Lu Ann Simms – I Dreamt That I Was Santa Claus
Columbia Records – J 4 170 (ZSP 14477) – 1953
Lu Ann was actually born Lu Ann Ciminelli. She grew up in Rochester, NY, and in 1952 at age nineteen started appearing as one of the regular performing guests (a.k.a. “Little Godfreys”) on the popular Arthur Godfrey TV show on CBS. She earned that role; while Godfrey promoted his program as a talent show that let the audience choose “unknowns,” most of these “discoveries” were in fact struggling professionals looking for a break, so the quality of the talent was always quite high. She continued in that coveted role for three years, attaining such a level of celebrity that dolls of her became best sellers. However, in 1955 Godfrey — who was by then well known for being a fickle, tyrannical host — let her go. She then started pursuing a solo singing career, under the careful tutelage of manager Loring Buzell (who was the nephew of well known New York producer Eddie Buzell).