The Musicians Benevolent Fund supports artists from the start of their career through into retirement. We are lucky to meet musicians who have had extraordinary careers. One such beneficiary is Lauretta Boston, a singer and pianist who has performed for 80 years.
Lauretta (pictured right, ©BBC) first learnt to play the piano at the age of five, and gave her first concert in Tottenham Court Road aged seven. She went on to become involved with broadcasts at the Piccadilly Criterion during the war, and even participated in a broadcast on her wedding day!
After the war, Lauretta travelled to Germany and Norway to entertain American troops. On her return to London Lauretta became the singer for the Churchill Club in Bond Street, where she often performed in front of the greats. ‘We had Sophie Tucker, she was quite a big star at that time, Louis Armstrong and we also had Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, Michael Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Hawkins’ , Lauretta says.
Later, Lauretta developed some health problems which made it difficult for her to perform. That’s when we got to know her and were able to offer her some support. Luckily, Lauretta’s health improved and she still loves performing in front of audiences.
Read a more extended story of her life in our recent edition of Notes magazine.