19 May 1932
Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, London, England, United Kingdom
26 October 1966 (aged 34)
Alma Cogan was Britain's most successful female recording artist of the 1950's. Born in London in 1932, her early recordings were mainly ballads, in the style of Anne Shelton. But by 1954, this was to all change. Her first major hit was "Bell Bottom Blues", and she scored her only number one in Britain with "Dreamboat" in 1956. Novelty songs were extremely popular at the time, and Alma recorded a number of these, including "I Can't Tell A Waltz From A Tango", "Twenty Tiny Fingers" and "Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo". She was known for the giggle in her voice when she sang and was affectinaltely known as The Girl With A Laugh In Her Voice. Her extravagant dresses were also a trademark. Her final UK hit was "Cowboy Jimmy Joe" in 1961, but was fast becoming an International Artist, with hits in Sweden, Germany, Israel and Japan - she had a number one hit in Japan with "Just Couldn't Resist Her With Her Pocket Transistor" which was at the top spot for over six months. As the novelty numbers were fast becoming old-fashioned by the start of the 1960s, she recorded a number of jazz standards and pop records, including five songs written by the Beatles - these recordings can be found on a number of CDs. Famed for her showbiz parties, with guests like Cary Grant, Noel Coward and the Beatles, she was never out of the public eye until ovarian cancer tragically cut her career short. She died on the 26th October 1966, aged just 34.
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