Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

(b Gisèle Marie-Louise Marguerite LaFlèche, 10 January 1927, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; d 5 September 2003) Pop singer (and violinist) with an unusually fine voice, including perfect pitch. She studied at a conservatory, played piano with the Bob Shuttleworth band in Canada, and he became her manager; she had a daily radio show in Canada, moved to the USA in 1950 and got a big break from Jack Benny, whose generosity was the opposite of his comic persona: they played violin duets on his early TV show and he recommended her as a regular on Your Hit Parade, a gig that lasted 1953 to '57 and made her famous. She recorded for X and Vik (RCA subsidiaries) and had one big hit single: 'Hard To Get' (no. 4 '55), backed by the Richard Maltby band.

She had her own TV variety show briefly in the late 1950s, did many guest appearances, toured in musical theatre and turned to TV acting in the 1990s (Murder, She Wrote etc). Her eponymous RCA LP was reissued '87 in UK. Some of her radio broadcasts were issued on a Glendale LP.