Irene Kral Biography

Irene Kral (January 18, 1932 – August 15, 1978), was a jazz singer who was born in Chicago, Illinois and died due to breast cancer in Encino, California. Irene started singing professionally as a teenager. She sang with bands on tours led by Woody Herman and Chubby Jackson, former Herman bass player.

Irene joined Maynard Ferguson's band in the late 1950s and sang with groups led by Stan Kenton and Shelly Manne.

Irene then started a solo career. After getting married and settling in Los Angeles, Kral did not work for a while. However, from 1974-1977, she recorded three exquisite albums for Choice and Catalyst, including two duet sets with pianist Alan Broadbent (Where Is Love and Gentle Rain), that are considered classics; her rendition of "Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most" is definitive. She was a ballad singer who stated that Carmen McRae was one of her inspirations.

Irene was made famous posthumously when Clint Eastwood used her recordings in his 1995 movie, The Bridges of Madison County.

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