Evelyn Dall: Life and career dates
1918 Evelyn Mildred Fuss, born in the Bronx, New York City, 08-Jan-18 daughter of a Manhattan postal clerk Isadore. Evelyn also had a brother Robert born in 1921. (Evelyn chose her stage name from President Roosevelt's grandchildren).
1933 Left school (aged 15), plays Paramount Theatre, New York aged 15 (Al Seigel singing coach); In comedy act Fields, Marvin and Dall 'The Side-splitting Funsters' Nov-33.
1934 Appears in Warner Bros. Comedy Film Short 'The Inventors' 02-Feb-34 (Release date); Broadcasting Mar-34; In Billy Rose's Revue at the Casino de Paris, New York Jun-34; In Milton Berle's Show at Shea's Buffalo Theater, Buffalo, New York 26-Jun-34 (1 week); Al Siegel arranges with Felix Ferry for Evelyn to star in his Monte Carlo Follies show. Rehearsals start in July. 'Follies' cast sail to Monte Carlo Late July-34; Follies opens with Evelyn as principal, Evelyn Kelly and 16 girl dancers with the Robinson Twins 01-Aug-34; Follies at the Rex Cinema, Paris, then open at the New Silver Restaurant, Grosvenor House, London. (This is where Bert Ambrose sees her perform). The show is accompanied by Sydney Lipton and his band 04-Oct-34; Evelyn boards the Aquitania bound for New York 18-Dec-34.
1935 Evelyn in the show 'Parade' 26-Apr-35 to 22-June-1935 closing after 40 performances. Cast includes Eve Arden, Jimmy Savo, Ralph Riggs. Evelyn sings three songs.; Evelyn signs to appear in Warner Bros film shorts 12-Jun-35; Starts filming 'Doorman's Opera' (at Vitaphone Studios, Brooklyn) with Charlotte Aarton, Ray Heatherton, Thelma Leeds. 02-Jul-35; Vitaphone Musical Film short 'Tickets Please' Jul-35; Evelyn Dall in nightclub act at the Manhattan Music Hall where she is contacted by Ambrose to join his orchestra and she accepts; 10-Aug-35; Evelyn comes to Britain to join Ambrose; Tower Ballroom, Blackpool - second day in England - first public appearance in front of 5,000 fans sings 'South American Joe' to a great response; Birkenhead Advertiser reports listeners are anxious to know about Evelyn Dall who has "taken the country by storm" 31-Aug-35; First recording session with Ambrose and his orchestra 25-Sep-35.
1936-1939 Evelyn Dall stars with Ambrose and his orchestra
Highlights - 1936 in film 'Soft Lights & Sweet Music' (2 songs); Handed the baton by Ambrose for Variety stage show tour where conducts the band; Evelyn marries Ambrose's manager 'Mr Holmes' to satisfy regulations to stay in Britain 14-Sep-36; May Fair Hotel residency; Evelyn's first TV appearance 10-Dec-36; Voted second place in Melody Maker poll female dance band vocalist.
Highlights - 1937 UK tour; Appears in three films: 'Calling All Stars, 'Sing as You Swing' and 'Kicking the Moon Around'; Residency at Ciro's Club (with once fortnightly broadcasts); Concerts in Paris at the American Embassy 05-Apl-37; At Chez Victor, Cannes 28-Jul-37; Evelyn voted second place in Melody Maker poll female dance band vocalist Dec-37.
Highlights - 1938 Café de Paris residency; In Georges Pal Phillips Short Animated Film; Engagement with small Ambrose band in Cannes, France; Evelyn becomes the first crooner to sing at the Royal Derby Night Ball at Buckingham Palace. ED sang to 1,000 famous guests in a backless blue satin evening gown 01-Jun-38; Fashion shoot in 'Radio Pictorial'; Lead Ambrose's Swing Octet in extensive countrywide tour which includes Holland and Belgium and Ireland; ED again voted runner up female vocalist in Melody Maker poll.
Highlights - 1939 Touring with Ambrose's Octet
1940 Pathetone Film Short no.513 (with Ambrose); Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre. Premiere of the show 'Present Arms' by Noel Gay starring Arthur Askey and Evelyn with Max Wall 06-May-40; Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Opening 'Present Arms' 13-May-40 closes 31-Aug-40 after 208 performances; King's Theatre, Edinburgh Evelyn performs in the pantomime 'Robinson Crusoe' 20-Nov-40 until mid January 1941 with Elsie Bowers, Jewell and Wariss.
1941 In Ambrose's "Stars of Radio Show" extensive theatre tour; Star of the film 'He Found a Star' with Vic Oliver.
1942 Arthur Askey and Evelyn in the film 'King Arthur was a Gentleman'; Royal Court, Liverpool stars a new Ronald Jeans revue 'Green for Piccadilly' with Reginald Pardell, Hetty King Jay Laurier and Betty Huntley Wright 15-Dec-42. Show moves to Ambassadors Theatre (Victoria, London) 24-Dec-42, but Evelyn has to pull out due to illness.
1943 Evelyn with Arthur Askey in the film 'Miss London Ltd' Making recordings and broadcasting for ENSA; King's Glasgow (For four and a half weeks) Evelyn is the star in Cole Porter's show Something for the Boys (Start of the provincial tour 22-Dec-43).
1944 London Coliseum Evelyn opens the West End run of 'Something for the Boys' with Jack and Daphne Barker 30-Mar-44 which closes on 20-May-44; Stars with Tommy Handley and George Moon in the film 'Time Flies.'
1945 VIP Commonwealth TV Demonstration, Alexandria Palace 01-Feb-45; The Palace, Manchester 28-Aug-45 First night of Evelyn and Arthur Askey in Jack Hylton's production of 'Follow the Girls'. Also stars Wendy Toye, Hugh French, Jackie Billings and Vic Marlowe. Provincial tour follows; Her Majesty's Theatre, London 'Follow the Girls' opens 25-Oct-45; Evelyn meets Bobby Cohen, an American G.I. in London during this period and they start dating.
1946 Personality: Meet Evelyn Dall Pathe Short 25-Feb-46; Ambrose and his orchestra with Evelyn Dall play Buckingham Palace for the second time 08-Mar-46; Monte Carlo with Ambrose and his orchestra Jun-46; 'Follow the Girls' still running 18-Jul-46; 21-Oct-46 ED returns to New York as Evelyn Holmes on the HMS Queen Elizabeth from Southampton with Bobby Cohen. Ambrose also travels with them. Evelyn meets Sam, Bobby's best friend back home in America. Eventually Sam proposes marriage and she says yes.
Sam and Evelyn marry on 21 October 1947; Daughter Mary Lee born 11-Oct-48. Bobby Cohen's middle name was "Lee" and Sam and Evelyn named their daughter "Mary Lee" in his honour; Son Brian born. 29-Jun-50
Evelyn and Sam move to Miami Beach. 1968/69; Husband Sam dies. 20-Jul-74; Evelyn moves to Jupiter Fla. 17-Dec-80
The later years
Brian (Evelyn's son) takes her by train from Florida to Arizona to live nearer her daughter Jul-02;
Evelyn suffers a broken hip due to a fall and moves to a Nursing Home to recuperate. Nov-06;
Evelyn passes away in Phoenix, Arizona 10-Mar-10.