Lilian Patricia Lita Roza (14 March 1926 – 14 August 2008) was an English singer whose 1953 hit record "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?" made her the first British solo singer to top the UK Singles Chart.[1]

Lita Roza
Birth nameLilian Patricia Lita Roza
Born(1926-03-14)14 March 1926
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died14 August 2008(2008-08-14) (aged 82)
London, England
GenresTraditional pop
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and careerEdit

Lilian Patricia Lita Roza was born in Liverpool on 14 March 1926,[2] the eldest of seven children.[3] She began work at an early age to support the family. She owed her sultry looks and passion to her father, an amateur accordionist and pianist of Filipino descent who played in Liverpool nightclubs.[4]

At the age of 12, she saw an advert in the local newspaper for juvenile dancers and passed the audition. She took to the stage at that age in a pantomime, and by the time she was 15, was working with the comedian and fellow Merseysider Ted Ray.[1] When she was 16, she answered an advertisement and got a job as a singer in the "New Yorker" club in Southport for £5 per week.[5] Soon afterwards she signed up with the Harry Roy Orchestra in London, moving on to work with other bands of the era, including that of Edmundo Ros.[5]

By the time she was 18, Roza had left show business, married an American and moved to Miami, Florida. However, the marriage did not last, and shortly after the Second World War, she returned to the United Kingdom.[5] In 1950, she became the lead female singer with the Ted Heath Band, and by 1954, had achieved enough public acclaim to leave the band and pursue a solo recording career.[5]

Roza's "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?", a cover version of Patti Page's original, was the peak of her career.[5] Further covers of "Hey There" and "Jimmy Unknown" gave her small hits in the mid-1950s.[6] Roza disliked her hit single so much that she never performed it live.[7]

Personal life and deathEdit

In 1956, she married the trumpet player Ronnie Hughes. She remained a top UK recording artist during the remainder of the 1950s and was voted the Top British Female Singer in the New Musical Express poll winners' charts from 1951 to 1955. Melody Maker readers also voted her its Top Girl Singer in the dance band section of the poll in 1951 and 1952.

Roza made three appearances in UK heats for the Eurovision Song Contest selection in 1957, 1959 and 1960. On 14 March 2001, the Liverpool Wall of Fame was inaugurated opposite the Cavern Club on Mathew Street in Liverpool with Roza's presiding at the ceremony.

On 28 November 2002, she gave her last public performance on Radio Merseyside. A 22 track The Best of Lita Roza was released in 2007.[3]

Roza died at her home in London on 14 August 2008 at the age of 82.[8]

In tribute, Elton John said that "we just don't make singers like Lita Roza anymore".[9]

DiscographyEdit

SinglesEdit

EPsEdit

  • 1956 Lita Roza
  • 1957 Lita Roza No.2
  • 1958 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea[11]

AlbumsEdit

  • 1955 Listening in the After-Hours
  • 1956 Love Is the Answer
  • 1960 Drinka Lita Roza Day recorded on 4 May 1960[12]

FilmEdit

Roza appeared in one feature film, as a singer in Cast a Dark Shadow,[13] 1955

Recorded outputEdit

In addition to those tracks listed above, Roza's recorded output included covers of songs such as "Why Don't You Believe Me?", "Smile", "That Old Black Magic", "Have You Heard?", "Come What May", "That Old Feeling", "Too Marvelous for Words" and "The Mama Doll Song".

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Liverpool's original Number One". BBC. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ Sharon Mawer. "Lita Roza biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "dfltweb1.onamae.com – このドメインはお名前.comで取得されています。". Rockandpopshop.com. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Filipinos in Liverpool, Part 2". Filipinohome.com. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1042. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  6. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex, UK: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 9. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 28. ISBN 0-85112-156-X.
  8. ^ "Liverpool's first number one". BBC. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  9. ^ "The Stage / Reviews / Landing on stage – Lita Roza". Thestage.co.uk. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 473. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "Lita Roza". 45-rpm.org.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Lita Roza | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Cast a Dark Shadow". IMDb.com. Retrieved 30 July 2020.

External linksEdit