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Photo of the Month
October 2002
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places

Annette Hanshaw (1901-1985) was the first known singer to reach national fame in our family. In a 1935 poll, she was named by Radioland Magazine as "most popular woman singer" in the nation. The New York Times praised her as "one of the most prolific recording singers in the late 1920's and early 30's." During her career, Annette was accompanied by the likes of Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and other jazz superstars. She never toured, but found her niche as a radio singer in New York City. One of Annette's best-loved songs was "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye." Her performances were so popular but her career so short (she retired at age 24) that a special website has been created in her memory with a vast and impressive compendium of her life, career and recordings. A biography of her is in development.

Annette's father, Frank W. Hanshaw Sr., was a native of Grafton, Taylor County, WV. He married Mary Gertrude McCoy in Pittsburgh in 1896 before moving to Westchester County, a prominent New York suburb. Annette's grandparents, Charles F.W. and Mattie (McCluskey) Hanshaw, were owners of a general store in Grafton dating to the 1870s.

Copyright 2002 Mark A. Miner

Photo courtesy of Murray Kent and the website, "Annette Hanshaw - The Voice of an Angel," maintained by Joe Werner.