All Shows
   Sci Fi
   Soap Operas
   South African
   On Sale
   Newest Additions
   Quick Order
01.Sam Spade
02.Philip Marlowe
03.Have Gun Will Travel
04.Sherlock Holmes
05.Best of Suspense
06.Amos and Andy
08.Inner Sanctum Mysteries
09.Johnny Dollar (Yours Truly Johnny Dollar)
10.I Love a Mystery
You have no items in your cart
Old Time Radio> Music
  Next Music Show (Helen Morgan Collection) >>
Next Personality Show (Helen Keller Collection) >>


 Helen Forrest Collection

1 MP3 CD - 20 episodes


"Command Performance: Jerry Colonna, Dinah Shore, Helen Forrest"
Or right click here to save
the Mp3 file to your computer.

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Dorothy Lamour Helen Forrest and Janet Blair
The studio floors of Old Time Radio are littered with stories of starlets, stories that go “she had an unhappy childhood, but look how far she went!” Rarely do we find a childhood hardship as heartrending as Helen Forrest's.

Helen was born Helen Fogel in Atlantic City, 1917. By all accounts, the Fogel home was a happy one, the parents ran a small grocery store, and Helen had three older brothers. When the girl was an infant, the family lost their father to influenza. Her mother unreasonably blamed Helen for the death of her husband - she had wished so strongly for a little girl that God must have taken her husband in exchange.

Helen ForrestTwo of Helen's brothers were old enough to move out on their own when the family relocated to Brooklyn when Helen was barely a teenager. Her mother took up with a house painter, a man Helen despised and did not trust. Many times, Helen was told to "take her time" returning home after school. As she matured, she realized that the house was being used as a brothel. As Helen matured physically, her step father took an unhealthy interest in her and attempted to force himself upon her. At fourteen, she was forced to defend herself with a kitchen knife. Soon thereafter she went to live in the home of her piano teacher.

While studying piano, her teacher noticed that Helen had a talent for singing, and encouraged her to pursue it. Helen's older brother Ed had a dance band and helped her to get engagements. She landed a job on WNEW, where one of the saxophone players commented that Fogel sounded “too Jewish”, so she took the stage name Forrest. Ed helped her get a job singing at the Madrillon Club in Washington D.C., where she further built her reputation.

Band leader Artie Shaw saw Helen's performance at the Madrillon and invited her to audition because his singer, Billie Holiday, indicated she was ready to leave. For a time, Holiday and Forrest were both working with the Shaw Orchestra, and it came to Helen's attention that African American performers were not allowed on stage when they were not performing. In support, Helen chose to remain in the wings until the time for her number.

Helen ForrestHelen recorded 38 singles with the Shaw band, and gained national attention, but returned to Baltimore when Artie dissolved the band in 1938. Not for long, however. Benny Goodman invited her to join his band, but it was not a happy fit for Helen. Although she recognized Goodman as a musical genius, she did not get along personally with the bandleader. Benny treated his singers as though they were simply another instrument in the band, and Helen complained that he was “noodling” on the clarinet while she sang. In order to “avoid a nervous breakdown”, Helen quit Goodman's band in 1941.

She approached Harry James, offering to work for him with the single condition that she be allowed to sing. James was looking for a more jazz oriented singer, but gave Helen an audition and the band voted her in. James began arranging around his horn, and Helen's voice, often slowing the tempo so that a song only had two choruses, and Helen often became the star of the record. In 1943 and 1944, Helen Forrest was voted the best vocalist in the United States by a poll in Down Beat magazine.

After leaving the Harry James Orchestra in late 1944, Helen signed a solo contract with Decca Records. She also appeared on the radio with her Decca co star, Dick Haymes.
All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

20 shows - total playtime 8 hours 48 minutes

Artie Shaw 381125 Blue Room Sobbin Blues
Artie Shaw 470819 Summer Terrace Rose Room
Artie Shaw, Orch 380118 Blue Rm, Hotel Lincoln, Nyc
Benny Goodman Nbc Remote 410810 Chicago Panther Room
Cmd Perf 430106 046 Robert Taylor, King Sisters
Cmd Perf 440513 119 Jerry Colonna Dinah Shore Helen Forrest
Cmd Perf 440819 134 Judy Garland, Danny Kaye, Helen Forrest
Cmd Perf 450301 164 Helen Forrest, Jack Carson, Roy Rogers
Dick Haymes 440427 Helen Forrest Long Ago And Far Away
GI Journal Basil Rathbone Helen Forrest Jack Carson
Helen Forrest With Harry James & Orchestra That Soldier
Lux Radio Theater 430118 379 My Gal Sal
Personal Album 0631 I Cried for You Helen Forrest
Personal Album 0732 Exactly Like You Helen Forrest
Radio Hall Of Fame 431226 004 New Years Message
Radio Hall Of Fame 441231 057 Showboat
Showtime W Helen Forrest 1st This Cant Be Love
Treasury Star Parade 070 Harry James
Treasury Star Parade 074 Harry James
Treasury Star Parade 076 Harry James



Please note MP3 CDs cannot play on standard CD players!
Please click here read more about the MP3 format or click here to see a list of audio CDs.

E-mail this page to a friend

Current Parse Time: 0.139 s with 61 queries (0.024307)