Jerrie Thill
R.I.P. 1917 - 2010
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Jerrie Thill - When You're Smiling

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Since 1984, vocalist-drummer Jerrie Thill has performed each Sunday afternoon at the El Cid Restaurant in Hollywood California. Through the years she has attracted many fans but few realize what a remarkable musical career she has experienced during her lifetime.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1917 Jerrie has been part of the commercial music business since age 18 and began as a drummer-singer- band leader in the Chicago area. Between 1935 and 1938, she was the vaudeville leader of an eight piece all-girl swing band that toured on the Pantages and Gus Sun Times Circuits. Just before World War II she was the drummer with the Hollywood Sweethearts and during the early war years part of the Villa Maree Trio (a supper club) in Dubuque. The later war years found her again in Chicago as a vocalist with the Danny Fergueson Society Orchestra and in 1945 she relocated to Southern California where she appeared as the house drummer at the Flamingo Night Club in Hollywood (1945-1952) and later with the Ada Leonard All-Girl Orchestra during their West Coast tours (1953-1954). Jerrie continued on the road with the Biltmore Girls during the mid-1950s and for the next three decades was a much in-demand drummer and vocalist with small jazz ensembles. In 1974, she joined Peggy Gilbert's Dixie Belles and for the next twenty years performed with that ensemble throughout Southern California including an appearance on the Johnny Carson Show and guest appearances on network television shows such as Golden Girls, Married with Children and Trapper John. Today, Jerrie Thill continues to sing and perform with just as much passion and plan as she has done during the past seventy years.



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