The booplicious Helen Kane

Listen to song by flapper sweetie Helen Kane and you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s from a Betty Boop cartoon. You wouldn’t be alone in this: Helen herself (unsuccessfully) sued Paramount and Max Fleischer in 1932 for wrongful appropriation and unfair competition.

Helen’s peak recording career lasted for just two years, from 1928 to 1930, but her songs are easy to find on CD. At first you may find her squeaky voice strange, but she’s note-perfect and packed with personality. Helen’s career began on the stage, and as you listen to many of her songs you’ll be able to imagine her performing for a crowd, with a cheery nod and even a knowing wink for the chaps in the front row.

See Helen performing Dangerous Nan McGrew here.

My CD came, as most of them do, from good old Duck, Son & Pinker in Bath, paid for by me. If you don't have access to that musical paradise, you can always buy Helen Kane's music on Amazon. (And you can probably find it online elsewhere; having the CD I've never had to go out and look for it!)


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