Alex Pangman has unearthed a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ historical gem in her rendition of iconic singer Connee Boswell’s If I Don’t Mean It — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Available Dec. 3 — a nod to the late legend’s birthday — the Canadian Sweetheart of Swing and Juno nominee’s latest release strikes notable for three reasons:
1 | The song is a previously unrecorded and never-heard original composition by Connee Boswell;
2 | It was specifically gifted to Pangman by the Boswell family after a fortuitous meeting with her grand-niece Kyla Titus;
3 | It comes alive in the hands of Pangman, the say-no-more quintessential jazz and swing artist Canada knows and adores.
“The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans were seminal harmony singers from the 1930s,” Pangman says of the legendary singers, who made a huge impact on jazz specifically and music as a whole. “Their influence simply cannot be overstated. Ella Fitzgerald once said in an interview … that she got her start in singing at the Apollo talent contest by imitating Boswell. Ella — Queen of jazz — and so many more looked to Connee for inspiration.”
And with good reason. After a successful career recording with the Boswell Sisters alongside the top jazz musicians in New York City, sister Connee embarked on a remarkable solo career. She sold upwards of 75 million recordings, had her own television show, appeared in movies, performed at Carnegie Hall, shared the stage with the likes of Bing Crosby, and inspired the Andrew Sisters, Frank Sinatra, and generations of more stars. Her music brought so much joy to so many during some very dark historical times — the 1930s – 1940s — and much of her career was spent confined to a wheelchair.
“Compositions by Connee are rare, let alone unearthed ones,” says Pangman, which would make If I Don’t Mean It — penned around the 1940s and co-written by N. Burton — special in and of itself. That the track was gifted — along with a pair of the iconic singer’s red stage gloves — makes it all the more beloved.
“You can’t imagine how incredible and surreal it feels to be singing this … It is certainly a ‘pinch-me’ moment! To think that probably only a handful of people have sung this song, including its creator who was one of the greatest early jazz singers to have lived? This is buried treasure!”