I’ve written several times about ‘songbirds’, the female vocalists who worked their way up to pop music stardom after starting as band singers, but not everyone took that route. In at least one case, a gorgeous and talented American singer found success in her own country only after first becoming a hit in France.
Florence Catherine ‘Jane’ Currier, who is better remembered under her stage name Jane Morgan, was born near Boston but grew up in Florida. Her parents were accomplished musicians and she was raised and educated accordingly, pointing toward a musical career for herself. During the post-war years she began to make some spot appearances but with limited success. Eventually the bilingual singer found fame working in France with bandleader Bernard Hilda, and it was mostly by singing American songs to French audiences.
By the mid-Fifites she’d also become popular in Great Britain and Canada, and was beginning to do very well in record sales too. She then began to make some club appearances in New York, but stardom in her home country eluded her until she struck recording gold with what would be her biggest hit, “Fascination.” It was a song that was a little unusual with its long instrumental beginning, but it showcased her strong, melodic voice, and it made her a star.
But she also didn’t forget her French fans — as demonstrated in this video.
Over the years she sold a lot of records with songs like “The Day The Rains Came” and “With Open Arms,” and she also became a familiar sight on Broadway and TV. Eventually retiring from a full-time career, she has continued to show up from time to time for special appearances. You can see her below in a video made just a few months ago, and she looks and sounds pretty darn good for someone who will be ninety on Christmas Day.