Have you ever heard of the fabulous Mrs. Elva Miller (1907-97)? In the mid 1960s she had a brief period of fame for singing all sorts of well-known pop songs and absolutely making them her own. She sings like no one else I have ever heard.
She was discovered around 1960 through a self-financed single she made. She was featured on Garry Owens’ radio show after that (he produced Laugh-In in the late 60s) and was signed to Capitol Records in 1965.
She had a brief period of popularity due to her singing being so – unique. At first of course the poor lady thought she was being heralded for her good diction, but to her credit, once she realized that her fame was for other reasons, she went along with the joke and deliberately missed the beat. But as the Wikipedia article says, “she was capable of skipping beats and missing cues all by herself,” too.
She put out several albums, which include her interpretation of Beatles songs like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Yellow Submarine.” She did quite a version of “Downtown,” the 1966 Petula Clark hit. And a stunning version of “These Boots Are Made For Walking.”
There are some good clips over at YouTube. It was very hard to choose which ones to present here. Seriously, Mrs. Miller is amazing. Here is her unique interpretation of “A Hard Day’s Night”:
And here’s “Let’s Hang On,” originally sung by Frankie Valli:
Album cover is from Frank’s Vinyl Museum.