Jane Froman (November 10, 1907 – April 22, 1980) was an American singer and actress. During her thirty-year career, Froman performed on stage, radio and television despite chronic injuries that she sustained from a 1943 plane crash. The 1952 film, With a Song in My Heart, is based on her life.
Froman was born in University City, Missouri, the daughter of Elmer Ellsworth Froman and Anna T. Barcafer. Her childhood was spent in the small Missouri town of Clinton, and her adolescence and college years in the city of Columbia, which she considered her hometown. Her father left her mother when Jane was about 5 years old. She developed a stutter around this time, which plagued her all of her life, except when she sang.
Although she had classical voice training, early in her career she was drawn to the songs of the era's young songwriters, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin, who were inspiring a resurgence in popular music. She met vaudeville performer Don Ross when they auditioned for the same job at WLW radio station in Cincinnati. Convinced she was star material, Ross became her unofficial manager and persuaded her to move to Chicago where worked for NBC radio. In 1933 Froman moved to New York City where she appeared on Chesterfield's "Music that Satisfies" radio program with Bing Crosby. She married Don Ross in September 1933. She joined the Ziegfeld Follies the same year where she befriended Fannie Brice. In 1934, at age 27, she became the top-polled "girl singer." The famous composer and producer, Billy Rose, when asked to name the top ten female singers, is reported to have replied, "Jane Froman and nine others."