Lee Wiley was born in 1908 at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma and died on December 11, 1975 in New York City, New York. She was married to Jess Stacy (1943-1948). Popular during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s she had an instantly recognisable and somewhat husky tone that allowed her to produce an intimate performance of jazz classics and main stream songs. She was long a favourite of jazz fans and supper-club patrons.
I have to admit that I had not heard or listened to a great deal of Lee Wiley before receiving this CD. I do recall an LP and CD on Audiophile and that many people rated her performances highly. I could also remember hearing her sing with Eddie Condon when a record was played on a radio jazz programme years ago. This new 23 track compilation represents the period 1934 to 1951 and with various classy backings. Included are 5 tracks with Bobby Hackett & Joe Bushkin from the album "Night in Manhattan" and then 10 tracks from her 1951 composer dedicated recordings backed by Stan Freeman and Cy Walter (pianos). The earlier offerings include 2 Cole Porter favourites the title song of this collection and "I've Got You Under My Skin" both recorded for Decca and with Victor Young as arranger/conductor (1937). The whole package is a collectors gem providing as it does a real insight into why the voice was so praised. With liner notes from Peter Dempsey and a running time of approx 73 minutes this is a must.
on 20 June 2009
The lady singer that transformed the jazz and blues of so many bands and small groups in the 40s and 50s. It's the timbre of the voice that does the trick -- know that you are a red-blooded male when you listen to 'Goin down to Steamboat Tennessee' and realise that you're paying rapt attention as a foolish grin accompanies the tightening of the collar, and probably of the pants too. Lee Wiley knew how to use the microphone and how to use chaps too - ask Jess Stacey. For me, the epitome of the effortlessly sexy singer. The moderns couldn't hold a candle.......