Eve Boswell

b. Eva Keleti, 11 May 1922, Budapest, Hungary, d. 14 August 1998, Durban, South Africa. A singer with a vivacious style, who was especially popular in the UK during the 50s, Boswell was also an accomplished pianist and ballet dancer, and spoke four languages fluently. Educated in Lausanne, Switzerland, Boswell later studied music at the Budapest Academy. She came from a vaudeville family with whom she appeared as a teenager in a music hall juggling act known as the Three Hugos. She worked in South Africa in Boswell’s Circus and married Trevor McIntosh, the stepson of one of the owners, who became her manager until his death in 1970. In the 40s, as Eve Boswell, she sang with South Africa’s leading dance band, led by Roy Martin. She went to the UK in 1949 and replaced Doreen Lundy as the star vocalist in Geraldo’s Orchestra. After featuring on several of the orchestra’s records, including ‘Again’, ‘Best Of All’ and, somewhat curiously, ‘Confidentially’ (the composition and theme song of comedian Reg Dixon), she left Geraldo in 1951, and toured the UK with George Black’s revue Happy-Go-Lucky, and was their leading lady in the musical The Show Of Shows, at the Opera House, Blackpool. She also toured Korea and the Far East, entertaining British Forces, appearing regularly in the UK on the radio, television and variety circuit, and at the 1953 Royal Variety Performance. Signed to Parlophone Records in 1950, her first record, ‘Bewitched’, was followed by several other successful titles, including ‘Beloved, Be Faithful’, ‘The Little Shoemaker’ and ‘Ready, Willing And Able’. Her biggest hits were two up-tempo South African songs, ‘Sugarbush’ (1952) and ‘Pickin’ A Chicken’, which entered the UK chart in 1955, and resurfaced twice during the following year. Although well known for lively, up-tempo material, her album Sentimental Eve revealed that she could handle ballads equally well, with such tracks as ‘I’ll Buy That Dream’ and ‘You’ll Never Know’. She remained active in the UK during the 50s and into the 60s, then faded from the scene. She began a new career as a vocal coach, but returned to South Africa following McIntosh’s death. There she married radio producer Henry Holloway and opened a singing school.

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