Martha Tilton, the big band singer perhaps best-known for “And the Angels Sing” with Benny Goodman and the World War II ballad “I’ll Walk Alone,” died Dec. 8 in Los Angeles. She was 91.
Tilton joined the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra in 1935, but she didn’t make her first recording until 1937 when she joined Goodman and remained with him until 1939 when she left in a shake-up after the departure of Harry James.
While with Goodman, she performed in a famous swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938.
Tilton worked with Artie Shaw briefly before joining the Billy Mills Orchestra on the “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio show in 1941. She also was the host of her own NBC radio show, “Liltin’ Martha Tilton Time.”
She then became a solo artist. Besides “I’ll Walk Alone” in 1944, other big hits were “I Should Care” and “A Stranger in Town” in 1945; “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” from “Finian’s Rainbow”; “That’s My Desire”; and “I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder.”
Tilton also appeared in several motion pictures, including “The Benny Goodman Story,” playing herself opposite Steve Allen’s Goodman.