Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Ella Allan, 6 March '13, Glasgow; d 1 May '69, Burlingame CA) Singer, actress. Aunt and foster- mother of singer Annie Ross. Born into theatrical family; toured European music halls; to USA '32; with Abe Lyman band '33--4. Broadway musical Calling All Stars '34, then films Flying Hostess '36; Top Of The Town, Woman Chases Man, 42nd Street all '37; Goldwyn Follies '38. Began recording '30, often as band singer with Lyman, Ambrose, Adrian Rollini, etc; also on radio. Known for swinging trad. tunes: Brunswick records late '30s incl. versions of 'I Was Doing All Right', 'Bluebells Of Scotland', 'The Old Kent Road' etc with jazz backing; also duet with Hoagy Carmichael on his 'Two Sleepy People'/'New Orleans'. On Broadway in George White's Scandals Of 1939, Sons O' Fun '41--2; vaudeville revue Show Time '42; records with Spirits of Rhythm '41. Entertained troops overseas WWII; club circuit post-war, then lead role in Finian's Rainbow '47, introducing Yip Harburg/Burton Lane songs 'How Are Things In Glocca Mora', 'Old Devil Moon', 'If This Isn't Love', etc. Later years with touring musicals, solo club dates, occasional TV.