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Genevieve Lillian Hering, known by her stage name Jeri Southern, (August 5, 1926 - August 4, 1991[1]) was an American jazz pianist and singer.



Born in Royal, Nebraska, Hering began playing piano at age three, and at age six started formal study in classical piano.[1] She studied classical piano and voice at Sacred Heart in Omaha, Nebraska, where she became interested in jazz.

After beginning her career at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha she joined a United States Navy recruiting tour during World War II. In the late 1940s she worked in Chicago clubs where she once was a supporting vocalist for Anita O'Day. She became known for what are known as torch songs.[1]

She signed with Decca Records in 1951 and became known both for pop and jazz. The 1950s saw her at the height of her career. In 1955 her recording of "An Occasional Man", reached #89 in the Billboard pop chart.[2] In that decade she sang in a few films and in 1957 she had a Top 30 hit with "Fire Down Below." After her switch to Capitol Records she had success doing interpretations of Cole Porter with Billy May arranging some of the more humorous examples.[1]

In the 1960s she gave up the music industry to teach and later moved to Hollywood, California to work on film composing with Hugo Friedhofer. She also wrote Interpreting Popular Music At The Keyboard during her final years. She died in Los Angeles of pneumonia in 1991, at the age of 64.[1]

Selected discography

  • Warm Intimate Songs In The Southern Style (1954, Decca) - 10" LP
  • The Southern Style (1955, Decca)
  • You Better Go Now (1956, Decca)
  • When Your Heart's On Fire (1957, Decca)
  • Jeri Gently Jumps (1957, Decca)
  • Prelude to a Kiss (1957, Decca)
  • Southern Hospitality (1958, Decca)
  • Jeri Southern Meets Johnny Smith (1958, Roulette)
  • Southern Breeze (1958, Roulette)
  • Coffee, Cigarettes and Memories (1958, Roulette)
  • Jeri Southern Meets Cole Porter (1959, Capitol)
  • Jeri Southern At the Crescendo (1960, Capitol)



External links



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