June 3, 2012

Lurlean Hunter - highly acclaimed "torch singer" of the early 1950's.

Sadly, the name Lurlean Hunter has been overlooked lately, as an entry in the vast catalog of Jazz singers from the 1940's to today.

Hunter, born in Mississippi, raised in Chicago and migrating to New York where she landed a contract with RCA in the early 1950's and turned in four highly regarded albums for the RCA and subsidiary VIK labels.

Publicized primarily as a "torch singer", Hunter had a very good following on the club and lounge circuit throughout the 1950's and early 1960's.

But as tastes and venues changed, and as the vagaries of the music business did what they usually do, Hunter slowly faded from public view. Surfacing only occasionally, such as this guest spot on the Pre-PBS, NET-TV program Jazz Alley, broadcast on June 4, 1970.

A wonderful singer performing to a very appreciative audience, Lurlean Hunter certainly deserves some re-evaluation. At least some serious re-discovery of a memorable back catalog.

In the meantime though, here she is in a live setting.

Technical note: the transmitter for this broadcast got a little crazy about two minutes into the first song and it gets noisy for about 20 seconds. It goes away and the rest of the broadcast sounds fine. Worry not.

Dig, you must.

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