Jane Harvey, jazz musician who performed with Benny Goodman, Desi Arnaz, dies

By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   Aug. 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM   |   Comments

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Jane Harvey, a jazz musician who recorded with the likes of the Benny Goodman Orchestra and Les Paul died at her home in Los Angeles. She was 88.

Harvey, born Phyllis Taff, died Friday of cancer, Playbill reported.

Harvey began her career just out of high school by performing regularly at Greenwich village nightclub Cafe Society. The owner there, Barney Josephson changed her name before she took the stage for the first time.

She was soon hired to record with Benny Goodman, singing on the record, "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me." She would go on to record several tracks with the orchestra over the course of the next six months.

In 1946 she joined the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, recording "Mi Vida" and "A Rainy Night in Rio," and performing regularly at Circo's.

She performed for troops with the USO in 1948 and made her Broadway debut in 1950 with "Bless You All."

Harvey retired temporarily to raise her son, but by 1958 she was recording with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and produced a number of albums on her own, including "Leave it to Jane" and "I've Been There."

In 2011, Harvey took up her cabaret career again with appearances at New York's Feinstein's and Los Angeles' Catalina Jazz Club. She reissued several of her albums, including an unreleased session with guitarist Les Paul.

Harvey is survived by her second husband, William King, her son, Bob Thiele Jr., his wife, Amy Kanter Thiele and grandson Owen Thiele.

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