LEWIS Monica 1958

For nearly two decades throughout the 1940's and 50's Monica Lewis reigned as one of America's most popular songbirds, with a career that encompassed not only nightclubs and recordings, but also movies, theatres, radio and TV. An accomplished pop and jazz stylist, her blonde beauty graced magazine covers and her million dollar legs helped get U.S. troops through two of its greatest wars. She even enjoyed 14 years as the singing cartoon voice of the popular advertising character known as Chiquita Banana! Monica's rapid ascent to stardom began in the mid 1940's while still in her teens, with her own show on New York radio station WMCA.

Her nightclub debut at the legendary Stork Club led to appearances with Benny Goodman and a chance to alternate with Frank Sinatra on "The Chesterfield Show". Her early recordings ranged from Gershwin, Kern and Coward favourites to such saucy items as "I'm Gonna Be a Bad Girl" which she co wrote and "Put The Blame on Mame". The musicians heard on these sessions included such greats as Billy Butterfield, Yank Lawson, Bob Haggart and Teddy Wilson. Monica's success brought her a movie contract with MGM as their new "threat" to Lana Turner. She romanced Victor Mature in "Affair With a Stranger," and danced with Gower Champion in "Everything I Have Is Yours". She joined a roster of jazz stars including Louis Armstrong in "The Strip" from which we include her rare recording of "La Bota" and sang to the marines in Jack Webb's "The D.I." In 1957, at the height of her career, Monica temporarily gave it all up to become the wife of producer Jennings Lang but in the 1970's, she gradually began accepting occasional TV and movie offers, most notably in the blockbusters "Earthquake," "Airport ‘77" and "The Concorde-Airport ‘79".


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