Glo­ria Kane


The Jewish Chronicle - - Obituaries -

KNOWN AS the Glam­orous Songstress, Glo­ria Kane sang in the golden days of ra­dio and con­cert halls. Her pro­fes­sional ca­reer of over 15 years be­gan in 1935. She toured ex­ten­sively, work­ing in Bri­tain’s best known the­atres and cin­e­mas, and en­ter­tained troops in lib­er­ated Europe.

Her most cher­ished mem­ory was of singing to the troops in Paris when peace was de­clared. A gen­eral came on stage af­ter her song and an­nounced: “The war is over.”

She played in pan­tomime and sang in con­certs with bands con­ducted by Lew Stone, Eric Win­stone, Am­brose and Man­to­vani. She sang in pop­u­lar BBC pro­grammes, such as Mu­sic While You Work, Work­ers’ Play­time, Al­bert San­dler and the Palm Court Or­ches­tra and It’s All Yours, which were broad­cast from the Cri­te­rion, an un­der­ground West End the­atre req­ui­si­tioned by the BBC.

Born Glo­ria Keizel­man in Dal­ston, east Lon­don, she came from a mu­si­cal fam­ily. Her fa­ther, Ben­jamin, was chazan of the Ju­bilee Street Zion­ist Great Syn­a­gogue in the East End.

One brother, Aaron went to Aus­tralia in 1938 as chazan of Syd­ney’s Great Syn­a­gogue. An­other was a vi­o­lin­ist and co­me­dian. A third, Alan, a drum­mer and vo­cal­ist, had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer both as soloist and in part­ner­ship with Glo­ria, as My Sis­ter and I.

Glo­ria’s singing and pi­ano lessons were funded by the As­so­ci­a­tion of Min­is­ters (Chaz­anim) of Great Bri­tain, and she was tu­tored by a Vi­en­nese singing teacher. At 18 she be­came one of the BBC’s youngest croon­ers, per­form­ing with Lou Prea­ger and his band un­der her ini­tial stage name of Glo­ria Kaye.

In the late 1930s she criss­crossed the coun­try by train, go­ing to Scot­land, Dublin and Belfast, as well as big Lon­don the­atres like the Hol­born and the Hack­ney Em­pire. Still learn­ing her trade, she per­formed in the Lew Stone tours for £4.10s (£4.50) a week. She was de­scribed as a “charm­ing singer with an equally charm­ing per­son­al­ity”.

She was on a train be­tween Liver­pool and Manch­ester when war was de­clared. She be­came an ENSA star, broad­cast­ing re­quests for troops from makeshift ra­dio stu­dios be­low stage at the The­atre Royal, Drury Lane, with Jack Leon and his or­ches­tra from 12.30-1pm.

On stage at the same the­atre she played prin­ci­pal boy and prin­ci­pal girl in two dif­fer­ent shows on Box­ing Day 1942. Ev­ery let­ter of her fan mail was an­swered, with her mother’s help.

At one cel­e­brated date, she opened the Gau­mont State The­atre in Kil­burn, north west Lon­don, march­ing into the the­atre with a band fol­low­ing be­hind.

Crit­ics said her mezzo so­prano voice was so good, she had no need of a mi­cro­phone. She sang with Man- to­vani at But­lin’s camps in Fi­ley and Skeg­ness. In 1946 she made her 800th BBC broad­cast.

In 1943 she mar­ried Louis Har­ris, a well-known Lon­don sax­o­phon­ist and vi­o­lin­ist. Their mar­riage lasted 60 years un­til Lou’s death in 2003. She re­tired from pro­fes­sional show­busi­ness in the early 1950s to look af­ter her fam­ily but con­tin­ued to en­ter­tain in char­ity and com­mu­nity work.

She died at Jewish Care’s Princess Alexan­dra Home. She is sur­vived by two daugh­ters, four grand­chil­dren and a great-grand­daugh­ter.

Glam­orous songstress Glo­ria Kane

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