Betty Hutton – A Vitamin Pill With Legs

I can remember being very young and my mom telling me that her favorite entertainer was Betty Hutton. For some reason I would get the picture of Bette Davis in my mind, and I don't know about you.. but Bette Davis scared me! By this time, I had watched the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Yikes! Later, I would get her mixed up with Betty Grable for some odd reason. I finally sorted it all out, and I can understand why my mom liked her so much.

Betty Hutton was a film, and television actress, comedienne and singer. Born in 1921, she started singing in the family's "speakeasy" at the age of 3, by ninth grade she had dropped out of school and was ironing shirts and doing housework to help the family make ends meet. She also began singing at night clubs while still only 15. She was discovered by pianist and bandleader Vincent Lopez, whose noted musicians over the course of his career included Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Lopez gave her the stage name Hutton and her career was off and running.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz7dZ9Q3K-E

At age 21, she wasn’t the best singer, she wasn’t the greatest actor, and she wasn’t considered as pretty as many of her rivals, but she won over audiences with her manic energy and brassy, firebrand persona. She got her first break in show business in 1939. Hutton made 19 films from 1942 to 1952, and between 1939 and 1956 she had 11 songs enter the top 40 Billboard charts.

As you'll see in this video, which was recorded in November 1943 for the Armed Forces Radio Service show Command Performance.. she is a bundle of fun and energy. Before auto-tune software or lip synching, she simply sings to the microphone with "Murder, He Says", and it makes it really easy to like her.

Enjoy!

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A determined contributor to the memory and preservation of a decade.

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