TEDDI KING / CONNEE BOSWELL

Two of the finest singers of the twentieth century, remembered on paper.

Miss Teddi King, “cute and pert,” ready to be the “Queen of Rush Street” in Chicago, 1959:

And the reverse: this photo may have been printed in the Chicago Tribune:

A publicity photograph of Teddi for a 1966 stint at the Playboy Club:

Connee Boswell, looking lovely and wistful:

A later autograph, when she’d changed from “Connie” to “Connee”:

And a few mysteries.  Did Connee ever perform this song on the radio?  Its composers are entirely unknown to me:

And two Fifties sides — presumably early rock ‘n’ roll, compositions by Connee herself?  Does anyone know what these sound like?

Was this Connee’s version of HOUND DOG?

Or was someone masquerading as our Connee?  Can anyone explain?

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8 responses to “TEDDI KING / CONNEE BOSWELL

  1. Certainly not “Hound Dog” which was written by Lieber/Stoller. The writing credit on the disc is Boswell’s.

  2. Joel, you’ve taken my comment too literally. I didn’t mean to suggest that Connee was singing HOUND DOG, but that her song was another variant on the theme of how unworthy the Other is — perhaps I didn’t make it clear? MS

  3. Michael, Connee’s IMDB bio http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0098333/bio
    mentions these titles as two of her compositions. I guess you only have the pictures of these two sides then? No sound?
    It also gives the (rather sad) explanation for why she changed the spelling of her name-polio made her hand too weak to dot the i!
    I was once offered a pristine vintage Epiphone guitar reputedly owned by her (but could not afford its hefty price.) I guess this may explain its immaculate condition, though I have no doubt in stronger years she would have swung on it, along with several other instruments. Still one of my favorite singers!

  4. The way Connie told the story of these recordings was that she was approached by a Mr. Charles who wanted to open a new record label. He wanted to release some demos and asked Connie to record. The rockabilly sound on these records was right up Connie’s alley, especially given the state of her voice at this time. She wrote and recorded the songs and then nothing really happened with the label. It was her last commercial recording and You Ain’t got Nothin’ can be heard on YouTube along with her first recording at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krej7ahlvD0.

    Generally speaking, if the sheet music says “Introduced By” then she performed it at least once, probably on the radio.

    The spelling of her name was explained as you described, but was actually done to improve her luck using numerology which her sister Martha practiced. It also set her name apart…there were a lot of Connie’s out there, but only one Connee.

  5. It didn’t matter how she spelled her name; she was a dazzling singer — intimate, tender, fiercely swinging, unforgettable. Thanks for the explanations of those 45s! Cheers, Michael

  6. Michael,
    No, Connee never recorded “You’re My Only Sweetheart” commercially and if she did it on radio, it has not survived. As to “You Ain’t Got Nothin'” and “I Don’t Mind,” yeah, this was pretty much Boswell does Presley. I have a copy and you can actually hear at least one of the tracks on YouTube if you want. Something few know is that Connee was working on another album of original material when her husband Harry had the first of several heart attacks ca 1963. She abandoned the album efforts to care for Harry. I’ve heard several of those tracks that did get made and they are interesting.

  7. working with name of bob white at woky milwaukee, had the good fortune of meeting and interviewing both connee boswell and teddi king in the 50’s and the 60’s. knew of thetalented miss boswell but at the time knew nothing of Teddi King . i was completely blown away when the enginer put a needleto Mr.Wonderful. I was speechless when the record ended. She possesed what i feel to this day the most honest and pure voices i have ever heard. Said as much on the air. I was amazed that her recording of that song didn’t lead the pack. I became a complete devotee and was saddened to learn of her early passing. A talent like comes along very infrequently.

  8. I was in the pub just round the corner from my workplace having a quick lunchtime beer a couple of weeks ago, when ‘Baby I Don’t Mind’ came on the sound system. I’d never heard it before but thought it sounded a bit like Connee, though the r’n’b – type backing (complete with Hammond organ) persuaded me that it couldn’t be her. I asked the barman to check, and he came back to inform me that it was, indeed, Ms Boswell. I’ve just got round to Googling ‘Baby I Don’t Mind’ and ended up…at my favourite jazz blog!

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