Stuart Foster (born Tamer Aswad, born June 30, 1918 in Binghamton , New York , † January 8, 1968 ) was an American big band singer with a magnificent baritone voice. Once called the “greatest unsung singer,” he had a long and distinguished career. Though he never achieved anything more than a moderate level of fame, Foster worked with some of the biggest names in the business and earned the respect of critics and colleagues alike over his thirty years as a vocalist.
|Stuart and Bubbles|
he received feature billing and appeared with the group in the 1944 Columbia film Ever Since Venus. He remained with Hutton for four years until Hutton, citing a need for rest, temporarily disbanded in August 1944. (While he was working with Hutton at the Astor Roof in NYC, NY, he met Patricia "Bubbles" Louie from the Kim Loo Sisters. They married April 15, 1946 in Cambria Heights, NY. They had one child together born in NYC, James "Jimmy" Tamer.)
Foster then joined Guy Lombardo’s orchestra, where he had his only chart success, singing on two of the band’s hit songs. “Always” peaked at the number ten spot for one week in February 1945, and “Poor Little Rhode Island” reached number eleven on the jukebox charts in May 1945. The former was recorded in early November 1944, and the latter on December 1st. Hutton announced her reorganization the following day, and Foster returned to her band, where he stayed only briefly. By early March 1945, he’d joined Tommy Dorsey.
Foster remained with Dorsey until mid-1948, when he’d left by June to begin a solo career. He soon found himself in high demand on both the airwaves and in the recording studio. Foster worked on several radio shows. During the 1950s, he also had his own program, which first ran on ABC and later on CBS from at least 1952 to 1958. He also appeared on Drake’s 1957 ABC television program.
|Stuart & family|
In 1951, Foster recorded several more times with Winterhalter again as well as with Bob Dewey’s orchestra, both on Victor. He recorded solo on the new indie PAB label and did one side for Atlantic that same year. Foster signed with the Abbey label in early 1952 and again recorded with Winterhalter late that year. In 1953, he recorded with Xavier Cugat on Victor and Gordon Jenkins on Decca. In 1954, he recorded for Bell and RCA’s Camden label as well as on the Italian Nightingale label. Foster sang with the Chappaqua High School Kids choir on Coral in early 1955 and both Jenkins and Art Mooney later that year. He was back in the studio with Jenkins in 1956 and then did solo work on Coral.
1957 saw Foster singing on Camden’s low-priced Hits of ’57 album. He went in the studio with the Dick Jacobs Orchestra in 1959, on Coral, and sang on the 20th Century Fox concept album Rain in 1960. Every song either had rain or suggested rain in the title. He recorded solo on Jubilee in 1960 and Mohawk in 1962. He also appeared on a special album of Academy Award winning songs put out by Doubleday Books in 1961. Foster’s last recording was for the Gold Coin label in 1965.
From the late 1950s onward, Foster worked as a staff vocalist at CBS, often appearing on the network’s special programs, singing with their house orchestra. Foster did go on the road one last time, in 1965 with Skitch Henderson’s orchestra. Stuart Foster died from heart failure in New York on 8 January, 1968 at the young age of 49. (Edited mainly from Band Chirps. † other sources give February 7th as date of death)