Betty Bonney

Picture of Betty Bonney

As I wade through the archives of old radio performances and recordings from the 1940's, a name that pops up from time to time is a vocalist named Betty Bonney.  After singing with various regional bands, Bonney joined Les Brown's Orchestra in 1941.  She sang in the band's first major hit "Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio.”  Bonney recorded and toured with Les Brown until August of 1942 and then left the band to get married.

She returned in early 1943 as a featured vocalist in Jan Savitt's Orchestra.  This became the start of a carousel ride that would see Bonney sing for a bunch of major bands in a short amount of time.  During the years of 1943 through 1945, Bonney sang in the bands of Jan Savitt, Jerry Wald, Frankie Carle and Charlie Spivak.

Listen to: "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" by Les Brown 
featuring Betty Bonney on vocals from 1941.  

Throughout the rest of the decade Bonney appeared on Broadway, had a stint in Hollywood and did quite well in the nightclub circuit.  She also ended up doing a number of Soundies as well.

In 1950, after changing her name to Judy Johnson, she briefly joined Sammy Kaye's band.  She eventually made a move to television where she made many appearances on shows like "Arthur Murray's Dance Party" and "Your Show of Shows".

You can hear the voice of Betty Bonney featured with many different bands right here on Swing City Radio. 

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