Chris Connor

For nearly a decade, Chris Connor reigned supreme as Atlantic’s first lady of jazz. The smoky-voiced, Kansas City-born songstress, who had initially developed her skills with the big bands of Claude Thornhill and Stan Kenton, began working as a solo artist in 1953, recording three albums for Bethlehem before moving to Atlantic in 1955 for twelve beautiful LPs. She left the label in 1962 and signed with an imprint her manager was starting FM Records, for whom she recorded two albums before they folded. Her musical career was rejuvenated in the 1970s, and she went on to record for Progressive, Stash, and Contemporary in the '70s and '80s. Connor maintained a devoted following in the 1990s and continues to tour.