Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Biographical Information
Annette Hanshaw (1901-1985)

Pathe Records (Perfect label) 1926-1928
Columbia Records and it subsidiaries  1928-1932
Decca Records 1932-1934
Maxwell House Showboat (Radio Show) 1932-1934 (18 months)
Camel Caravan (Radio Show) 1934-1936 (14 months)

 

Annette Hanshaw’s career in records can be broken down into 3 periods.  The first "early" years were with Pathe’s “Perfect” label.  Far from "perfect" the Pathe label had the least fidelity of any of the recording studios and these records are the poorest quality to be found.  This was from 1926-1928.  The second (and most productive) part was from 1928-1932 for Columbia and its subsidiaries. The Columbia recordings are far superior to the Pathe recordings.  The increased fidelity is noticably apparent in all of her recordings.  It is a good thing too as these were some of her best recordings.  Unlike the early Pathe recordings that often featured Annette with just an accompanying piano or guitar, these recordings often had a full ensemble of top flight musicians.   The third period and last before retiring was with Decca Records from 1932-1934.

Annette Hanshaw Interview:  "The Entertainers"

    Annette came from a well to do family in New York and she learned how to play the piano and ukulele at an early age. Reportably she was self taught.   She seemed to have the knack for singing as her mother told her that even at 16 months old she could sing the choruses of at least twenty poplular tunes of the day.  Annette gave her mother the credit for making her a successful artist.  Annette would later remember that at the age of 3 her mother had her do her first public recital on a chair in the parlor.  A lollypop was her reward for singing "The man in the moon".  Even before she was 15 she was offered two musical sholarships but turned them down in favor of studying art.  She had no designs on a musical career but did learn how to play the piano and the ukulele well enough to accompany herself.  Her father had several resorts where he encouraged her to sing to the guests.  It was also at this time that her father started her, her own record shop, "The Melody Shop", so she could listen to the songs of the day and practice her singing for the guests at her fathers parties.  It was at one of these parties that she was discovered at the tender age of 25 by the music director of Pathe’s records.  The executive, a Mr. Herman "Wally" Rose,  heard her singing and convinced her she had talent.  Mr. Rose was a remarkable man and was really the reason for her whole career.  He saw a talent for singing and set Annette up with some of the most talented musicians of the day.  He later became her manager and then her husband.   He first met her at 25 and married her 8 years later when Annette was only 33.  Such devotion can only be described as love because the talent he got for hear reads as a who’s who of jazz in the late twenties.  He discovered her, he became her manager and then he married her!  And what a job her did for her!  The very first song she recorded was with Red Nichols and Miff Mole.  She was scared to death.  But even on some of her first recordings something was apparent.  She could mimic, she could laugh, she could carry a tune with personality and she could become part of the band. In essence she could carry her voice as another musical instrument.  Tommy Dorsey once said of her that she was a musician’s singer.  Maybe it was because of her shyness, her character, her desire to get the tune just right that they ended up doing 4 or 5 takes on many tunes.  Nevertheless, the musicians loved her.  At the time there were many good jazz musicians but very few good jazz singers.  To have the musicians love her was probably her greatest asset.
 
 

When Pathe records went into receivership in late 1928, Mr. Rose set her up with Columbia and it many subsidiaries.  This was a strange period for her as she could have been  very popular but because Columbia had contracts with many different stores she recorded for each store under a different pseudonym.  She was called Patsy Young, Dot Dare, Gay Ellis  each name for a different company.  It was in the period of recording for Columbia that Annette really blossomed artistically and which Mr. Rose got some of the greatest musicians of the day.  There was Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Adrian Rollini, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden and the Dorsey Brothers.  In one stint the Dorsey Brothers played with Bing Crosby in early 1929 and then just a few months later played with Annette.  It is somewhat ironic that Bing and Annette did not play together as both recordings were done in New York.

As her recordings became more popular she started blossoming out into radio in the early thirties.  She did a 20 month stint with the “Maxwell House Showboat” radio show and then a 14 month stint with the “Camel Caravan” with the Casa Loma Orchestra.  On the Maxwell House Showboat she recorded her only  video.  It is a short 10 minute film where she sings, "We just couldn't say goodbye."   Had she the desire she probably could have been a more famous, perhaps more famous than Bing Crosby.  She had all the same musicians.  But she tired of show business and except for a few radio shows retired in the late thirties to settle into married life with Mr. Herman Rose.After Mr. Rose died she began volunteering at a local hospital in New York volunteer where she had many friends.

Below is a list of radio appearances that she is known to have been in.  This archive comes from Preston Meeks.  Again if you know of any additional performances please email Preston at  http://www.pmeeks@pdq.net
 

                      Annette Hanshaw's Radio Appearances (in sequential order)
 
Dates Radio Show Appearances
3-1-1926 Local Radio Show in Dunedin, Florida  (perhaps when she was attending school there)
11-10-1927 Guest on the "Cliquot Club Eskimo"  show with Harry Reser  (this was her first National Broadcast)
1-10-1928 Guest appearance on the "Everyready Hour"
1928? Guest appearance on the "O'Cedar Mop" program
1928? Guest appearance on the "Reid Features" program
3-26-1929 Van Heusen Radio Program on CBS-She appeared as a regular each Wednesday night (except two weeks when she was ill) until her last show on May 5,1929.  There are references to her specific performances on April 3,1929, April 10,1929, April 17, 1929,April 24, 1929, May 1,1929, May 8,1929,May 15, 1929,May 22, 1929, and her last performance on May 29,1929.
February 1931 Appeared on the "Radio Roundup"
March 17,1931 Van Heusen Radio Program (made a cameo appearance)
April 1931 Van Heusen Radio Program (made a cameo appearance)
October 21,1931 Appeared on the "Vitality Hour"
October 1932 Appeared on the "Maxwell House Showboat"
November 1932 Appeared on the "Maxwell House Showboat"
January 1933 Name of the "Maxwell House Showboat"  changes to "Captain Henry's Showboat"  She appeared on this show each Thursday  until her last program on September 13, 1934.  There are references to her specific shows on October 12, 1933, January 11, 1934, July 19, 1934 and her final show on September 13, 1934.
September 10,1934 Signed on the "Rexal Magic Hour"  (no  record of any performances)
October 2, 1934 Camel Caravan Show -Annette signed on the Glenn Gray's Casa Loma Orhcestra to appear twice per week.  (tuesdays and thursday).  The first formal show was on December 6,1934, although there is reference to a perfoormance on November 6,1934.  She quit the "Camel Caravan", her last show being October 15,1935.  There are specific  references to her shows on November 19,1934,November 26,1934,December 19,1934, February 20,1935, March 5,1935,March 7,1935, March 12, 1935, March 12, 1935, March 14, 1935, March 19,1935,  March 21, 1935, March 26, 1935, March 28,1935, April 4, 1935 and May   21, 1935 
March 15,1937 Appeared on the "Norge All-Star Varieties Show"  with Ray Noble's Orchestra
March 1937 Reported to have appeared on the "Coca Cola Refreshment Time"  Program
August 2,1937 Appeared in the "Chevrolet Musical Moments Program" transcriptions
August 3, 1937 Reported to have aired her own radio program
September 1937 Reported to have appeared in a few of the 26 "Desoto Car Specials" transcriptions
October 1937 Reported to have appeared in a few of the 26 "Desoto Car Specials" transcriptions
December 6, 1937 Appeared in the "Chevrolet Musical Moments Program" transcriptions

Below is an article from Radioland magazine from 1935.  It is courtesy of Preston Meeks.  It has the results of the poll it took of its readers.  They overwhelmingly chose Annette as their favorite singer and "Showboat" as their favorite show.