Catherine Annette Hanshaw (October 18, 1901 – March 13, 1985) was an American Jazz Age singer.
Her singing style was relaxed and suited to the new jazz-influenced pop music of the late 1920s. Although she had a low opinion of her own singing, she continued to have fans because she combined the voice of an ingenue with the spirit of aflapper. Hanshaw was known as "The Personality Girl," and her trademark was saying "That's all" in a cheery voice at the end of many of her records.
Between September 1926 and February 1934, she recorded prolifically. From 1926 to 1928 she recorded for Pathe (her sides were released on both the Pathe and Perfect labels). Starting in June 1928, she recorded for Columbia; most of these were issued on their dime store labels Harmony, Diva, Clarion and Velvet Tone. A handful were also released on their regular price Columbia and OKeh. Although most were released under her own name, she was renamed Gay Ellis (for sentimental numbers) and Dot Dare or Patsy Young (for her Helen Kane impersonations). She recorded under a number of other pseudonyms, which included Ethel Bingham, Marion Lee, Janet Shaw, and Lelia Sandford. Starting in August 1932, she began recording for the ARC with her recordings issued on their Melotone, Perfect, Conqueror, Orioleand Romeo. Her final session, February 3, 1934, was placed on ARC's Vocalion label.
Hanshaw made her one and only appearance on film in the 1933 Paramount short Captain Henry's Radio Show, "a picturization" of the popular Thursday evening radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, in which she starred from 1932 to 1934.
Having grown tired of show business, in the late 1930s Hanshaw retired and settled into married life with her husband, Pathé Records executive Herman "Wally" Rose. Later in life, in a would-be comeback, she recorded two demo records, but they were never released. She died of cancer in 1985 at New York Hospital, aged 83, after a long illness; she was living in Manhattan at that time.
Collections of Hanshaw's recordings were released on Audio CD in 1999 by Sensation Records. Another revival of interest occurred in 2008 with the use of Hanshaw's music throughout the full-length indie animated feature Sita Sings the Blues, which retells the Indian epic poem the Ramayana from Sita's perspective by setting scenes from it to performances by Hanshaw. More recently, her 1929 song "Daddy Won't You Please Come Home" was featured in the video game Bioshock 2 in 2010.
For many years it was believed that Annette had been born in 1910 and began her recording career shortly before her 16th birthday. However, it has recently come to light that she was in fact born nine years earlier, making her 25 at the time of her first commercial recording in September 1926. Her nephew, Frank W. Hanshaw III, has confirmed 1901 as the date on her birth certificate.
- Annette Hanshaw Biography at jazzage1920s.com
- Annette Hanshaw at Find a Grave
- Annette Hanshaw at the Internet Archive 01
- Annette Hanshaw at the Internet Archive 02
- Multiple audio streams of Hanshaw's songs (needs RealPlayer)
- Annette Hanshaw This site has a video of a performance and references to having talked to family members.
- VH1 This Web site lists her birth year as 1910 and has her starting her career at 15 and retiring at 24. The liner notes from the CD "Lovable & Sweet: 25 Vintage Hits" on the Asv Living Era label also contain this apparently incorrect information.
-  Annette's Genealogy