Thursday, December 3, 2009
When I take My Sugar to Tea
Happy Birthday, Connee Boswell- I love you!
Even though you stopped singing on the planet in 1976, October 11th, to be exact, I hear and see you all the time. I hear you when Ella Fitzgerald sings, and I hear you in Peggy Lee. I hear you and your sisters on my I-pod, singing "When I take My Sugar to Tea". I see you every time I go to your birthplace, AGC, New Orleans, LA. Why, I just saw you in a cameo on Turner Classic Movies the other night. You played Connee Boswell. You knocked me out.
Connee (or Connie) was born in New Orleans in 1907 on this date. She and her sisters, Martha and Vet (for Helvetia) grew up surrounded by great music, and were thought of as musical prodigies themselves. Multi- instrumentalists, they turned down an opportunity to play with the New Orleans Philharmonic.
The girls became known for their highly intricate vocal arrangements, mostly done by Connee, and their innate ability to really swing. They began recording in the late twenties and in the late thirties, Martha and Vet retired to raise families. Not Connee, though.
Happy 102nd birthday, Connee. Let's get together over a beignet and a coffee at the Du Monde next time I'm in town, like we always do.