Beryl Davis, British Singer — Career Spanned Eight Decades in UK and US


Beryl Davis.

British-born Beryl Davis, whose eight-decade career included singing with Glenn Miller, Bob Hope, and Frank Sinatra, has died. She was 87.

The daughter of English band leader Harry Davis, she traveled with his Oscar Rabin-Harry Davis Band and was their featured singer by age eight.

At 12, she was booked with the Quintet of The Hot Club of France, featuring Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

She soon came to the attention of Glenn Miller and began singing with his Air Force band. Her last broadcast with Miller was on Dec. 12, 1944. Three days later, Miller took his fateful flight over the English Channel.

Bob Hope invited her to Hollywood to appear on his radio show, and Frank Sinatra invited her to be his singing partner on “Your Hit Parade.”

In 1948, she married Hollywood radio and television personality Peter Potter, host of “Peter Potter’s Platter Parade” and later, the Emmy-winning “Jukebox Jury.” The couple had three children and divorced in 1965.

In 1954, Davis, with friends Jane Russell, Connie Haines, and Rhonda Fleming, performed a gospel song, “Do Lord,” for a church benefit. It was recorded and went Gold, selling two million copies. The group recorded and performed for TV, stage, and nightclubs.

As a solo act, she was admired and respected by the many Big Band musicians with whom she worked with around the globe.

She was preceded in death by her partner of 35 years, record executive and concert producer Buck Stapleton, in 2003. They were longtime residents of Toluca Lake, Calif., where she served as Honorary Mayor. The couple also resided in Palm Springs, Calif., where she received her star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame.

She is survived by her children, Bill Moore, Merry Moore, and Melinda Moore Garber; her sister, Lisa “Cherry” Davis; and grandchildren, Shannon Moore and Asher Ferguson.

Funeral services are planned for 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, Church of the Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association by visiting or calling Jennifer directly at (323) 930-6246.

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