Album: UKULELE LADY

This photograph taken by Charles L. Franck (1877-1965), was one of a series taken on May 21st 1925 to advertise their first record for Victor, “Nights When I Am Lonely” and “I’m Gonna Cry (Cryin’ Blues)” (both written by Martha Boswell) for the “New Orleans Item.” Left to right Martha, Connie & Vet Boswell. And Connie is playing an 8-string ukulele! Wow.

The incomparable, the seminal, the amazingly influential Boswell Sisters were the influence for this album. And I’m so glad I had permission you use their image on the artwork.

“I’m Gonna Cry” recording of Connie Boswell’s amazing voice from the period of the above photograph. And a wonderful break in the middle of the song that changes tempo, one of their signature musical expressions, where they imitate a brass section.

They were a three sister, close harmony jazz singing group, starting in 1922, from New Orleans. They soon became a sensation and sold 75 million records. Two of the sisters retired to raise families in 1935 leaving Connie Boswell to continue as a solo act.

Connie became incredibly influential. Ella Fitzgerald said she wanted to sound like Connie Boswell. Once when Connie had a cold she insisted on continuing a recording session and got close to the mike and sang softer. In this, she invented the modern practice of studio vocal recording which was incredibly different to singing in clubs and ballrooms, where the vocalists would sing out loud. Everybody wanted to do it after that including Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, two of her biggest fans.

Connie Boswell achieved a huge amount in her life and all from a chair. She had polio at age three and never walked again. Her mother told her, “Connie. You will never walk or dance but you could achieve great things if you want it.” Connie’s wise and courageous mother gave her the will to do just that. Thank you, Connie.