Alma - girl with the laughing voice
She was a British singing superstar, as famous in the 1950s for her extravagant hooped skirts as she was for her voice.
Today, half a century later, Alma Cogan is still fondly remembered by an army of fans.
Born Alma Angela Cohen in Stepney in May 1932, she was encouraged to go onto the stage by her mother and while still a child auditioned with Ted Heath, the well known bandleader.
This did not lead to anything, however and it was a record company executive who spotted the teenager and realised her potential. For a time she sang for diners at London's Cumberland Hotel but in 1952 began her recording career with To Be Worthy of You backed by Would You.
Then came the break which would lead to her becoming famous. When Joy Nichols left the radio show Take It From here Alma stepped in as resident singer. In 1954 her recording of Bell Bottom Blue made the hit parade.
Always glamorous she became one of the best known faces on TV, her gowns, often sequined, becoming her trademark.
Billed as "the girl with laughter in her voice" Alma was popular for her up-beat ballads and novelty songs, but also changed her style as music itself changed even including rock and roll in her repertoire.
Even today many of her songs are fondly remembered - among them This Ole House, I Can't Tell a Waltz From a Tango, Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo and Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails.
Alma Cogan died of cancer at the age of 34 on October 26, 1966.
Written by The Editor - 01/03/2007 14:55:14
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