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    Jessie Matthews - My Heart Stood Still

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    kspm0220s

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    Jessie Matthews (1907-1981) was an English actress, dancer and singer of the 1930s, whose career continued into the post-war period. She was born in London in relative poverty, one of sixteen children. She debuted on stage on 29 December 1919, in Bluebell in Fairyland. Matthews was acclaimed in the United Kingdom as a dancer and as the first performer of numerous popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s. She developed a following in the USA, where she was dubbed "The Dancing Divinity". Her popularity waned in the 1940s after a string of only moderately successful films. Live theatre and variety shows remained the mainstay of Matthews' work through the 1950s and 1960s, with successful tours of Australia and South Africa interspersed with periods of less glamorous but welcome work in British provincial theatre and pantomimes. She became a stalwart nostalgia feature of TV variety shows. She took her one-woman stage show to Los Angeles in 1979 and won the United States Drama Logue Award for the year's best performance in concert. She had suffered from periods of ill-health throughout her life and eventually died of cancer at the age of 74 in England. Her much publicized temperamental behavior and emotional tempestuousness can be traced to the secret but lifelong psychological trauma that resulted from becoming pregnant after a sexual assault at the age of 16 by an Argentinian, Jorge Ferrara. As for this superb recording, it was made in 1927. Miss Matthews was accompanied by Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson.