Seventy years after beginning her singing career in a Japanese internment camp, Frances “Chickie” Ishihara White is releasing her first CD.
The Vancouver woman was a big-band singer in the 1940s and ’50s. But it’s been 56 years since she has sung for an audience.
White wanted to make a recording for her son, Patrick. He’s never heard her sing.
“I’d like to leave my voice with him so he can hear me singing even after I am gone,” she said.
White began her singing career as a 15-year-old interned behind barbed wire during World War II. In 1942 her family was given a week to pack and move from their home near Tacoma to the Puyallup fairgrounds, which had been transformed into an assembly center called Camp Harmony. White became the vocalist with the 13-piece Koichi Hayashi Band formed by internees from Seattle. Every night for four months she performed with the band.