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Lois Lorraine "Laura Lane" Clark Letson
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Birth: Nov. 26, 1925
California, USA
Death: Oct. 10, 1993
San Diego County
California, USA

Headline: Lorraine LETSON, 67; 50-year career performing under name Laura Lane
Obituary: Lorraine LETSON was 17 years old and checking hats at a dude ranch in Santee the night the entertainment, a singer, didn't show up. The owner was wringing his hands, but Mrs. LETSON piped up, "What are you worried about? I can sing." Sing she did, and a 50-year career was launched. Under the name Laura Lane, Mrs. LETSON went on to perform at such bright nightspots as the Edgewater Hotel in Tampa, Fla. She once worked with Pete Fountain. Mrs. LETSON died in her sleep Sunday morning in her La Jolla home. She was 67 -- which, her husband Douglas noted, "will be a shock and surprise to most
people." She was often mistaken for the actress Ruth Roman. She had a low, throaty voice and performed what was described as "the kind of songs that made men sit around and drink all night long." She was a natural with music. At age 5, she walked up to a neighbor's piano and started playing. By 18, with the Milton Donn Band to back her, she was playing the Cafe La
Maze in National City. The manager would hide her when the vice squad came around. Mrs. LETSON didn't find out why -- that there was gambling upstairs -- until years later. In 1943, she married Laird Walker, an Army Air Corps pilot. Three months later, his plane disappeared on its way from Newfoundland to North Africa. When Army officers came around with a $10,000 life insurance check, Mrs. LETSON refused to accept the money. "Take it to his folks," she told them. "I wouldn't spend a dollar of it." She was a vocalist with the Jay Eslick Orchestra, playing the Rose Room of the U.S. Grant Hotel three years later, when she met Douglas LETSON, another Army Air Corps pilot. She stood him up on their second date. The reason, she told him later, was,
"I didn't need anymore pink trousers and green jackets (the Army dress uniform) in my life ever." But he didn't give up, and the singer and the flier married Oct. 1, 1946, in Tampa, Fla. They came back to San Diego to make their home. Mrs. LETSON quit performing professionally for 10 years after her children were born. Then one night at the Four Winds on Fifth Avenue, the piano player asked Mrs. LETSONís sister-in-law what she wanted to hear. "I want to hear my friend sing," she answered, indicating Mrs. LETSON, seated at the same table. So Mrs. LETSON sang and the piano player, Russ Robinson, impressed, told her to stick around. The two became a duet, appearing not only at the Four Winds, but also Horatio's Green Onion and the Moonglo. They were the opening act at the grand opening of the La Mesa Bowl.Later, Mrs. LETSON took up playing drums as one-half of Toles and Lane, with pianist Shirley Toles. One night, a customer who was alone and feeling blue, remarked, "Everybody's got somebody but me." The customer's lament became the title of the first song Mrs. LETSON wrote. The most requested song she ever wrote was "Dreams Are For Living." Even after her official retirement, Mrs. LETSON could often be found singing and playing piano duets with Margie Harmon at Kelly's in Mission Valley. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Douglas, and her two children, Mrs. James Schermerhorn of Gilroy, Calif., and Michael Craig LETSON of La Jolla. At her request, there will be no formal service. Mrs. LETSON will be entombed at El Camino Memorial Park and Mortuary. The family asks that love offerings be mailed to The Church of the Science of God, P.O. Box 3131, La Jolla, Calif., 92038, to continue the "Do Unto Others Project," which she originally funded.
Publication Date: October 15, 1993 Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Page: B-4 Subjects: Region: Pacific Rim; Southern California
El Camino Memorial Park
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA
Created by: Lester Letson
Record added: Apr 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36555887
Lois Lorraine Laura Lane <i>Clark</i> Letson
Added by: Lester Letson
Lois Lorraine Laura Lane <i>Clark</i> Letson
Added by: Lester Letson
Lois Lorraine Laura Lane <i>Clark</i> Letson
Added by: Lester Letson
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- Gilbert Pico
 Added: Feb. 6, 2014

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