FRANCES LANGFORD: ARMED FORCES SWEETHEART (HARDCOVER EDITION) by Ben Ohmart

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978-1-62933-214-7

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Everyone was “In the Mood for Love,” when Frances Langford, renowned Big Band singer with a rich contralto voice, rose from performing at hometown parties in Mulberry, Florida to Broadway, Old Time Radio, and movies during Hollywood’s Golden Era. Her signature song carried her from turntables to troops in World War Two, and then into the stuff of legends.


From the airwaves on Louella Parson’s Hollywood Hotel, Rudy Vallée’s The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, and Dick Powell’s Campana Serenade (1942-1943)Frances achieved nationwide fame as Don Ameche’s insufferable wife, Blanche, on The Bickersons (1946-1951).

Her beauty eclipsed her broadcasts, when the movies plucked her from speakers to screens. Her film debut in Every Night at Eight(1935) led to Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), in which she popularized "Broadway Rhythm" and "You Are My Lucky Star," Born to Dance (1936), and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) with James Cagney, in which she sang the rousing "Over There."

For the first time, her personal interviews with author/publisher Ben Ohmart bring the treasured memories from her past to light. Return with her to the front lines from 1941 into the 1980s with Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna on U.S.O. tours through Europe, North Africa, and the South Pacific, entertaining thousands of G.I.s throughout the world.

Frances Langford. More than a voice. More than the G.I.s’ choice.

Illustrated with hundreds of never-before-seen photos from the Frances Langford Collection in Lakeland, Florida.


" Julia Frances Langford (April 4, 1913 - July 11, 2005) was an American singer and entertainer who was popular during the Golden Age of Radio and also made film appearances over two decades. Her signature song, "In the Mood for Love" carried her from turntables to troops in World War Two, and then into the stuff of legends. From the radio airwaves on Louella Parson's Hollywood Hotel, Rudy Vallee's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, and Dick Powell's Campana Serenade (1942-1943), Frances achieved nationwide fame as Don Ameche's insufferable wife, Blanche, on The Bickersons (1946-1951). Her beauty eclipsed her broadcasts, when the movies plucked her from speakers to screens. Her film debut in Every Night at Eight(1935) led to Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), in which she popularized "Broadway Rhythm" and "You Are My Lucky Star," Born to Dance (1936), and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) with James Cagney, in which she sang the rousing "Over There". For the first time, her personal interviews with author/publisher Ben Ohmart that comprise a part of "Frances Langford: Armed Forces Sweetheart" bring the treasured memories from her past to light. Readers can now return with her to the front lines from 1941 into the 1980s with Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna on U.S.O. tours through Europe, North Africa, and the South Pacific, entertaining thousands of G.I.s throughout the world. Illustrated with hundreds of never-before-seen photos from the Frances Langford Collection in Lakeland, Florida, "Frances Langford: Armed Forces Sweetheart" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library 20th Century American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Frances Langford: Armed Forces Sweetheart" is also available in a paperback edition (9781629332130, $25.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95)."

- Midwest Book Review


"To date there has never been a biography about Frances Langford in print form, which makes Ben Ohmart's latest contribution to the reference library all the more valuable.  
 
"She really was the Sweetheart of the Armed Forces, once quoted of saying "God knows I would gladly give my life to help end this terrible affair and send those boys home to their families and friends where they belong." With her vocal talents as both movie star and radio personality, her career has been immortalized in recorded form. Her personal life restricted to the tabloids and gossip columns of the times, she donated everything she owned -- including letters, scrapbooks and photographs to the Martin County Historical Society in Minnesota. Anyone can visit the Elliott Museum and browse through her collection, but Ben Ohmart saved us an expensive trip across the country with this 333-page book documenting her personal life, her radio career, her screen career and more than any other aspect of her career... what she devoted to troops overseas.  

"'Frances cared a lot about her war work,' Ohmart explains, 'and more than anything, I wanted this book to showcase her amazing patriotism.' Chapter three focuses on her tour with Bob Hope for the U.S.O.  

"I could go on paragraph after paragraph of what this book contains but if you are seeking a biography that covers all aspects of her life and career, this is the book. The most impressive aspect is the fact that this book features hundreds of never-before-seen photographs from Langford's personal collection and are a rare treat. Most biographies have a handful of rare photographs, sometimes as a centerpiece in the middle of a book. Ben Ohmart gave us not just a slice of the pie, but multiple pies of various flavors. The photos alone are worth the price of this book." 

- Radiogram


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