22/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 15:57

Singer Beryl Davis dies aged 87

Category: Entertainment

Published: 1st Nov 2011 17:08:40

British singer Beryl Davis, who sang with Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman, has died in Los Angeles aged 87.

Family spokesman Greg Purdy told the Los Angeles Times newspaper that she passed away on Friday from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Born in Plymouth, she began performing with her father, band leader Harry Davis, at the age of three.

A popular singer during World War II, she later became a star in the US, after singing on Bob Hope's radio show.

Inspired by American singers, particularly Ella Fitzgerald, she toured around Europe before the war broke out, playing with Stephane Grappelli, big band leader Ted Heath and pianist George Shearing.

Her career blossomed throughout the war, thanks in part to a contract with the BBC, who broadcast up to 10 performances a week to the Armed Forces or the World Service.

She was spotted by Glenn Miller and sang with his Army Air Force Band towards the end of the war. After his death, she decided to travel to America because, she said, "I wanted to meet Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Helen Forrest".

At least one of those wishes was granted when she appeared alongside Sinatra on the radio show Your Hit Parade.

Davis continued to sing into old age, her signature tune being the ballad I'll Be Seeing You, which had been popular with troops serving overseas during the war.

She was married once, to Hollywood radio and TV star Peter Potter in 1948, but they eventually divorced.

Her partner of 35 years, Buck Stapleton, died in 2003. She is survived by three children a sister and two grandchildren.

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BBC News, 2011. Singer Beryl Davis dies aged 87 [Online] (Updated 1st Nov 2011)
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