When Glenn Miller’s star vocalist, Marion Hutton, announced that she was taking maternity leave. It was a shock to Glenn. He immediately started looking around for a replacement. The ideal choice seemed to be Dorothy Claire, a pert, vivacious, extroverted blonde who’d been singing with some of Gienn’s friends in the Bob Crosby band, before joining Bobby Byrne’s new outfit. Glenn made an offer and Byrne burned. Dorothy accepted. A few weeks later Bobby started a suit against Glenn. Bobby Byrne’s lawyer had kept putting on the pressure, and soon Glenn felt the fight wasn’t worth it. One night he ran into Bobby in a Columbus, Ohio, hotel, and he agreed to Dorothy’s return if Bobby would withdraw his charges.
Dorothy’s last Chesterfield Show in St. Louis, Missouri, was on March 20th 1941 when she sang Ciri-Biri-Bin. She edged way from dance bands to sing in Chicago night clubs like Chez Paree and Palmer House. Coming to New York, she she sang at the Copacabama and the Bing Crosby radio show. She had her own radio programme in New York, toured in vaudeville and appeared on television. On Broadway she starred in the 1947 production of “Finian’s Rainbow”. Dorothy Claire died on July 4th 2020, In March 1941 in Dorothy’s place Glenn hired Paula Kelly, the pretty wife of Hal Dickinson the leader of The Modernaires. She had been singing with the Al Donahue Band. Paula was the band’s brightest star. In 1938 she had sung the band’s record of Jeepers Creepers into the No.1 spot and given it six other entries into the charts. Back in March 1941 Paula joined Hal, Glenn and the band in St. Louis for the lengthy train jôiurney to Hollywood where they started work on the movie, “Sun Valley Serenade” on March 24th. The next day Paula, backed by the Modernaires sang La Cucaracha on the Chesterfield Show. On this CD you can hear a dozen more examples of Paula’s attractive singing, including Chattanooga Choo Choo, which spent twenty-five weeks in the charts, nine of them at No.1 and becoming a million-seller.