Decca didn't feel it was appropriate as America entered World War II against the Japanese.
 
1942
Connee Boswell NBC
Many of the songs (and song titles of the day) now reflect wartime sentiments. Connee recorded many of this type in 1942, including "Johnny Doughboy Found a Rose in Ireland," "Wonder When My Baby's Coming Home," "He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings," "Just a Letter From Home," and "Savin' All I Can for Uncle Sam, Yes Ma'am."
 
1942
About this time, Connee alters the spelling on her name from the more common “IE” ending to “EE.” She reports to the media that this change is due to pain in dotting the “I” (the result of her childhood paralysis) in the numerous autographs she signs. Another story in the Bozzie legend is that it was done at her sister Martha's urging. MBoz felt that this would be a unique spelling and would set her apart from other stars. Another legend is that Martha, a follower of numerology, believed the change would bring her good luck. (There are some autographs that exist as far back as 1940 in which the signature clearly showed the double E ending so she may have been considering it even at that time.)
 
1942-1945
Connee Boswell World War 2
Connee had participated in radio programs with wartime focus even before Pearl Harbor thrust America into the war ("Greek War Relief," January 1941, "China War Relief," June 1941). Many of her radio programs in this period would focus specifically on our GI's, sending a bit of home to them, whether they be on some island in the Pacific, some dock in New York or a battlefield in Africa. Many of these "Command Performance" programs featured dedications to companies, stations and individual servicemen throughout the Pacific and European Theaters of war.
 
August 1, 1942 - Sept 1943
American Federation of Musician's recording ban begins and all commercial recording with members of this musician's union stops. Connee cuts no other sides until April, 1945.
 
March 13, 1944-August 16, 1944
"The Connee Boswell Show- 'Curtain Time'" is featured on the ABC Blue Network. The show is hosted by Jack McCarthy and the house orchestra is led by Paul Whiteman. Others featured on Connee's show would include comedian Buddy Lester
 
Aug 28, 1944
Connee is paired with Eddy Howard's Orchestra to record "Stormy Weather" and "The GI Jive" for V-Disc. The V-Disc recordings were made for soldiers and musicians donated their time and talent with the agreement that these recordings would not be commercially released. Only "Stormy Weather" was issued for soldiers.
 
September 1, 1944
Eddie Howard's Orchestra
Connee's father, AC Boswell dies in New Orleans. AC had been ill for several years following a stroke. The photo shows Mr. Boswell surrounded by Martha, Mrs. Boswell and George Lloyd (Martha's husband) taken in 1937 when Martha had come to New Orleans to help take care of her father after his first stroke.
 
December 12, 1944
Connee guests for the first time on the "Chesterfield Supper Club," hosted by Perry Como. She would guest on this program many times in the coming months.
 
April 26, 1945
Connee Boswell Satisfiers
For the first time since the AFM Recording Ban began in 1942, Connee is back in Decca's recording studios in NYC and cuts several sides with a group called the Satisfiers. These recordings include "Who'll Lend Me a Rainbow" and "When I Come Back Crying." On April 30th, they return and record "You Can't Say I Didn't Try," and "There Must Be A Way." "Rainbow" and "There Must Be A Way" are released right away; however, the other two tracks aren't released until years later. These tracks are later issued under Coral 60040, listed in Billboard's March 26, 1949's "Advance Record Releases" column.
 
July 2, 1945
While the war in Europe has now ended, the Pacific front still rages on. Connee and her "V-Disc Play-Fellows" record two more sides for V-Disc records for soldiers: "Goodnight Sweetheart/Shine On Harvest Moon," "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," and "Bell Bottom Trousers." "Orleans" is a rare recording not just because it was a V-Disk, but because it also features Connee playing piano during the introductory passage. One other track, "If I Had My Way," was recorded but remains unissued.
 
Summer, 1945
Boswell Swing Parade
Connee travels to Hollywood and has a featured spot in the Monogram Picture, "Swing Parade of 1946." She sings "Just a Little Fond Affection," and "Stormy Weather."
 
Fall, 1945
Other recording sessions for Decca yield "But I Did/Something Sentimental" (10-15-45) and two tracks with Russ Morgan, "Walkin' with My Honey/Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" (11/27/45)
 
1946
Connee continues recording for Decca through this year and waxes sides with the Paulette Sisters and the Bob Haggart Orchestra. These are the last recordings she will make for Decca until 1951. She also continues her featured work on radio, including the "Chesterfield Supper Club" and the CBS program, "Tonight on Broadway."
 
February, 1947
Connee records four (released) sides for Apollo Records with the Jerry Jerome Orchestra. These very hard to find sides are significant in that she will not make any commercial recordings again until December of 1951. Why she decided to take such a long break from commercial recording at a time when popular vocalists were rising in popularity as the Big Bands died down remains a mystery.
 
April, 1947-December, 1951
Connee Boswell Ed Sullivan
Connee makes a few appearances on radio programs (mostly recruiting drives for the military, such as the "Banter by Boswell" program) and also on the increasingly popular medium, television. She makes several guest appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and on Paul Whiteman's "Goodyear Show."
 
July 7, 1947
Connee's mother, Meldania Foore Boswell, passes away in Peekskill, New York. Mother Boswell had been a strong influence on Connee and had refused to accept that her daughter could not achieve as much as anyone else despite her childhood paralysis. She is buried in Peekskill.
 
October 30, 1947
Connee appears on the “Show of Shows” program at Madison Square Gardens in NYC. The event is part of the effort to raise funds for New York University-Bellevue Medical Center on the East Side, and is attended by some 17,000 guests. Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra and Helen Hayes are among the performers.
 
March 25, 1949
Connee's longtime producer and co-founder of Decca Records, Jack Kapp, dies from a cerebral hemorrhage.