Val Rosing

Born 1910. Died 1969.


Val Rosing (1910–1969) was the British "Dance Hall" and British dance band singer best known as the vocalist with the BBC in the BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall. Born as Valerian Rosing, he was the son of Russian tenor and opera director, Vladimir Rosing and English singer Marie Falle. From 1938 he was also known as Gilbert Russell.

Rosing sang on the original BBC recording of Teddy Bear's Picnic as well as In a Little Gypsy Tea Room. Another of his notable records was the Ray Noble Orchestra's recording of Try a Little Tenderness, the first recording of this well-covered song. Rosing recorded more than one hundred sides with various English bands, including Spike Hughes and His Decca-Dents, the Jack Payne Orchestra, Jack Hylton's Orchestra and Rosing's own Radio Rhythm Rascals, before moving to the United States of America in the later 1930s.

Rosing married the English actress Meriel Carrington in 1932. They had a daughter, the artist Anna Edouard.

In 1938, Rosing moved to America at the urging of Louis B. Mayer, who renamed him "Gilbert Russell", with hopes of making Rosing the "English Bing Crosby." His years at MGM were uneventful, and after his stint with the studio, Rosing sang and acted in musicals and light operas around the country. Making the transition from pop to "legitimate" singer, Rosing legally changed his name to Gilbert Russell and sang in the Chicago Theater of the Air, the NY Opera Company, and the San Francisco Opera. In 1953, Rosing married secondly Marilyn Pendry, a dancer in movies such as "White Christmas" and "An American in Paris." The couple had one daughter, Claudia Russell, before divorcing. In 1961 Rosing married June Baum, a singer and actress.

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