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Martha Boswell

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Martha Boswell

Martha Boswell Lloyd (July 9, 1905 in Kansas City, Missouri – July 2, 1958 in Peekskill, New York) was the eldest of the legendary Boswell Sisters. Her younger sisters were Connee and Helvetia "Vet" Boswell.[1]

The Boswell Sisters sang together until 1936 when Vet and Martha retired to begin their married lives. In addition to singing, she also played piano accompaniment on most of the Sisters recordings and was a gifted concert pianist as well. She could play almost anything with keys. Rag and blues entered Martha's musical vocabulary at an early age.[1]

The Boswell Sisters left New Orleans in 1928 and their jazz harmony singing catapulted them to international fame. Backed by musicians like the Dorsey Brothers, Bunny Berrigan, Venuti and Lang, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and the orchestras of Victor Young and Jimmy Grier, the sisters dominated the airwaves between 1931 and 1936. Beginning with their own national radio show in 1930 and later alternating with the Mills Brothers as guests on Bing Crosby's syndicated show, they became the sound to lighten the heart of the Depression. They made movies, played Broadway and toured Europe. They cut hit songs on the Brunswick label and were among the small stable of stars that Jack Kapp used to launch Decca Records.

Personal life

In 1925, Martha Boswell married Jules Picard; they had one child, a son, Jules L. Picard (1926-2004). In 1936, she remarried to George Lloyd, who adopted Jules.


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