Monday, May 29, 2006

Some screen captures from Swing Parade (1946), courtesy of Evan Finch. Unusually, Connee is standing in one of these. From what I understand, she could stand and even walk short distances if necessary, in spite of her injury.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A rare early shot of the Bozzies with their instruments.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Video clips online:
"Crazy People" - The Big Broadcast (1932)

"Rock and Roll" - 1934

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Looks like this blog is getting out there. I just heard from Erin Sutherland, who has a great Boswells-styled band in Portland called the Stolen Sweets. Check them out at I should also mention (I can't believe I didn't earlier) that I have a band that does some adaptations of Bozzies arrangements - after you have tasted the Stolen Sweets, shuffle off to

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

As I wait for the coffee to percolate, here are two more tidbits from indefatigable Boswells investigator Cynthia Lucas:

A realtor's listing for the Boswell family home in New Orleans.

A two-hour radio show about the Boswell Sisters.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

From the "Heebie Jeebies" film clip - I forget the source.

"Sunny Skies"/"I'm Keepin' Company"

From Philco Radio Transcription Disc
Unknown Orchestra
The Boswell Sisters, vocal 1931
(Judson Radio Transcription JS1382 Program 8 Part 1)

A 'new' Boswells recording courtesy of Cynthia Lucas, my connection from Texas. She's doing some great research on the sisters as we speak, and she keeps sending me amazing pics and information.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Well, hello. I really don't have time to do this, but this my Boswell Sisters blog. I'm otherwise a normal 37 year old man, but I love the Boswell Sisters. They make me very happy. I don't really listen to other vocal jazz groups, but I love this group.
I've started this blog because I find the web representation of the Boswells rather spotty. A bio here, a blurb there. Some pictures. A lot of commercial CD selling sites with tidbits. There is the Boswell Sisters Museum homepage, but the museum (and the page) seems to be dormant these days. Frankly, I think it's a shame that the Bozzies are so underrepresented on the internet. Aside from my beliefs in their transcendant high quality, they were the most popular vocal group of the 1930s. Shouldn't that count for something?
What I want to do with this blog is collect together some information, some sounds and some images about the Boswells - it's an opportunity to collect everything together in one place, and share it, and maybe even attract some other people to contribute what they have.
There is a Boswells biography in the works by David McCain, but until it drops, I'd like to collect whatever is available.
Let's start with a short bio and a picture.

The iconic Boswells picture. Definitely the one I'm seen most often, and probably the definitive image. Check out the matching spitcurls. Also the matching outfits, but contrasting necklaces. In case you're new to the game, that's Helvetia (Vet) Boswell, Connie (Connee) Boswell, and Martha Boswell left to right.

And a bio from the Vocal Hall of Fame:

Definitely the most talented and arguably the all-around best jazz vocal group of all time, the Boswell Sisters parlayed their New Orleans upbringing into a swinging delivery that featured not only impossibly close harmonies, but countless maneuvers of vocal gymnastics rarely equalled on record. Connee (sometimes Connie), Helvetia (Vet), and Martha Boswell grew up singing together, soaking up Southern gospel and blues through close contact with the black community. They first performed at vaudeville houses around the New Orleans area, and began appearing on local radio by 1925. At first, they played strictly instrumentals, with Connee on cello, saxophone and guitar; Martha on piano; and Vet on violin, banjo, and guitar. The station began featuring them in a vocal setting as well, with Connee taking the lead on many songs (despite a childhood accident that had crippled her and left her in a wheelchair).

Word of their incredible vocal talents led to appearances in Chicago and New York, and the Boswell Sisters began recording in 1930 for Victor. By the following year, they'd moved to Brunswick and reached the Hit Parade with "When I Take My Sugar to Tea," taken from the Marx Brothers' film Monkey Business and featuring the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in support. The trio continued to work with many of the best jazzmen in the field (including Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti, and Bunny Berigan), and appeared in the 1932 film extravaganza The Big Broadcast with Bing Crosby and Cab Calloway. The Boswell Sisters hit the top of the Hit Parade only once, in 1935, with "The Object of My Affection" from the film Times Square Lady. One year later however, both Martha and Vet retired from the group in favor of married life.

Connee had already made a few solo sides for Brunswick as early as 1932, and she continued her solo career in earnest after the Boswell Sisters parted. She hit number one twice during the late '30s, with the Bing Crosby duets "Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?)" and "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and continued recording into the '60s. — John Bush