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Like many queer gents, I have an adoration for female singers. Besides the usual lot of contemporary artists, I enjoy a handful of vintage ladies. Their voice and work have endured the years; they remain marvelous. If you haven’t heard of them –

ruthetting.jpgRuth Etting – She sang in the early part of the 20th century. Not a ‘looker’ per se, but her voice is lovely. She sang a lot of tunes we would now label “co-dependant victim” , but they were the vogue at the time. Her most famous song is “Ten Cents a Dance”.

ethel.jpgEthel Waters – One of my all time ‘goddess divas”. She had a long career, which started with a vaudeville Harlem style. When she was more established she changed (was allowed?) to sing more serious work.

boswells.jpgThe Boswell Sisters/Connie Boswell. – I like their work far more than the Andrew sisters. They have a broader range of tones and song styles Their early works have a Southern flavor/drawl. Connie went on on her own; the later recording with their higher fidelity reveal one of my favorite beautiful voices. Della Reese was once asked who were her influences. She replied Connie Boswell –and only Connie.

della.jpgDella Reese – a “recent discovery” for me. Oh, to cha-cha and party with her!

And

earthakitt.jpgEartha Kitt – Words fail me. I am talking about her ‘early years’ not the later camp disco. Her various languages, tones and topics are a marvel.  She still uses my brain as a motel when she wants to communicate with the aliens. I hope it doesn’t stop with her death.

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