Connie Haines, a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own, died on Monday, 23 SEP 2008, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. She was 87. Born Yvonne Jasme she began singing and dancing at an early age. Her big break came in 1935, at age 13, when she won an amateur contest on Fred Allen's NBC radio program. During the late 1930s she worked for Howard Lally's orchestra. In 1939 bandleader Harry James heard Haines rehearsing at a New York music publishing company and hired her for his band, changing her name. She left the following year and kept busy with solo engagements around the New York area before being hired by Tommy Dorsey, where she joined former James bandmate Frank Sinatra. In 1941 Haines landed the spot as featured vocalist on Abbott and Costello's radio program.
Vernon Handley, one of the best-loved and most respected of British conductors, has died. Throughout his life he was a devoted champion of British repertoire, making some of the most intuitive and masterful recordings of works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst. It was also through Handley’s tireless – and most importantly, convincing – advocacy that many will have first developed a love of composers such as Bliss, Finzi, Howells, Rubbra and Bridge. In fact, of Handley’s 160 recordings, over 90 were of British music, including 87 works which had not been recorded before. His discography includes all the symphonies of Bax, Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Malcolm Arnold and Robert Simpson, and all the major works of Elgar.