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Chris Connor

Along with June Christy, Helen O'Connell, and Julie London, Chris Connor epitomized cool jazz singing in the 1950s. Influenced by Anita O'Day, the torchy, smoky singer wasn't one for aggression. Like Chet Baker on the trumpet or Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz on alto sax, she used subtlety and restraint to their maximum advantage. At the University of Missouri, Connor (who had studied clarinet at an early age) sang with a Stan Kentonish big band led by trombonist Bob Brookmeyer before leaving her native Kansas City for New York in 1947. Quite appropriately, she was featured in the lyrical pianist Claude Thornhill's orchestra in the early '50s. After leaving Thornhill, Connor was hired by Kenton at Christy's recommendation, and her ten-month association with him in 1952-1953 resulted in the hit "All About Ronnie." Connor debuted as a solo artist in 1953, recording three albums for Bethlehem before moving to Atlantic in 1955 and recording 12. Connor reached the height of her popularity in the 1950s, when she delivered her celebrated versions of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and George Shearing's "Lullaby of Broadway," and recorded such excellent albums as The Rich Sound of Chris Connor and Lullabies of Birdland for Bethlehem and Chris Craft and Ballads of the Sad Cafe for Atlantic. Connor made a poor career move in 1962, the year she left Atlantic and signed with a label her manager was starting, FM Records -- Connor had recorded only two albums for FM when they folded. Connor's recording career was rejuvenated in the 1970s, and she went on to record for Progressive, Stash, and Contemporary in the '70s and '80s. Connor maintained a devoted following in the 1990s and continued to tour internationally. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

No need for wine, the champagne is Ronnie and Ronnie is mine. Just substituted the name - that line used to get me so much in high school and early Navy days. Thanks Chris I owe you a lot.
For over 50 years ...from teen to present...st i l l fall asleep to Chris. No one had smoother vocal, key changes. The best!
i'm going to be 80 in May of this year 2013 and have ALWAYS looked up to June, Chris and Anita as my idols. Can't beat that sound. I live in Maine and am still singing
webersf
A Kansas City girl . My Kansas City , I love KC and Chris is so fine
one of the top female jazz singers. Her sound perfect for standards, and a style in the tradition of Anita O'Day & June Christie.
Her awareness of lyric and freedom of musical expression make listening
to Chris Connor an artistic, emotional experience.
JLB
Living in Worcester Mass. in 1950s head Chris Conner on NY radio late shows. Bought all of her music I could find. I used to be a DJ in Worcester and used one of her songs for closing theme for night radio show. She was and will continue to be extraordinar y . pdcoss@gmail . c o m
gmmmcc
Was looking for June Christy but found Chris Conner. Life's great!
jbandcb
"All About Ronnie"--tot a l l y burned into my mind too. My mom used play her records in the 50's when I was a kid, and I still love them. My daughter was a kid in the 70's and listens to Joni Mitchell from my generation!
jbkirk2001
I fell in love with Chris Connor and June Christy in 1957, and they still are my standards for good listening. I imagine there are others out there, but I haven't found them yet. I went from records, to reel-to-reel , now to CD's, and I've worn them out. Can't beat them.
This might read like a blog. (I hoppe it doesn't) -Chris Connor remains burned into my mind as she sings 'All About Ronnie'















This may read like a blog. (I hope it doesn't) - Chris Connor singing 'All About Ronnie' is permenantly burned into my brain from 1952 when I first heard it. She's SO amazing!




I discoverd Chris Connor five years ago.I think she is fantastic and such a distinstive voice.We need more airplay from this lady.
How can there not be any comments about Chris Connor??!!
She has been an amazing artist for a long, long time. Any student of female vocalist of the mid-20th Century must have some exposure to CC. I saw her only once in San Francisco in the '70's... and she was lovely and wonderful !!

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