Sandy Stewart

With a singing style that falls between jazz and cabaret, Sandy Stewart has on occasion gained bits of fame in the music world, though her fame mainly rests with being the mother of pianist Bill Charlap and the wife of the songwriter Moose Charlap. Stewart sang when she was 14 on a local television show in Philadelphia. She lied about her age and became the Gretz Beer Golden Girl, even though she was way too young to legally drink beer. When she was 16, she sang jazz regularly on NBC Radio, quite frequently with a rhythm section comprised of pianist Dick Hyman, guitarist Mundell Lowe, bassist Ed Safranski, and drummer Don Lamond. She moved to New York in 1954, appearing on the Ernie Kovacs television show, where she was Edie Adams' replacement. For 15 years, Sandy Stewart was a regular on television, making numerous appearances on variety shows including the Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan shows. She acted in the 1959 Alan Freed film Go, Johnny, Go! and worked along the way with Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Steve Allen, and Benny Goodman. She had a surprise hit in 1962 with her recording of "My Coloring Book." By the late '60s she had a much lower profile, raising four children. Since then, Sandy Stewart has occasionally emerged in music, recording special projects including a program of Jerome Kern songs with Dick Hyman in 1985, an album with her family, and, in 2005, a set of ballads with Bill Charlap (Love Is Here to Stay) for Blue Note, one of the very few mother-son duet albums. ~ Scott Yanow

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