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Mary Ellen Tanner: Girl Singer special - ENCORE presentation

Mary Ellen Tanner: Girl Singer is a two-hour tribute to the late local vocalist who loved to sing standards, orginally airing on Saturday, August 9 from 10pm to midnight on 91.7 WVXU, 88.5 WMUB, online at, via the free WVXU mobile app or the iHeartRadio app.  This special will be repeated because of listener response on Saturday, September 20th, from 8-10pm.

Hour #2

This year, the jazz world has lost some great players including Paul Horn, Horace Silver, and Charlie Haden. Here in the Cincinnati area, musicians and fans alike are mourning the May passing of singer Mary Ellen Tanner who played in clubs throughout the area, taught at CCM, and performed on the Bob Braun Show.

During this special, you’ll hear from her longtime companion and local jazz great, John von Ohlen; producer, Stan Hertzman; drummer Ron Enyard; her pianist and good friend Lee Stolar; Carmon DeLeone, jazz musician andmusic director of the Cincinnati Ballet; and musician/broadcaster Ron Esposito. Lynne Scott, who was one of Mary Ellen Tanner’s best friends, shares remembrances as does bluegrass legend Katie Laur and former jazz radio host, Robyn Carey-Allgeyer.  There will also be many songs that Ms. Tanner recorded including music from her albums When the World Was Young and Live at the Celestial

This special is hosted and produced by Lee Hay.

**Thanks to John Kiesewetter of the Enquirer, we just learned that Mary Ellen's first appearance on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour was on August 9, 1964 - exactly 50 years ago from this broadcast! Plus, he has dug through the Enquirer archives for some amazing photos of Mary Ellen, including her watching herself (with her family) on the Ted Mack show. Here's a link to his blog: TV and Media Blog

Obituary from John Kiesewetter

Stories about Mary Ellen Tanner from

We also aired a special about Mary Ellen's longtime companion and local jazz icon John von Ohlen you might enjoy: John von Ohlen Special

Here's the music on this special:

Mary Ellen Tanner: Girl Singer Playlist

Hour #1:

  1. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Change Partners” – When the World Was Young – Strugglebaby Recording Company - 1996.
  2. Mary Ellen Tanner -  “My Old Flame” – When the World Was Young
  3. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Route 66” – Live at the Celestial – Strugglebaby Recording Company – 2000.
  1. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Lover Man” – When the World Was Young
  2. Mary Ellen Tanner – “When the World Was Young” – When the World Was Young
  3. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Let’s Light the Christmas Tree” – Merry, Mary Christmas – Strugglebaby – 1998. 
  1. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Inside a Silent Tear” – When the World Was Young
  2. Mary Ellen Tanner – “If You Love Me” – Live at the Celestial

Hour #2:

  1. Mary Ellen Tanner – “The Thrill is Gone” – with the CCM Jazz Ensemble from their cd – Serenade in Blues – Sea Breeze Records – 2001.
  2. Mary Ellen Tanner w/the Lee Stolar Trio – “But Not for Me” – from the Cincinnati Jazz Collection, Volume 1 – J Curve Records – 1998.
  3. Mary Ellen Tanner – “All or Nothing at All” – Live at the Celestial
  4. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Speak Low” – Live at the Celestial
  5. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Blame It on My Youth” – When the World Was Young
  6. Mary Ellen Tanner with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra – “All the Way” – Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Salutes Frank Sinatra – self-produced cd. – 2005.
  7. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Our Love is Here to Stay” – Live at the Celestial
  8. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Alright, Okay, You Win” – Live at the Celestial
  9. Mary Ellen Tanner – “A Grandmother’s Christmas Lullaby” – Merry, Mary Christmas
  1. Mary Ellen Tanner – “Wasn’t the Summer Short” – When the World Was Young

11. Mary Ellen Tanner – “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” – When the World Was Young
Apparently Mary Ellen's CD's are not available online - here's the information we have for Strugglebaby records: Strugglebaby  513-871-1500

There are limited amounts of her CDs available and they are not on CD Baby or iTunes.