SPOTLIGHT ON SAVANNAH CHURCHILL PART ONE
"Is It Too Late"
"Time Out For Tears"
"I Want To Cry"
Above: Savannah Churchill.
NEW YORK AGE, December 2, 1939: CANDIDETTE DE LOVELYOne of the newest "finds" in the night club world is a rather tall, lithe young lady with a unique voice who sings at Smalls' Paradise. Miss Savannah Churchill, a lovely creole belle from New Orleans, who lives with her parents at 109 Quincy Street, Brooklyn. She is just past 23 and this is her first job in front of kleig lights. Received her education at St. Pete Claver School, Girls High School and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
When I saw her she was wearing a daisy gown of orange blood with lace, a chic silver fox jacket and an extreme hat quite modish tucked about her dark brown tresses. She has a peach complexion, height 5 feet 7 inches, waist 31 inches, weight 132 pounds, with a neat figure I admire. I'll be telling you more about the lovely damsel later on.
PITTSBURGH PRESS, November 25, 1941: ....The originator (of the new dance "The Sand") is Edna Mae Harris, who improvised the step to the "Rampart Street Blues" as sung by Savannah Churchill. Miss Churchill has a blues beat of her own and no less than the famed W.C. Hardy (St. Louis Blues) is one of her sponsers. Miss Churchill hummed, Miss Harris danced and the customers began to applaud rhythmically....
THE BILLBOARD, March 24, 1945: ....Savannah Churchill, former thrush with Benny Carter, now a single at the Bowery, Detroit, under Moe Gale management....
TROY RECORD, May 5, 1945: Big Three Unit Will Tour NationHere they are, the greatest hit show of the 1945 spring season, the superlative Big 3 Unit which is set for a tour across the countryNorth, South, East and West. Savannah Churchill, favorite song stylist, popular Manor Records best-seller, will be featured with "Deek" Watson and his Brown Dots, the quartet that New York critics hailed as "the singing favorites of the Nation." ....Luis Russell and his orchestra, hailed as the "Hit Band of the Year" will round out this star-studded show....
PITTSBURGH COURIER, October 12, 1946: Savannah Churchill Opens on 52nd StreetSavannah Churchill, sultry siren of songs, has returned to Swing Lane for a month's sojourn at Kelley's Stables, one of midtown Manhattan's most popular after-dark fun spots. The Brooklyn beauty is the first artist ever to be re-called for a return engagement at the club within a month after closing.
THE CASH BOX, December 5, 1947: The Cash Box rovers stopped in at the Onyx Club this past week to pay a visit to a great artist, Savannah Churchill. Savannah sings with more body and feeling than sixty other names we've heard. Her rendition of "I Want To Be Loved" had the house as quiet as a pinespecially after we'd told her she was leading the way in the Second Annual Music Poll. We'd like to see Savannah leading the bill at the Paramount Theatrethat's just where she belongs.
Above: Photo of Savannah Churchill captioned "FUTURITY FILM PRODUCTIONS presents HARLEM FOLLIES, A CLASSIC PICTURE Released by CLASSIC PICTURES, 1560 Broadway, N.Y.C." The film was released in 1950, but this picture of Savannah is from the early 1940's.
Above: Willie Bryant, Savannah Churchill and Irving Berman. Bryant was an orchestra leader, actor and disk jockey. Berman was owner and president of Manor Records.
Above: Savannah Churchill with Eddie Colston at Club 845 in New York City. Colston was a theatrical agent and columnist in Ohio.
Above: Early photo of Savannah Churchill circa 1943.
From the Pittsburgh Courier dated 7/5/41
At Dave's in Chicago.
From the Pittsburgh Courier dated 10/28/39
At Small's Paradise in Harlem.
From Asbury Park Press dated 8/31/40.
From San Bernadino County Sun dated 9/26/43.
Above: (Left) Savannah Churchill with Bill Highlightine at Philly's Showboat pointing at her "big" 1946 hit record. (Right) Girl standing next to Onyx Club sign.
VIDEO (MP4 FORMAT):
SAVANNAH CHURCHILL, LES HITE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
"WHAT TO DO"
Enjoy this 1942 "Soundie" in MP4 format. Still shot is at left.
Best viewing is in the 640 x 480 size provided, not full screen. Because it is a Soundie, the picture is reversed.
Watch the "What To Do - Savannah Churchill" Video. (Courtesy of Paul Ressler.)
Another Soundie from 1942: (The Billboard 4/25/42) SAVANNAH CHURCHILL, smooth-colored vocalist, does a good job on The Devil Sat Down And Cried, a popular spritual. A tavern set with amusing Negro characters are employed. LES HITE and his orchestra are billed, altho the boys themselves are not seen.
(NOTE: Savannah Churchill And Her Group [The Striders] would release this song on Arco 1259-B in 1950.)
EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
Above: Label images for Beacon 106-A, Joe Davis 7104-A and Celebrity 2003-B.
At Left: Beacon ad from The Billboard dated 11/28/42.
Savannah's first two records were recorded and released by Joe Davis. The four sides originally came out on Davis' Beacon label in 1942 as by "Jimmy Lytell and his All-Star Seven, Vocal Refrain by Savannah Churchill". Lytell had assembled a top-notch group of musicians (their names are shown on the labels).
Both records were large-sized hits (over two hundred thousand each) for the small independent label. Due to Savannah's popularity, Davis reissued both records as "Savannah Churchill And Her All Star Seven" in 1944 on his Gennett and Joe Davis labels.
Two of the sides, "Fat Meat Is Good Meat" and "Tell Me Your Blues An' I'll Tell You Mine," were again reissued in 1948 on Davis' Celebrity label. Note that the instrumental design at the top of the label was later used for Davis' 78-rpm Jay-Dee label.
"Leslie Beacon," shown as co-composer of "Two Faced Man" and sole-composer of "He's Commander-In-Chief Of My Heart," is actually Joe Davis himself. On the reissue labels, his composer credit was changed to "Joe Davis" for both songs.
The Cash Box Review (3/20/48):SAVANNAH CHURCHILL CELEBRITY 2003.... Fat Meat Is Good Meat/Tell Me Your Blues An' I'll Tell You Mine
The top nasal tones of chirp Savannah Churchill spill with a pair that beckon coin play in a big way. Wax, tagged "Fat Meat Is Good Meat" and "Tell Me Your Blues An' I'll Tell You Mine" are aimed at ops with race spots. Topside spills with plenty of riff, with Savannah rich and warm throughout. On the backing with more blues, the gal offers this bit with plenty of bounce in her pipes. The hep crowd is sure to want to get next to this thingit's tailor made for the dance spots. Orchestral work flourishes the pair in fine manner, with Savannah's pipes grabbing off all the glory. Get next to this piece by all means.
Listen to "Fat Meat Is Good Meat" vocal by Savannah Churchill on Beacon 104-A released in 1942.
Listen to "He's Commander-In-Chief Of My Heart" vocal by Savannah Churchill on Beacon 104-B released in 1942.
Listen to "Two Faced Man" vocal by Savannah Churchill on Beacon 106-A released in 1942.
Listen to "Tell Me Your Blues An' I'll Tell You Mine" vocal by Savannah Churchill on Beacon 106-B released in 1942.
ALL FOUR played in sequence
Above: (Left) Clipping from The Cash Box dated 11/29/47. (Right) Label image of Manor 1093-A released in September 1947. The Four Tunes consisted of Pat Best (baritone), Jimmie Nabbie (1st tenor), Danny Owens (2nd tenor), and Jimmy Gordon (bass).
The Cash Box Review (10/20/47):SAVANNAH CHURCHILL AND FOUR TUNES MANOR 1093.... Is It Too Late/I Understand
Pair of sides offered in plaintive, simple styling, which may meet with favorable approval by music ops, are set up on two decks by Savannah Churchill and The Four Tunes. Top deck, weaving behind a background of mood music is aimed right at ops with race spots, and features the sultry voiced vocal of Savannah in top voice. On the flip with The Four Tunes to hit "I Understand," the combo's arrangement of this oldie might do the trick for extra coin play. Smooth harmony echoes throughout the waxing, with instrumental backing offered rounding out the side. The pair is there for the asking and deserves your listening time.
Listen to "I Understand" by The Four Tunes on Manor 1093-B released in 1947. (Windows Media Player)
Above: (Left) Clipping from The Cash Box dated 10/27/47. (Right) Label image of Manor 1116-A released in February 1948, but recorded in late 1947.
Above: (Left) Photo of Savannah Churchill. (Right) Label image of Manor 1129-A released in April 1948.
Visit "SAVANNAH CHURCHILL DISCOGRAPHY" for a full listing of her recordings.
Listen to this week's selections featuring Savannah Churchill And The Four Tunes on Manor from 1947/48:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. Is It Too Late
2. Time Out For Tears
3. I Want To Cry
ALL THREE played in sequence
Also enjoy SPOTLIGHT ON SAVANNAH CHURCHILL - PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR
(Above links will open in separate windows)
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