Friday, 25 February 2011

Annette Hanshaw, Lovable and Sweet [music]


Annette Hanshaw is one of my favourite vintage singers, making recordings during the 1920s and 1930s, and I love this CD of some of her best numbers. In many ways Annette has quite a plain voice: it’s doesn’t have the babydoll squeakiness of Helen Kane, or any soaring operatic qualities. Despite that, there’s so much personality in her voice that you get a real feeling for the person and the emotions behind the songs. In ‘You Wouldn’t Fool Me, Would You?’ she imitates her friend Helen Kane in a fun and friendly manner, while in ‘Ain’t He Sweet’ you can almost see her smiling as she sings.

Annette’s career, like Helen’s, was not a long one, lasting just over a decade. While Helen’s songs sound stage-ready, Annette’s recordings do feel less like performances, more things to be listened to on the gramophone at home. I’m very fond of ‘We Couldn’t Just Say Goodbye’ in particular; it has a surreal silliness, yet is still sweetly romantic.

I bought my CD at Duck, Son and Pinker in Bath (yes, them again) but you can easily purchase Annette's recordings online from places like Amazon. You can hear some of Annette's recordings online at Red Hot Jazz.

EDIT 4/2/12: See Annette in a gorgeous floor-length frock singing 'We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye' uploaded by glamourdaze on YouTube.

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