The Troy Street Observer

The Best Boston Singer You’ve Never Heard

So many good jazz singers call, or have called, Boston home that I won’t start listing them for fear I’ll miss way too many. However, there is one very fine singer in the “have called home” category who is not known to many—Rosalyn Wise. Roz Wise, from Lynn, sang on the North Shore in the years following World War II, and then sang professionally with the bands of Billy Stone, Tommy Reynolds, and Nat Pierce. She quit singing in 1952 and went off to do other things with her life.

Wise left behind a few recordings, none released commercially, some of which were made in 1949 with members of the Nat Pierce Orchestra. They amazed me when I first heard them, and I think they’ll amaze you, too. Roz’s daughters, Diane and Marcia, kindly allowed me to add one of these unreleased gems to my YouTube channel. You know the tune, “Any Old Time.” Give a listen.

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  1. Hello again Richard, I am having the hardest time sending messages to you but if this does work I would be thrilled if you could find the 78 of the Four Pebbles!! Thanks again!!

    • From the Happy Endings Dept: I was able to send mp3s of the two sides Roz recorded with the Billy Stone Orchestra to Ms Banks. The tunes are the Irving Berlin chestnut, “Say It Isn’t So,” and the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland,” by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. They were never commercially released.

    • Nini, I know of no photos of the Billy Stone Orchestra. As far as recordings, Stone did not release any music commercially, but I have heard two test pressings done by the Stone Orch featuring the Four Pebbles, the vocal group drawn from the band—Roz singing with Stone, Sonny Truitt and Bob Watson. They are not publicly available, so please contact me by email if you want to know more about them. Thanks for dropping by!

      • Hello again Richard, I apologize in the lateness of my response but if your offer for more info on Billy Stone & the Four Pebbles still stands I would love to learn more!! Thanks so much!!

  2. After watching the You Tube I put it all together. I knew her as Roz Brooks and we connected because she was a customer of mine at PhotoGraphics in Swampscott. We used to talk music all the time and she told me she used to sing but didn’t elaborate. One or both of her daughters went to school with one of my brothers. Roz was a sweetheart of a lady! Very nice post

    • Wow! I had no idea.
      This incredible singer was always Mrs.Brooks to me. The warm and loving mother to 2 of the kindest, most interesting women (doesn’t seem right to call friends I’ve had since nursery school women) I know.
      What wonderful sound from a wonderful woman. Way to go Mrs. Brooks!

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