Go to sleep, my baby

Here’s a photo from the August 25 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a singer who had just become a mother.

The Boswell Sisters were Martha (1905-1958), Connie (1907-1976), and Helvetia “Vet” Boswell (1911-1988). By the time of this photo, they had split up as a performing act; they had made their last recording earlier in the year. Connie, who was unable to walk, due most likely to polio or a go-kart accident (she used both stories at times), continued as a solo artist. She eventually changed her first name to Connee, apparently because this was an easier name to use when signing autographs.

The sisters were extremely successful on radio during the early 1930s, and were an influence on other close-harmony recording artists that followed them, such as the Andrews Sisters. A number of recordings of them can be found on YouTube, including this film clip of them singing “Crazy People” in 1932.

I couldn’t figure out what Vet Boswell was doing in Toronto in 1936. She and her sisters weren’t Canadian, and there’s no evidence to suggest that she settled here. She wouldn’t have been touring with her sisters, as they had split up as a group.

At any rate, since her daughter was born in Canada, the daughter would have been a Canadian citizen. Since her married name was Jones and her husband’s first name was not provided, it was not possible to trace her in the Toronto city directories.

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