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Lita Roza

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Born in 1926, she was the eldest of seven children, and began work at an early age to support the family. She owed her sultry looks to her Spanish father, an amateur accordionist who also played piano in several Liverpool nightclubs.

At the age of twelve she saw an advertisment in the local newspapers for juvenile dancers and passed the audition.

By sixteen [at the hight of the Nazi Blitz-bombing raids on Liverpool she answered another advert, when she managed to secure a job as a singer in the “New Yorker” - a Southport, Merseyside club. She got that job at £5 a week, then shortly afterwards signed up with the Harry Roy Orchestra in London. She moved on from this to work with other bands of the era including that of Edmundo Ros.

By the time she was eighteen war-ravaged London was still a dangerous place to work and she had decided to retire from show business - choosing marriage to an American and a life in Miami in exchange. London was full of American servicemen at the time, one of whom Roza married and off they went to safety in America.

However, this did not last and shortly after WW2 she returned to the UK In 1950 she became lead female singer with the Ted Heath Band, and by 1954 had achieved enough public acclaim to leave the band and pursue a solo recording career on her own.

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