Radio Days (1936-1958) 2
Eileen Barton (Nov. 24, 1924 - June 27, 2006) was best known for her apostrophic 1950 hit song, 'If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake.' Eileen's parents, Benny and Elsie Barton, were vaudeville performers and Eileen first appeared in her parents' act singing 'Ain't Misbehavin',' on a dare to her parents from columnist (and later radio star) Goodman Ace. At 3-1/2, she appeared at the Palace Theater, as part of comedian Ted Healy's routine (Ted Healy would go on to put together 'The Three Stooges.' She soon became a child star. She appeared on 'The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour,' a radio program sponsored by Horn & Hardart's 'Automat,' a well-known restaurant chain, and worked with Milton Berle on his 'Community Sing' radio program, using the name 'Jolly Gillette' and playing the sponsor's 'daughter' (the sponsor was Gillette Razors). She would ask to sing, he would tell her she couldn't, and she would remind him that her daddy was the sponsor, so he'd let her sing a current hit song. She had a daily singing program of her own on radio station WMCA, 'Arnold's Dinner Club.' She also acted on radio series such as Death Valley Days. Returning to radiok, she appeared as a guest singer on a Johnny Mercer variety series, leading to her being noticed by Frank Sinatra, who took her under his wing and put her in a regular spot on the CBS radio show that he hosted in the 1940s. She co-starred on Sinatra's show for one year, and was also part of Sinatra's act at the Paramount Theater in 15 appearances there. She also appeared on her own and as a guest performer with such stars as Count Basie, Nat King Cole, and Danny Kaye. Soon she got her own radio programs, first one called Teen Timers, and later the 13-episode The Eileen Barton Show. She also did some early television. In 1949 she cut the record of 'If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake.' It was first released by National Records and later by Mercury Records. The record became one of the best-selling records on an independent label of all time, charting at #1 for 12 weeks, and altogether on the Billboard charts for over four months. After the success of this record, she became a night club and stage performer, appearing at all the important clubs in New York City and many others. Later she moved over to Coral Records, and charted with some cover versions of songs that were bigger hits for other artists, such as 'Cry,' 'Sway,' and others. She also appeared in motion pictures and television, working the restaurant and night club circuit well into the 1970s. The recordings for these CD releases come from acetate dubs kept by Eileen Barton from her personal estate and cover ultra-rare, one-of-a-kind performances by her on radio and/or unreleased demo recordings. In some cases, some slight 'vinyl noise' remains, but we have tried to restore them to maximum musicality.