Savannah Churchill, Time Out For Tears

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 08.09.11 in Reviews

Savannah Churchill’s greatest height of fame came in the 1940s, when she moved from being the chanteuse in the Benny Carter Orchestra to a string of hits that featured her Holiday-esque voice backed by vocal groups like the Four Tunes. Moving to Brooklyn when she was six, Savannah hadn’t thought of singing for a living until her husband was killed in an automobile accident. With a reputation as “sex-sational,” her voice as much purr as vocalese, she was a regular on the club circuit until 1956, when a man fell onto her from a balcony while she was singing, causing multiple injuries. In 1960 Jamie recorded her reprising many of her hits, including the title song (which dates back to 1947) and “I Want to Be Loved” (1945), along with classic standards like “Summertime.” By then she had moved from Billie to Dinah Washington stylizations, and the album is lush, sweet, and exquisitely sung.