Bon Bon

Picture of Bon Bon

George Tunnell, known simply as Bon Bon, was a popular lead vocalist for Jan Savitt and His Top Hatters.  Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, which is located near Swing City Studios, he was among the first African American vocalists to perform with a white band.  

Bon Bon started out in the early 1930's fronting a vocal quartet called "The Three Keys".  He had some success with the quartet and even charted a hit with "Fit as a Fiddle", but it was with Jan Savitt's band that Bon Bon left his mark.  He recorded a number of tracks as a member of The Top Hatters and even managed to land a handful of hits.  Savitt's best selling songs, "Hi-Yo Silver", "720 In The Books" and "Make Believe Island", featured Bon Bon on vocals.

He left Savitt's band in 1941 to pursue a solo career and recorded songs like "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" and "Blow, Gabriel Blow" and enjoyed some moderate success.

Bon Bon went on to front the Tommy Reynolds Band in the 1950's but his career had slow down quite a bit by then.  He called it quits shortly after that and retired from music.  Bon Bon returned to live out his days in Pennsylvania and passed away at the age of 62 in May of 1975.

Listen to: "720 In The Books" by Jan Savitt featuring Bon Bon from 1939.

You can hear Bon Bon, as a member of Jan Savitt's band, right here on Swing City Radio. 

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