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The Beat

Swing Ladies Swing: Bea Wain

Amanda Wilde

Songbird Bea Wain first gained fame in the 1930s as the featured singer with Larry Clinton and his orchestra. She could swing through ballads, blues, and jazz; her voice covers the spectrum of popular music. Bea's distinctive delivery and sparkling personality made her a fan favorite, and in 1939, a Billboard magazine poll named her the year's most popular female band vocalist. She began recording solo in 1939 and in the 1940s embarked on a radio career when she and husband Andre Baruch became Mr. and Mrs. Music, hosting a daily live broadcast. Bea Wain's extraordinary voice continues to resonate into the 21st century. This interview took place in February 2007, shortly before Bea's 90th birthday. Produced by KUOW's Amanda Wilde.

Web Extras!
  • Bea Wain describes her marriage to husband Andre Baruch, the legendary announcer, and host of Your Hit Parade, among other programs. They first met when Bea was singing on The Kate Smith Hour.
  • Bea tells how she caused some consternation – for swinging to the beat!
  • 12.14.18